What do most of us really want with our smartphones these days? Better camera? Got that? Louder speakers? Check. Better security? It’s there. More apps? Been there, done that. No, what most of us would put high on the list is the most obvious.
Better battery life. Many of us struggle to get through a day of hefty iPhone use with enough extra battery juice to spare. Many of us have to plug in our iPhones even to get through the day. iPhone Plus models have gargantuan batteries by comparison, but more juice is much sought after. Here’s the best battery saver tip I’ve found and used to date.
Low Power Mode
When the iPhone’s battery reaches 20-percent you get a notification with an option to turn on Low Power Mode. That will shut down a number of background processes to conserve battery life for a few more hours.
Guess what? You can turn on Low Power Mode anytime. That’s what I do these days, even on iPhone X, and it works a few wonders, often to the tune of 30-percent or more. Low Power Mode might seem extreme, and indeed it’s not for every iPhone user, but does it work.
Apple Support explains:
Low Power Mode reduces the amount of power that your iPhone uses when the battery gets low. To turn Low Power Mode on or off, go to Settings > Battery. You can also turn Low Power Mode on and off from Control Center. Go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls, then select Low Power Mode to add it to Control Center.
The battery power indicator at the top of iPhone’s screen turns yellow from green.
Low Power Mode uses less battery which means longer battery life but it also means some functions are reduced or stopped so you need to be aware of your usage habits.
- Email fetch
- “Hey Siri”
- Background app refresh
- Automatic downloads
- Some visual effects
- Auto-Lock (defaults to 30 seconds)
Yes, you read it right. No ‘Hey Siri…‘ for you in Low Power Mode. However, Siri can be used to turn on Low Power Mode. Siri can turn it back off again but manually, not through ‘Hey Siri…‘
When Low Power Mode is on, your iPhone will last longer before you need to charge it, but some features might take longer to update or complete.
Longer? How much longer depends upon your usage, of course, but I get 30-percent longer in Low Power Mode. Email Fetch does not work, but if you open Mail or whatever other email app you use, it will download recent messages. Texting works with Messages, though.
iOS 11 and previous versions have a long list of battery saving techniques; stop background refresh updates, auto-lock timeout, dim screen brightness, and many others. Low Power Mode is easiest to implement and easiest to stop.
What about iPhone X?
So far, my battery usage seems to be about the same as my old iPhone 7 Plus which had a much larger battery. With Low Power Mode on, however, the new iPhone X seems to last even longer. Here’s another good tip. iPhone X uses an OLED display which means the screen’s black colors are achieved without using electricity from the battery. Set both the Lock Screen and Home screen to the black image in Wallpapers and that conserves battery even longer.
Low Power Mode also throttles the iPhone’s CPU-GPU combo which might be noticeable in some applications like games, video, and others, but not for most of our day-to-day requirements. Two taps or a request of Siri makes Low Power Mode happen.