The Apple iPhone 4S is an amazing bit of kit, but all those incredible innards can chew through the battery at an alarming rate not to mention the recent iOS 5 problems where a location bug is draining the battery. There’s nothing worse than being away from a power outlet, watching the battery indicator edging ever lower, knowing you’re going to need your iPhone later. Apple has released iOS 5.0.1 aimed at fixing the battery drain, but there are also some easy ways to make your remaining power last that little bit longer.
The aim is to reduce the strain on your battery: the less you make it do, the longer it’ll last. It’s like driving – your car drinks less petrol at 50mph than it does at 70mph. And remember that while these tips are for the iPhone, some apply to the iPod Touch and iPad 2, so keep them in mind no matter what iOS device you have.
1. Turn down the brightness
The screen’s backlight is one of the biggest drains on a battery. So go into Settings > Brightness and make sure Auto-Brightness is On. If you’re really low on juice, manually turn the brightness down as low as it’ll go.
2. Use Airplane Mode
If you can bear to be out of touch with the outside world, you can conserve your battery by disabling all the communication tech in your iPhone by enabling Airplane Mode in Settings. Sure, it's not ideal, but you can still read anything you've downloaded previously.
It's a good way to conserve your power if, say, you're on a train and the signal is intermittent: having your phone keep searching for the network will drain the battery faster; you'll have more time to use it at the other end if you switch on Airplane Mode for the duration of the journey.
3. Switch off Push mail and automatic checking
Instantly knowing that a new email has come in can be useful, but isn’t essential. This service, called Push, is another power-hungry feature, and you can disable it in Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data.
Staying in the Fetch New Data screen, you can set how often your iPhone checks for email. To conserve power, set the interval to be long… preferably Never. You can still check manually using the Mail app.
4. Location, location, location
Using a variety of methods, including its GPS, your iPhone can pinpoint its location on a map. There are times when this is great, but you can save your battery by disabling it in Settings > General > Location Services.
5. Do away with Bluetooth
Lastly, is there a little B icon next to your battery indicator? If so, that means Bluetooth is on, and if you’re short on power, chances are you can do without it. Its on/off toggle is in Settings > General > Bluetooth.
If you fancy brushing up your knowledge on all things iOS and iDevice then check out Tap! The iPhone and iPad magazine from the same publishers as T3. Out every month, it's packed full of app, game and kit reviews, tutorials and more. As well as print and Zinio editions, you can also get the exciting new app edition, all packed with fun stuff to do.
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