Keep a dying iPhone’s battery alive
Save the last precious drops of power in your handset’s battery with Ben Patterson’s essential tips and tricks
So there you are, running from meeting to meeting on a particularly busy day when you suddenly notice your iPhone’s battery gauge is deep in the red. It’s too late for sensible battery-conservation tips – you need power for your dying handset now, or at least a way to staunch the bleeding.
We’ve gathered six tips that’ll help preserve the last precious drops of juice in your phone’s battery, as well as ways to find emergency sources of power while you’re on the road.
1. Turn your handset off and then on again
It’s one thing if your phone’s battery is dying simply because you’ve been using it all day without a break. But if you’re watching your battery gauge drop 5 or even 10 percent in a matter of minutes, something’s up. Most likely, one of your apps has spun itself into a furious, battery-draining loop.
One of the best ways to pull your phone out of its death spiral is a hard reboot – that is, forcing your handset to stop absolutely everything it’s doing and restart. You can do a hard reboot on an iPhone or iPad by pressing and holding the power and sleepwake buttons until the Apple logo appears.
2. Look for a battery-hogging app
If your phone’s battery life is still tanking after a hard reboot, you could always try to pinpoint an app that’s draining more than its fair share of power.
Tap Settings > Battery, then look for a culprit in the Battery Usage list. If you spot any battery hogs, you can close the app by flicking up its ‘card’ in the app switcher (double-tap the Home key), or cut off its background activity privileges (tap Settings > General > Background App Refresh, find the app in the list, then flip off its switch).
3. Turn on Airplane mode
Another possible reason for a plunging battery gauge is that you’re in an area with poor cellular
service. When that happens, your phone will keep trying (and trying and trying) to establish a connection, and that’s a sure way to drain your battery in a hurry. If that’s the case, your best bet may be to turn on airplane mode. Doing so will turn off your handset’s cellular radio and stop it from frantically looking for a cellular signal.
Tap Settings, then switch on the Airplane Mode setting, or just flick up the Control Center window and tap the Airplane Mode button. For Android devices, pull down the Quick Settings window shade and tap the Airplane Mode button.
If you don’t like the idea of being out of touch, keep in mind that you can always turn on Wi-Fi after activating airplane mode.
4. Turn on battery-saver mode
iOS devices have a battery-saver setting that’ll shut down most background activities, dim the screen, and enable other battery-preserving features, handy if you’re suddenly dealing with a phone that’s almost out of juice.
Tap Settings > Battery, then enable the Low Power Mode setting; you’ll also be prompted to turn on the feature on if your device falls below 20 percent or 10 percent of battery life remaining. Unlike Android’s Battery Saver feature, iOS’s Low Power Mode setting can only be activated manually.
5. Carry an extra phone charger
Everyone wants a phone charger when their handset is about to run out of juice; the real trick, of course, is making sure you have one on hand when you need it. Go ahead and spring for an extra phone charger,
preferably a small, lightweight model, or even a cable that’s small enough to clip to a keychain. Once you’ve got an extra cable, make sure to keep it in your backpack, purse, or briefcase at all times.
The next time your phone is running low on battery life, all you’ll need to find is an available power outlet or USB port and some charging time. Thanks to the fast-charging technology built into the newest iPhones, you’ll only need about 10 minutes or so to get a decent chunk of battery life back.
6. Get a portable battery pack
Even a phone charger won’t do you much good if you’re nowhere near a power outlet. In those cases, having a portable battery pack stashed in your knapsack, your pocket, or hooked to your key ring can be a lifesaver. Many different shapes and sizes of portable battery packs are available; some are as big as hardback books, others are credit-card sized. Price tags range anywhere from about £20 to north of £100, depending on the size of the charger.
Another option is a phone case that doubles as a charger, although such battery-charging cases will add extra weight and girth to your handset, while those designed for a specific handset won’t do you much good if you trade up for a different model.
Techlink Recharge 12000 Power and Lightning Charger (£59.95)