iPhone: Configure Auto-Lock & Suspend For Maximum Battery Life

iPhone Auto-LockiPhone Auto-Lock:

This article appears as a part of my iPhone Battery Saving Tips & Tricks series.


Auto-Lock on iPhone sounds quite self-explanatory; it locks the phone automatically after a defined period of time.

Well it does and it doesn’t.

iPhone’s Auto-Lock applies only in certain circumstances and when using certain apps.

For example, third party apps can and are developed to over-ride the Auto-Lock in order for the screen to remain active.  The same goes for many mapping and navigation apps as well as any other app where the developer has decided to override the Auto-Lock.

This is fine and would be expected in many cases but what does it mean for battery life.  Well leaving the screen active for long periods really hacks away at your battery life so here’s what I believe to be the optimum configuration for a balance between usability, security and battery life on iPhone.

This has been carried out and tested on an iPhone 3GS running iOS4.

Configuring iPhone Auto-Lock & Using Manual Lock/Suspend

Let’s think about this scenario for a moment – if you use your iPhone on average 30 times a day and you don’t manually lock the iPhone after each time and are therefore relying on the Auto-Lock then 30 times per day your iPhone is sitting there on the desk or in your pocket or on your car seat or wherever just shining it’s nice bright screen out into the wilderness.

Now let’s say you lose between 0.5% and 1% of battery life for every time that happens.  That’s 20% to 30% battery life you’re losing just by being a bit lazy!  Get into the habit of manually locking!

So here’s my suggested configuration:

  • Manually lock/suspend your iPhone immediately after you’ve finished using it.
  • Set your Auto-Lock to the minimum time (1 minute) for times when you forget to manually lock.
  • For security and usability, set your Passcode Lock to Require Passcode after about 15 minutes so it doesn’t get really annoying having to enter your passcode every time you unlock the phone

Step-by-step

  1. Tap Settings
  2. Tap General iPhone Disable Bluetooth to save battery life
  3. Tap Auto-Lock
    iPhone Settings > General > Auto-Lock
  4. Tap 1 Minute and then tap General to return to the General Settings menu
    iPhone Auto-Lock Settings
  5. Now tap Passcode Lock and enter your current Passcode when requested
    iPhone Passcode Lock
  6. Now ensure Passcode Lock is set to On then tap Require Passcode
    iPhone Passcode Lock Require Passcode
  7. Tap 15 minutes (or whatever you prefer)
    iPhone Passcode Lock Require Passcode
  8. Press the Home key to return to the springboard.

 

HOWTO: Disable iPhone Bluetooth To Save Battery Life

Disable iPhone BlutoothIntroduction:

Bluetooth has been around for a long time now and is most commonly used for wireless headsets on mobile phones which is what it’s used for primarily on iPhone too.

 

It does however have around 25 more uses on phones but these aren’t enabled or indeed possible on iPhone’s Bluetooth.

 

With this in mind, do you really need Bluetooth enabled?

 

Bluetooth is notorious for zapping your battery and whilst not currently a security concern on the iPhone (due to the lack of data functionality) it may in the future be possible for people to access your iPhone if left enabled at all times.

 

This appears as a part of my iPhone Battery Saving Tips & Tricks article.

 

This has been carried out and tested on an iPhone 3GS running iOS4.

Instructions

Disable Bluetooth on iPhone OS 3 & iOS4

 

  1. Tap Settings
  2. Tap General

    iPhone Disable Bluetooth to save battery life

  3. Tap Bluetooth
    iPhone Disable Bluetooth to save battery life
  4. Switch off your iPhone’s Bluetooth by toggling the switch to OFF.
    iPhone Disable Bluetooth to save battery life
  5. Press the Home key to return to the springboard.

 

HOWTO: Increase Battery Life by Fetching iPhone Mail, Don’t Push!

iPhone Push Notifications Battery LifeDon’t ‘Push’ For Longer Battery Life

Push Mail was introduced in iPhone 3G and to some it is as indispensable as their right arm.

That’s all very helpful but what good is Push Mail when your battery life dies prematurely

This appears as a part of my iPhone Battery Saving Tips & Tricks article.

Push Mail in iPhone OS 3 and still in iOS4 continues to drain the battery at a far greater rate than when it’s disabled or substituted for a little savvy, clever approach to mail handling on iPhone.

There are two types of Push Notifications on iPhone, one for apps and one for mail.

I’d recommend tweaking both for better battery life but only the mail one is covered here.

If you want to tweak your applications push notifications, have a look at this article, HOWTO: Disable iPhone Push Notifications

This has been carried out and tested on an iPhone 3GS running iOS4.

Fetch, Don’t Push When It Comes To iPhone Mail

  1. Tap Settings
  2. Tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  3. iPhone Mail disable push enable fetch for better battery life

  4. Tap Fetch New Data
  5. iPhone Mail disable push enable fetch for better battery life

  6. Switch off Push by toggling the switch to OFF.  Now set your Fetch interval as required.
  7. iPhone Mail disable push enable fetch for better battery life

  8. Press the Home key to return to the springboard.

HOWTO: Disable iPhone App Push Notifications for Longer Battery Life

iPhone Push Notifications Battery LifeLonger Battery or Lots of Red Circles With Numbers? Your Choice.

Push Notifications were introduced to iPhone 3G and continue to become more and more popular with developers as a way to make their apps more interactive but it comes at a price, battery life.

This appears as a part of my iPhone Battery Saving Tips & Tricks series.

Push Notifications in iPhone OS 3 and still in iOS4 continues to drain the battery at an alarming rate in some cases and more often than not are just not necessary.

There are two types of Push Notifications on iPhone, one for apps and one for mail.

I’d recommend tweaking  both for better battery life but only the apps one is covered here.

