So, you got a brand new iPhone 7 and have been playing with it day in and day out. It’s fresh and novel, and you just can’t get enough of all the new features – both in the hardware and in iOS 10 – that are not at your disposal. You’re having the time of your life until you realize that your brand new iPhone isn’t lasting as good as you expected it to. I mean, Apple claimed that the A10 Fusion chip is more power efficient and the battery is also larger, albeit marginally. Still, with all of that, how come you’re having your phone’s battery dying out halfway through your day?
The truth is, while iPhones have been able to offer better battery life with smaller capacity batteries than their Android competitors, battery life has never really been the strongest suit of the iPhone. That, of course, changes if you’re rocking a Plus variant of the phone, but for the normal iPhone, there might always be some tweaks that you’ll want to make to make your battery last as much as you’d want it to. The downside, however, is the fact that you’ll pretty much end up taking the “smart” out of your smartphone.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the methods that you can employ to improve the battery life on your iPhone 7 and fix common issues that might be there. Please note that while we’re talking specifically about the iPhone 7, the tips apply to pretty much any iPhone running iOS 10, so they’re worth a try even if you don’t have the latest that Apple has on offer.
Do you even have a battery issue?
Before we go into how to fix battery issues, let’s first establish that you actually have an issue with your battery life in the first place. A lot of times, users report terrible battery life right off the bat on their iPhone or after they’ve updated to a newer OS version. In reality, whether it’s a new device or a major software update, the reality in most cases is that we’re just using the device a lot more. Trying all those new features and gimmicks results in longer screen-on times, which eats through the battery pretty quickly. Also, if you’ve updated an older iPhone to the newest iOS version, Spotlight will end up re-indexing everything, resulting in a pretty taxing load on the processor and high battery drain.
The best thing to do to determine whether you actually have a battery issue or not is to wait a couple of days and let things settle down before coming to a conclusion. If you don’t want to take the long route, just settle your phone down with the screen turned off for about 30-40 minutes and observe battery drain in standby. If it continues to drain fast during standby and you’ve just updated, then it’s likely that background processes are still figuring things out. Otherwise, if there’s no battery drain a few days after the update in standby, then there’s nothing wrong with your battery life and you’re just using your phone more. Wait for the novelty feeling to wear down.
If the above isn’t your case, continue onto the tips that we list below.
Check your battery usage
The first thing that you should do is check battery usage. Recent versions of iOS, including iOS 10, have a nifty battery usage stats feature that will give you a complete breakdown of which apps or processes are using most battery. On your iPhone 7, 3D Touch the Settings icon and tap Battery from the pop up menu. Alternatively, head over to Settings > Battery and observe the patterns for the last 24 hours or seven days for a larger trend analysis. You may tap the clock icon next to these to get a more detailed view. If there’s a specific app that’s taking a lot of battery in background activity, you have your culprit.
Disable certain iOS 10 features
With iOS 10 on the iPhone 7, there are a lot of features that Apple added to make things more convenient. While they’re pretty nifty, then can take a toll on your battery, and disabling some of those might improve things for the better.
1. Raise to Wake
This feature allows you to simply pick up your iPhone and the screen will turn on, giving you a glance of any pending notifications that you might have, or at least the clock. It’s pretty useful, but it can lead to several unnecessary screen wakes in your pocket. To disable Raise to Wake, head over to Settings > Display & Brightness and slide the toggle for Raise to Wake to off.
2. Connectivity features
iPhone 7 comes with a pretty full connectivity package, and you might not need all those features on at all times. For instance, you may not have a Bluetooth accessory paired at all times, in which case you can simply disable Bluetooth. Likewise, if there’s no WiFi available, it might help to turn off the radio. Also, if you’re in a poor cellular connectivity area, turning off LTE would be a good idea. Another thing you can experiment with is turning off AirDrop unless needed.
There’s no central location for all of iOS’s connectivity features, but most of them can be toggled via the Control Center that you can access by a simple upward swipe from the bottom of the screen.
3. Motion and Visual Effects
The iPhone’s Parallax motion effect has been around for quite a while, and aside from giving some people motion sickness, it also drains your battery. It does look pretty cool in my humble opinion, but in the event that you really want to maximize your battery life, it would benefit to disable this. You can do this by going to Settings > General > Accessibility and then Reduce Motion, and switching the toggle to On.
4. Siri Suggestions
Apple has been consistently attempting to make Siri smarter. One of those efforts in iOS 10 translates to Siri suggesting apps that you might be looking for as soon as you go into Spotlight search, even before you start typing. This “guessing” is done based on usage patterns and history, which practically can spell a disaster for your battery, making your iPhone analyze every action in the background. If you don’t use Spotlight OR Siri, it’d be better to turn this option off to save some battery juice. To do so, head over to Settings > General > Spotlight Search and toggle off Siri Suggestions.
