iPhone Battery Saving Tips

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Monday, 26 April 2010
The and team has several iPhone users, and we are often searching for ways to extend the iPhone's battery life. All of the awesome things that an iPhone can do (video, web, apps...) are unfortunately very taxing on the internal battery - a heavy day of use can leave you with a dead battery before you get home to recharge! Here are some helpful tips we've compiled to help keep your phone charged as long as possible:

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  • First, enable battery percentages - This will not have any effect on your battery life, but it makes it much easier to tell how much battery life you really have left. Unfortunately, only the 3GS supports this feature (to enable on your iPhone 3GS, tap the "Settings" app, then "General", then "Usage", turn "Battery Percentage" on). For iPhone 3G or 2G users, there are a number of free apps available to download that allow you to see your battery life in percentage - search for "battery" in the app store.
enable battery percentages on iphone 3gs
enabling battery percentages on iPhone 3Gs - click for larger view
  • Improve your signal strength - If your phone is constantly struggling to find a solid signal, you're going to wear down your battery very quickly. There are several options for improving signal strength on an iPhone. The iPhone does not have an antenna port on it, but you can improve the signal with a wireless signal booster like the iBooster or Sleek. If you need to improve the signal to more than one phone, you can use a wireless repeater (read more at
  • Only enable WiFi when you need it - (tap "settings" app, then "Wi-Fi", then choose "off" or "on"). When you are not within range fo a WiFi network, turn off WiFi to save power (so that the phone isn't constantly searching for WiFi networks). However, if you ARE in range of a WiFi network and use your phone to surf the web a lot, re-enable WiFi so that you can do that surfing over WiFi instead of 3G (this will save battery and nearly always provide you with better performance than surfing over AT&T's 3G network).
  • Turn down screen brightness - (tap "settings" app, then "brightness" to adjust). This is one of the simplest changes that can be made and doesn't effect most functions. Most users are surprised to find that turning down the brightness just a little bit doesn't make it any harder to see things on the phone!
adjusting brightness on iphone
adjusting brightness - click for larger view
  • Disable BlueTooth - (tap "settings" app, then "general", then "Bluetooth"). If you are not using any Bluetooth devices like a hands-free headset, this will lower your battery usage.
bluetooth on iphone
turning off Bluetooth - click for larger view
  • Disable 3G - (tap "Settings" app, then "General", then "Network"). If you are only using your phone for text messaging and calls, this can help save your battery. This is also a good idea if you're not in a 3G area - there's no point in having the iPhone constantly searching for the 3G network if you know it's not there to connect to!
  • Disable Push notifications - (tap "Settings" app, then "Mail, Contacts, Calendars", then "Fetch New Data", turn "Push" off and "Fetch" to "Manually"). This setting makes it so that your phone will only check for new emails when you tell it to, instead of checking continuously. Cutting down on the amount of time spent checking for data saves a lot of power.
  • Adjust your "Autolock" setting to shut off the screen more quickly - (tap "Settings" app, then "General", then "Auto-Lock"). The less time your screen is on, the less power is used.
  • Turn on "Airplane Mode" when possible - (tap "Settings" app, then "Airplane Mode"). If you are not going to be using your phone or are outside of the coverage areas, this will stop the iPhone from looking for a signal and can greatly extend battery life. This will disable all wireless signals to and from the phone (no internet access, calls, texts, or bluetooth access), so most people won't use this too often, but if you're only using your iPhone to listen to music or watch videos from your iTunes app, you might as well save on battery!
  • Disable the vibrate feature - (tap "Settings" app, then "Sounds", turn off vibrate under "ring"). The act of vibrating takes more power than playing the ringing sound!
  • Add an external battery pack - This isn't a true "battery saving" tip, but if you need LOTS more battery life from your iPhone, an external battery is the answer. The Tekkeon MP1280 and the Energizer XP2000 are both excellent batteries for the iPhone (and also work with many other phones) and provide hours of extra usage time in a nice compact unit.

3Gstore's iPhone-using staff members have all successfully used the methods above to extend the battery life of our iPhones. Have any additional ideas? Post them in the EVDO Forums and we will keep this article updated!

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 22 February 2011 )
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