For the most part, Apple’s iOS 7.1 is a welcome software update, bringing with it increased stability and relief from random crashes that plagued earlier versions. What is seemingly a yearly occurrence with either major or point releases, the trade-off appears to come in reduced battery life. Apple’s support forums are filled with folks suffering reduced battery life. These typically get resolved with successive releases, but that doesn’t help those who recently upgraded. If you’re suffering iOS 7.1 battery drain, here a few tips on how to fix it or at a minimum, optimize your current battery life.
The retina display on your iPhone is bright, vivid and amazing. It also can play a key role in the depletion of your power. Small changes here can make a positive impact. Navigate to Settings > Wallpapers and Brightness. Set this to 50 percent or lower. Another option is to turn on Auto-Brightness, allowing iOS 7.1 to adjust the brightness based on your environment.
Yet another way to reduce power allocated to your display is to change your auto-lock settings to the minimum setting. Hitting the sleep/wake button at the top may be quicker, but this setting will ensure that your display goes off after 1 minute of in-activity. Go to Settings > General > Auto-Lock > Set to 1 Minute.
Background App Refresh
Background App Refresh was feature was introduced with iOS 7, allowing apps to refresh their content when on WiFi or cellular, in addition to using Location Services. Essentially, they can process information through networks while your iPhone is turned off. This is a tremendously useful feature, but you can limit which apps are using it or disable globally. Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh. Toggle to gray to disable apps from using this feature.
Change Your Usage
For years, a popular topic in our help forums has been the topic of poor battery life. The difficultly with troubleshooting this problem is that it highly dependent upon usage and your coverage. Are you taking advantage of free WiFi? Do you use your iPhone in areas where your carrier coverage is poor? Do you work in an office building where coverage is impacted? Asking these questions might help target issues specific to you. Think about the apps you use on a daily basis relative to your coverage. For example, if you are streaming Netflix on commuter train, your iPhone could be struggling to keep its data connection. Services like Netflix are also prime offenders when it comes to battery drain. Analyze the apps, carrier coverage, use of WiFi and environment to expose potential ways to avoid losses.
The one sure-fire method to poor battery life is to stay charged. If you travel to and from work by car, make sure you have a good quality car charger. For those who are on planes, trains or away from power sources, you’ve got options too. There are iPhone battery cases from Mophie, Lenmar and others. On a recent vacation, I made extensive use of Google Maps while driving between the coasts in Florida. On the trip to Tampa, I used an Otterbox case and was out of power after roughly three hours. Using a full-charged Lenmar Meridian on the return, I had a fully-charged iPhone upon arrival. If you find the cases to bulky, there are a number of inexpensive portable USB devices that offer a full charge or more.
Say Goodbye To Siri, For Now
When you bring up Siri to ask a question, a query is made to Apple over a data connection. If you can limit those connections, you’ll conserve power. To disable Siri entirely, go to Settings > General > Siri > Toggle to Off.
Next to those brightly color icons, the parallax effect is a signature look of iOS 7. Those nifty animations are smooth like butter, thanks to the powerful processors on your iPhone. By using the ‘Reduce Motion’ feature, it can limit taxing your processor. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Reduce Motion > Toggle to ‘On’ (Green).
Improving battery life will require some tough choices. Do you need to a notification to pop-up for each new GameCenter request or for each new @ mention on Twitter. When installing apps, it’s easy to accrue a bucketload of apps that are permitted to use the notifications system. In addition to being disruptive, they wake your iPhone, buzz or bing. Do yourself a favor and take a machete to the apps allowed to use notifications. You can find apps that were granted access in Settings > Notification Center. You can find more in this article on how to turn off notifications on iPhone.
Auto-App Updates and Music Downloads
With iOS 7, users can opt to receive auto-app updates. This is particularly useful for those who don’t spend much time in the App Store. It ensures users are rolling with the latest and greatest release of their favorite apps. If you have a fairly large number of apps on your iPhone, your iPhone is likely downloading software updates at a fairly consistent pace and might be doing so at inopportune times. It’s time to take back control of your auto-app updates. Disable this feature and manually update your apps when you’ve got power to spare. Go to Settings > iTunes & App Store. Under automatic downloads, toggle updates to ‘Off’. For bonus savings, disable Music and Apps. This means that new purchases made elsewhere (another iOS device, PC/Mac) won’t be automatically downloaded to your iPhone.
Many of the battery tips provided above are incremental. These will help you with iOS 7.1 battery drain until Apple releases iOS 7.1.1. If you are still experiencing poor battery life, we’d recommend you consult our ultimate guide or our battery resource center. To see what other users are doing, join our community and post in our forums.