5. Use (or don’t) Auto-Brightness mode
You notice how we’re unable to certainly recommend or un-recommend this mode? That’s because the feedback around this is mixed. In Settings > Display & Brightness, you’ll find a toggle for Auto-Brightness, right under the brightness slider. Turn this on and your iPhone will automatically adjust the screen brightness based on available light, so you get best sunlight legibility without the peak brightness blinding you in a dark environment. This is great, except that it constantly keeps the ambient light sensor on your iPhone engaged, which can adversely affect battery life.
In reality, users have reported mixed feedback on this. Some users have had great battery life with Auto-Brightness on; others say it killed their battery life altogether. Experiment with both and pick the one that works best for you; just know that this option is there and you should play with it for optimal results.
Manage your options better
Many battery saving tips would recommend that you turn off a lot of features like Background App Refresh and Location Services. We disagree with that wholeheartedly. What’s the point of having a smartphone if you turn off a bunch of all those things that make it smart? Hence, our recommendation here is better management as opposed to outright disabling.
1. Background App Refresh
iOS 10 comes with a Background App Refresh feature that basically lets certain apps refresh and update even when not active so that when you load the app, it always has the most recent and updated data available without loading times. This is great, except that the default behavior of iOS is to allow every app to have this feature enabled, wreaking havoc on your iPhone’s battery.
Instead of disabling Background App Refresh, you should head over to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and toggle off those apps that you don’t need updating in the background. An easier approach would be to allow apps like Mail, Calendar and social networking to have background activity but restricting it for all others. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to it, so do this based on your need and usage.
Notifications is another thing that you can micromanage to gain better battery life. By default, a vast majority of iOS apps will ask to send you notifications, but you don’t need notifications from all of them, do you? Perhaps you can survive without getting notified by a game, but definitely not without email notifications. The general rule is, if you don’t need to be notified by an app, don’t let it.
You can manage all your notifications by going to the Settings app and then Notifications. Go into each app that you don’t want notifications from, toggle off “Allow Notifications”.
3. Location Services
Location Services is another thing that you should pay attention to and manage better to improve your iPhone’s battery life. iOS 10 has a great feature of reminding you if an app has been using your location in the background and probably doesn’t need it. However, to manage it yourself, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services.
Here, first look at the list of apps and if you see something that shouldn’t be using your location, stop it. You may also select which apps can always access your location and which can only when you’re using them.
Then, at the bottom of the app list, there’s System Services that you need to tackle next. Toggle off everything here that you might not need; for instance, Compass Calibration, or HomeKit if you don’t have a HomeKit enabled device. There’s a bunch of options here, and there isn’t a generic advice here, either, except that you should probably turn off everything under Product Improvement.
Oh, and while you’re here, do turn on the Status Bar Icon, as that will give you a much needed visual indication of when your iPhone’s GPS has been engaged.
4. App Closure
This is more of a habit thing and advice than a tip, but some users have a habit of manually closing apps from the multitasking interface. Simply, don’t. It does a lot more harm than good, and will decrease battery life instead of improving it. You see, frozen (inactive) apps don’t drain any battery whatsoever, but when you kill and app and then launch it, it’s not being recalled from the RAM; the system is pulling it from the NAND storage, which means the processor has to work double to first pull the app into RAM and then render it in runtime. Thus, it’s never a good idea to force close an app unless there’s a legitimate reason, i.e., the app was stuck or misbehaving etc.
Use Low Power Mode
If all of this didn’t help, iPhone 7 and iOS 10 come with a Low Power mode that automatically kicks in when your phone’s battery hits 20%. In this mode, certain visual elements are disabled, background activity is halted and the processor on your iPhone 7 will clock down a little bit to reduce stress on the system. If you’re experiencing poor battery life, you can manually enable this mode as well. Simply go to Battery settings and toggle on “Low Power mode”. An indication of this mode being on is the battery icon turning yellow instead of the regular green (or orange or red, depending on battery level).
Restore your iPhone as New
So, you tried everything and your iPhone 7 still won’t last you long enough? Before taking matters to Apple, it won’t hurt if you restore your device and start fresh. Connect to iTunes in Recovery mode and restore the device, and set it up as a new iPhone instead of restoring from a backup. In some cases, it is possible that a bug had carried through your backups for a long time that is making matters worse. Setting up as a new phone will eliminate that chance and let you know whether it’s something on your end or with the device, after which you can make a better decision of which course to take.
Fix iPhone 7 battery Woes with these simple tips
Well, those were some tips that should come in handy if you are facing battery problems on your iPhone 7. So, try them out and do let us know if they helped you out. Also, if you know of any other tip to improve battery life on an iPhone 7, do let us know in the comments section below.