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Every Apple fan should know these battery-saving iPhone tricks

Published Mar 23rd, 2021 11:58AM EDT
iPhone Battery
Image: Apple

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Battery life on the iPhone over the past few years has managed to remain somewhat consistent, even as Apple has steadily introduced more powerful processors and increasingly larger displays. Over time, though, you can definitely see a slow uptick in battery performance across varying iPhone models. The iPhone 12 Pro, for instance, boasts 17 hours of video playback while the 2018 iPhone XR boasts 13 hours of video playback.

All told, all iPhones available today — and most premium smartphones, for that matter — pack enough battery life to last you through a full day of moderate use with ease. Still, situations will undoubtedly arise where you’ll want to implement a few measures to preserve as much of your iPhone battery as possible. Whether you’re going on a long trip or even if you simply forgot to charge your phone overnight and leave the house at only 50%, there are a few battery tips and tricks you should be aware of.

The easiest way to reduce your battery usage is to turn on Low Power Mode. As Apple notes, Low Power Mode “temporarily reduces background activity like downloads and mail fetch until you can fully charge your iPhone.” You can turn Low Power Mode on by simply going to Settings > Battery and toggling the switch on.

As easy as that is, it can admittedly be a bit cumbersome to continuously toggle it on and off. The good news is that there’s a handy shortcut you can take advantage of that will put the Low Power Mode toggle right in the Control Center. To do this, go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls and then tap the green “plus” sign next to the Low Power Mode option. Upon doing so, you’ll now be able to turn Low Power Mode on and off by simply swiping down from the upper right-hand side of the display.

Another battery-saving iPhone tip you can do is to turn off Hey Siri functionality. It may not yield huge savings in battery life, but if you’re down to your final 5%, every little bit of extra juice counts. To turn off Hey Siri, go to Settings > Siri & Search and toggle the “Listen for ‘Hey Siri'” switch into the off position.

A third way to help improve battery life on your iPhone is to turn off Background App Refresh. While the feature is nice to the extent that applications can refresh content in the background, it can be a bit of a battery drain as well. If you go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh, you can either toggle the feature off or selectively choose which apps you want to update in the background.

One of the more obvious ways to maintain battery life is to turn on Dark Mode and lower the overall brightness of your device. One study even found that Dark Mode on the iPhone can improve battery life by as much as 30%. Not everyone likes the aesthetic of Dark Mode, but if you’re looking to save battery life, you can enable it by going to Settings > Display & Brightness and turning it on. From the same preferences pane, you can also turn True Tone off and lower the overall brightness of your display.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.