In a portable age where notebooks and handheld devices have overtaken desktop computers, battery life is a red-letter topic. This is particularly vital for smartphones, which are intended for all-day use and expected to run the course without needing a top-up along the way. Not all users know that battery life can often be a question of how you set up your mobile device as much as it is about physical battery capacity. Certain features and processes can sap your power without you even realizing it, and a lot of these features wouldn’t even be missed if they were turned off.
Wired has published a comprehensive and very useful Wiki about what you can do to extend your battery’s lifespan. From basic battery care and feeding to tips on how to squeeze the most power from it as well as myths about what helps to prolong its life, it’s a pretty comprehensive article and relevant to a whole lot of people. Here’s a clip:
Killing background apps will not extend your battery life. Those apps are effectively “frozen” in the background and, according to Apple’s own support documents, multitasking does not put unnecessary strain on the battery. The exceptions to this rule are apps which use ambient location services (aka “Geofencing”), background audio playback (the play symbol will appear in the status bar when audio is playing even if the volume is off), and background downloads in Newsstand. As we’ll see, however, you can turn these background features off selectively without quitting the app.
Apple’s come under some fire in the past year for iOS 5 (and point updates) that seem to peg the battery significantly and burn power like crazy. Reports of which update does the harm and which fixes the problem are varied and inconsistent but it’s clear that, if you’re an iPhone user, every tip helps.