In December, Apple released version 6.0.2 for iOS to fix a number of WiFi issues, but the update apparently led to more problems than answers as users began complaining of faster battery draining. The problem was first brought to light by TidBit’s Adam Engst and quickly became a very popular topic in Apple’s support forum.
Engst and his colleague suspected the battery drain was due to change in WiFi behavior, or connected to wireless communication such as using 3G, WiFi or even Bluetooth. No word yet from Apple.
Apple users aren’t the only ones plagued with battery draining issues–many of us smartphone users face similar woes. The question is, is it really because of the software or are we, the users, also responsible for our gadgets’ poor battery life?
Below are some battery draining activities that people do but often disregard as the cause.
Installing battery draining apps
A lot of apps available for download, premium and free, ask users to allow it to use their location. This means that GPS is working in the background through a wireless radio that lets developers know where you are when you use the app.
And ironically, there’s the apps that claims to boost your battery life by monitoring which apps drains your juice the most. The thing is, these apps are battery hoggers as well. Take for example Carat, the app claims that it will monitor apps so that you’ll know which apps to kill in order to save your battery. Turns out, it consumes quite a bit of battery power itself.
Android users are also plagued with such an app that goes by the name Android Battery Monitor. It monitors your battery life, gives you notifications, alarms and history but majorly drains the life of your device.
Turning on radios when you don’t need to
A lot of people are guilty of this one, especially those who regularly use WiFi, or free WiFi for that matter. Even if you’re not connected to WiFi, your device continuously searches for WiFi hotspots to connect to, that’s why even if you’re not using your device, you see your battery draining bit by bit until it dies out on you when you need it the most. And it’s not just WiFi – 3G, Bluetooth and GPS are also to blame for battery draining problems.
You may think notifications are harmless and quite helpful, but a lot of times they are not. It’s okay to get notified for missed calls, text messages, e-mails, but do you really need to get notified when you have full life in a certain game that you’re addicted to? Or when a friend sends you an extra life for that same game? Those notifications actually expedite the battery draining process, so if you don’t need to know everything that happens in your game, turn off those notifications.
Upload, download, streaming
If you want your battery to last at least a day, don’t watch videos while you’re on the go, don’t upload or download content unless it is really important, and if you can manage, don’t set your device to automatically wirelessly sync content, because if it does, even if you have nothing to sync, your device will still check to see if there’s stuff to sync.
Charge up – after a long day, just like people, gadgets need to recover. For people, we need to sleep. For our gadgets, they need to be charged. So don’t forget to plug it in before you snooze.
Fix settings – tweak the settings of your device. If your screen is set on full brightness and the ringer is on full blast, don’t expect your device to last the whole day.
Turn off notifications – if notifications aren’t important, just turn them off. I’m sure you won’t die if you’re not aware that your friend beat your high score on PacMan.
Kill it – If apps aren’t in use, kill them. What I mean by this is make sure the apps aren’t running. For iOS users, double clicking the home button will bring up a ribbon that shows which apps are running. Hold the icons of the apps that you want to shutdown to bring up the delete button. For Android, go to the task manager to kill off those apps that you’re not currently using to save your battery.