Without question the most common complaint I hear about smartphones, and in particular the iPhone is battery life. There’s been a heap of tips and tricks I’ve offered over the years to help prolong your battery but this week Apple made a sensational feature available which I think changes the game.
Almost every Android phone has a “Battery Saver” feature, a mode that can kick in when your battery get to a certain level. Samsung had a great crack at this two years ago with the Galaxy S5 switching to a black and white screen mode with just a few available features.
The problem with most of those is they really do change the actual user experience, which is fine when you’re at 5% and will take anything to get a few extra minutes.
Apple’s solution is called “Low Power Mode” and can be found under Settings > Battery.
It’s designed for those moments when your battery hits “red” mode, or dips under 20%. But I’ve been testing it for a few days right from the start of the day when I’m at 100% and it’s sensational.
According to Apple’s developer website the Low Power Mode does the following:
- Reduce CPU and GPU performance
- Pause discretionary and background activities, including networking
- Reduce screen brightness
- Reduce the timeout for auto-locking the device
- Disable Mail fetch
- Disable motion effects
- Disable animated wallpapers
The only item on that list that worries me was the reduction of the processor performance, but in regular daily use I’ve not noticed a thing.
In my daily use the only thing I’ve noticed that is different is that my email app doesn’t continually update the little number in red with unread messages. It’s essentially no longer checking for new mail.
But if I’m waiting for an email – I open the app, when I do that it checks for mail.
Remember 5 or 10 years ago when you only knew you had new mail by opening up Outlook Express on your computer. That.
And it’s a bit liberating. I’m less locked to my phone. But I’m checking it just as much – if that makes sense.
I’m still scrolling through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, text messages are still beeping and popping up on the screen and my Apple Watch.
WiFi and Bluetooth are still available and working normally so my in-car Bluetooth just connects like it normally does.
At the end of a long day, 14 to 15 hours after taking my phone off charge and I’ve still got 23% battery left. Unheard of.
The only difficult thing is remembering to turn it on.
As soon as your phone charges past a certain point the mode drops off and you’re back to normal.
You can tell the mode is enabled because the battery shows as yellow not green (or red), so when you wake up, take the phone off charge and jump into settings and switch on “Low Power Mode”. You’ll love it.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.