This has been carried out and tested on an iPhone 3GS running iOS4.

Instructions

Disabling Push Notifications (Applications)

  1. Tap Settings
  2. Tap Notifications
    iPhone iOS4 Settings Panel Notifications
  3. To turn off all Application’s Push Notifications, toggle the ON/OFF switch at the top
    iPhone iOS4 Notifications Panel Push Notifications
  4. To turn off a selection of your Application’s Push Notifications, enter each individual Application’s Notifications page and toggle Badges, Alerts and Sounds as required.
    iPhone iOS4 Notifications Push Facebook
  5. Press the Home key to return to the springboard.

 

iPhone: Battery Life Saving Tips & Tricks (Updated 19 July)

iphone battery life saving tipsIntroduction:

iPhone 4 and iOS4 promises better battery life but lets face it, this hasn’t yet being proven and even if there are improvements you can just never have enough.

 

The key to battery management is simple; enable what you need and disable what you don’t need.

 

This page will be/is a fine collection of battery life saving tips and tricks that I’ve collected since I entered iPhone land.

 

At the moment, I’ll start with what I believe to be the most valuable tips of all.

 

I will write this page over a number of weeks so check back soon or bookmark it using the Share/Save links above.

 

They will/have all been tested on an iPhone 3GS running iOS4.

 

If you’ve got any more tips you like to share then please comment below.

 

 

Tip No. 1 –  Disable Push Notifications

OK so Multitasking is here now with iOS4 so we won’t need these Push Notifications anymore, right?  Wrong!  iOS4‘s multitasking capabilities doesn’t mean you can now have a dozen apps running in the background constantly polling for updates from whatever services it is that they receive their notifications from when they’re in the foreground.

On the contrary, when an application gets ‘minimized’ (for want of a better word) in iOS4 the app is actually going to sleep or as Apple officially puts it ‘suspended’ in the background.

Mostly what happens is that it saves the state of the app until you want to use it again instead of restarting everything.  So back to the point (I was talking about push notifications and battery life right :)), so Push Notifications poll every so often for updated information and alert the user via icons badges, sounds or alerts.

All of this polling in the background wreaks havoc on your battery and 99.999% of the time is totally unneccessary, so take a look at your Push Notifications and have a good think about,  Do I really need Facebook to tell me that Jack is bored or can I manually check it when I have a moment?

Agreed, some Push Notifications are dead handy and I wouldn’t live without them myself but most of them are just battery hoggers.

 

Here’s how to disable them: Disable Push Notifications

 

Tip No. 2 –  Fetch Your Mail, Don’t Push!

Closely related to the first tip, Push Mail can cause major battery drain and is in my opinion completely unneccesary.

So you’re a busy person, you get 100 mails a day and you can’t afford to get one even a minute later than neccesary…what a load of rubbish.

Push Mail, like Push Notifications, keeps a constant connection with your server and this connection causes battery drainage problems.

I recommend setting up your mail to fetch your mail from the server say every 30 minutes or a little less if you’d prefer and manually check your mail if you’re expecting something urgent.

With this solution, you’ll get all your mail at a minimum every 30 minutes, you’ll get the urgent mail immediately because you’re checking it manually and you’ll get gallons of extra battery.  Push email is no good to you if you’re phone is dead, now is it 🙂

 

Here’s how to do it:  iPhone Mail – Fetch, Don’t Push!

 

Tip No. 3 –  Disable Bluetooth

How often do you actually use your Bluetooth?  If you can honestly say you use it more than once a day then you may have good reason to leave Bluetooth enabled all the time but most of us don’t.

This is especially true while iPhone supports such a limited number of Bluetooth profiles.

 

Here’s how to do it:  HOWTO: Disable iPhone Bluetooth To Save Battery Life

Tip No. 4 –  Configure Auto-Lock & Passcode Lock

Auto-Lock on iPhone sounds quite self-explanatory; it locks the phone automatically after a defined period of time.

Well it does and it doesn’t.  iPhone’s Auto-Lock applies only in certain circumstances and when using certain apps.

This article discusses iPhone Auto-Lock feature and it’s impact on battery life, security and usability and provides step by step instructions on setting your Auto-Lock and Passcode Lock settings for optimum use.

 

Article: iPhone: Configure Auto-Lock & Suspend For Maximum Battery Life

 

Tip No. 5 –  Brightness to 50%, Auto-Brightness to OFF

According to Apple, “If Auto-Brightness is on, iPhone adjusts the screen brightness for current light conditions using the built-in ambient light sensor.”

 

Whilst this sounds awsome, in reality it makes such a small difference to your life that the battery power it takes to power the ‘built-in ambient light sensor’ is far more important to me.  I have performed extensive tests on getting the Auto-Brightness to work and the best I can come up with is that when I toggle the Auto-Brightness from On to Off and vice versa the screens brightness adjusts ever so slightly as if to confirm the setting change.

 

If I cover the actual sensor (located at the front beside the speaker) in bright or dark conditions the screen does nothing!  What a farce…so I recommend setting the actual brightness slider to around 50% and the Auto-Brightness to OFF.  This will save you a bit of battery and the screen will still dim if you’ve set your auto-lock as described in Tip 4.

 

Tip No. 6 –  Disable 3G Internet

I would suggest that it’s quite a big trade off IF you’re doing some serious browsing, downloading or uploading but if you’re doing everyday stuff like flipping through your RSS feeds, reading mail, checking the weather and so forth dsiabling your 3G might not be such a big sacrifice if it means that you’re battery will last longer.

 

Article: 3G, Is It Really Necessary?

 

More tips coming real soon…….

Have a battery saving tip to share?  Leave a comment and it could make it into this tip page with a credit to you and linkback to your website!