What should be the ideal battery life (time your device will run before it must be recharged) offered by a smartphone and a tablet? Well, if you ask me then I would say a smartphone should offer at least 2 days standby with 10-12 hours of usage. And a tablet should offer at least 4 days standby with 20 hours of usage.

iPhone 2 Days Standby and 12 Hours Usage

As you probably know, everyone criticizes iPhone by saying that it fails to offer even 6 hours of battery life. But here’s how I managed to get 2 days Standby with 12 hours of usage.

My iPhone Home Screen looks like:

iPhone Home Screens

As you can see I don’t have much entertainment stuff as I don’t use the phone to watch videos or play games or to click photos. So you can take that into account.

Increase iPhone/iPad Battery Life: 5 Best Practices

Paying attention to just a few common sense pointers will pay off with a longer battery lifespan and battery life for your iPhone/iPad.

Let’s start with 5 best practices to maximize the lifespan and battery life of your iPhone and iPad as offered by Apple here (for iPhone) and here (for iPad).

  • Upgrade your iOS software (Settings > General > Software Update) and apps (from App Store > Updates) regularly as developers may have implemented new ways to optimize battery performance.
  • Use your iPhone and iPad regularly. You have to make sure that your iOS device goes through at least one charge cycle per month. Which means you have to charge the battery to 100% and then let it discharge completely as it’s important to keep the electrons in your battery moving in order to improve the efficiency of the battery.
  • Keep your iPhone & iPad out of the sun or a hot car as heat will degrade your battery’s performance the most.
  • Let your iPhone & iPad breath as charging your device while it is in certain carrying cases may generate excess heat and it can affect battery capacity.
  • Set your Auto-Lock (Settings > General > Auto-Lock) time interval to a short time, such as 1 Minute or 2 Minutes.

1. Adjust Screen Brightness

If you’re a smartphone user then no one needs to tell you that adjusting the screen brightness can improve your battery life. According to Wired.com “an iPhone 4 should last about 6.5 hours of continuous use on the lowest brightness setting and about 3.5 hours on the highest brightness setting.”

2. Turn On Auto-Brightness Or Set It Manually To Low

iPhone Auto-Brightness

My Auto-Brightness is turned off and the screen brightness is set to 25-30% manually as I prefer to increase it manually when I want to. If you’re too lazy to adjust the screen brightness manually then turn on Auto-Brightness (Settings > Brightness & Wallpaper > Auto-Brightness).

3. Kill Unused Background Apps Manually

iPhone Task Manager

Though your iPhone is pretty good in app management it’s good to kill some background apps manually. Double tap your Home button, press and hold an app for few seconds, and now close it manually by tapping on (-).

4. Turn Off System Services

iPhone System Services

You can turn off the System Services (Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services) as most of them are used by Apple to improve their services. You can disable all the options in that section and your iPhone & iPad will continue to work the way it used to.

5. Turn Off Location Services

iPhone Location Services

Some apps (Maps, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) requests and uses your location (Settings > Privacy > Location Services) and it can reduce the battery life significantly. You can either turn off location services completely or can turn it off for individual apps. Unless you want to share your location you don’t really have to turn this on. I’ve enabled location services for just two apps namely Google Maps and Find My Phone (or Find My iPad).

6. Turn Off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Cellular (3G/LTE)

You can turn off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Cellular (iPhone > Settings > General > Cellular & iPad > Settings > Cellular Data) when you know you’re not going to use it. Turn off Cellular Data on your iPad when you’re on Wi-Fi as it doesn’t make any difference since your iPad can’t make cellular calls.

7. Optimize Push Settings For Mail, Contacts, Calendars

iPhone Fetch New Data

Push Notifications are really nice when you want to receive real-time alerts about new e-mails. But it’s a good idea to turn it off when you don’t need/use it. For example, if you’re mostly on your PC then you can turn off Push Mail on your iOS device. Instead, make use of "Fetch New Data" (Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data) and optimize the same. Apply a Fetch schedule like every 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, or even manual (fetch less frequently for a better battery life) so that your device will check for new updates only at those selected intervals.

8. Optimize Push Notifications

iPhone Notifications

Push notifications works wonderfully on your iPhone and iPad. But it’s also true that apps that rely too much on Push Notifications (like social media and instant messenger apps) affect the battery life to a great extent.

You can tweak your Push Notifications (Settings > Notifications) by disabling Notification Center, Alerts, Badge App Icons, Sounds, Lock Screen Notifications for individual apps according to your preference.

9. Siri

iPhone Siri Settings

You know you can talk to Siri by pressing and holding the home button or by raising your phone to your ear. So if you’re like me who doesn’t use Siri much then you can either turn it off completely or can disable “Raise to Speak” (Settings > General > Siri) feature. Even if you don’t use Siri you can still keep it ‘On’ like me as it didn’t show much notable difference in battery life (at least for me).

10. Make Use Of Airplane Mode

When you’re in a no coverage area (or when you don’t want to use your phone for voice or data) you can turn on Airplane Mode (Settings > Airplane Mode). This can boost your battery life as your iPhone & iPad always tries to connect to a cellular network and it uses more power when you’re in a low-coverage or a no-coverage area.

BONUS: Disable Vibration & Keyboard Clicks

You can disable Vibrate on Ring (Settings > Sounds) when you use your phone indoor. Additionally you can turn off Keyboard Click (Settings > Sounds) sounds as they use processing power.

How I Got 7 Days Standby With 24 Hours Usage On iPad mini

Everyone knows that iPad offers incredible battery life. And it’s true because my iPad mini offers 7 days Standby with 24 hours Usage on Wi-Fi with Cellular Data disabled and 6 days Standby with 12 hours+ Usage on Wi-Fi with Cellular Data enabled [Screenshot].

iPad mini 7 Days Standby and 24 Hours Usage

The brightness was set at around 50% [Screenshot] and the only Location Services that’s ON are Google Maps and Find My iPad [Screenshot]. When it comes to Notifications, the only apps that are in the Notification Center are FaceTime, Messages, Reminders, Calendar, Mail, Skype, and the Share Widget [Screenshot]. Again, all the System Services (Cell Network Search, Compass Calibration, Diagnostics & Usage, Setting Time Zone, etc.) are also tuned off [Screenshot].

Now it’s time to check the usage of your iPhone and iPad

Both iPhone & iPad show  the Usage and Standby time (Settings > General > Usage) since your last full recharge. You can tweak your device’s settings by following the above tips and note the difference in battery life each time you change some settings.

P.S. Please note that some of the above Usage and Settings screenshots are taken from my 2012 archive.

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Mahesh Mohan

Agnostic, Apolitical, Bluephile, Brutally honest, Curious, Digital Creator, Finance geek, Marketing ninja, Microsoft fanatic, Multi-passionate nerd, Overthinker, Perfectionist, Workaholic.

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About Mahesh (@maheshone)

Mahesh Mohan

Agnostic, Apolitical, Bluephile, Brutally honest, Curious, Digital Creator, Finance geek, Marketing ninja, Microsoft fanatic, Multi-passionate nerd, Overthinker, Perfectionist, Workaholic.

Say hi: @maheshone

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