7 power saving tips for iOS 7

October 17, 2013 7:30 AM EDT

iOS 7 is a major step forward for Apple [AAPL] and its mobile devices, setting the scene for future improvements in the ecosystem. However, there have been some complaints of battery drain, so here's seven power saving tips for iOS 7.

Number 1: what you already know

To begin, here are a few battery saving tips that should work on nearly any iPhone or iPad. Most of these are available in Settings. Each one of these tricks should be familar to anyone who has ever tried to get more life out of a single battery charge.

  • Switch your phone off when you're asleep.
  • Switch off Bluetooth if you're not using it.
  • Switch off WiFi if you're not using a wireless network.
  • Switch off location services and automated Mail checks
  • If you don't need to use data services or call features on your iPhone for a while, switch it to AirPlane mode. You can do this using Control Center in iOS 7, and/or in Settings>Airplane Mode>Off/On, otherwise.
  • Reduce display brightness (Settings>Brightness/Wallpapers & Brightness. Disable Auto-brightness and manually reduce the brightness of your screen).
  • Disable 4G/3G: doing so reduces battery drain as your cellular radio seeks a signal. Settings>Cellular and switch off the Enable LTE or 4G button does the trick.
  • Disable vibrations on your iPhone in Settings>Sounds.
  • Notification Center is another feature you can control. Settings>Notification Center lets you switch off notifications for those apps you don't need to know about, or altogether if you just need a few more minutes of battery life.

[ABOVE: The Settings view will eventually become extremely familar.]

Number 2: touch down with AirDrop

Available in 5-series iPhones running iOS 7, AirDrop's a handy way to share files with others, but it can suck battery life when you leave AirDrop in "discoverable" mode. Fortunately it's easy to enable and disable this featue in Control Center. To access this just swipe up from your home screen to enter Control Center, tap AirDrop and select Off, until the next time you need to use it.

Number 3: Control your apps

While it is ever so useful that your apps can run in the background, you probably don't need all your apps remaining active and using up background power.

You can control which apps are doing this by entering Settings>General>Background App Refresh.

You can then deselect all those apps you don't want updating in the background until you need them to do so: for example disable App Refresh for Maps until you are actually using Maps on a journey somewhere.

Number 4: No, really control your apps

Another iOS 7 feature lets apps update automatically whenever an update is released. If you need to tweak power from your iPhone you can disable this feature quite simply.

Settings>iTunes & App Store and turn off the Updates and Apps settings. Alternatively, scroll down the page and switch off the Use Cellular Data setting: now your apps will only update when you have a WiFi connection.

Number 5: Reduce Motion

It's probably fair to say the parallax motion in the user interface has its share of critics. You may not get motion sickness when you see it, but if you're attempting to squeeze a little additional battery life from your iPhone you should switch this feature off.

Doing so is pretty simple, just visit Settings>General>Accessibility>Reduce Motion and set this setting to On. Doing so prevents the motion in the user interface, including the parallax effect.

Number 6: Static wallpaper

iOS 7 lets you use animated wallpapers. These are nice and pretty when you  have enough battery in there, but switching to a static wallpaper will slightly reduce battery drain. You'll achieve this following these steps: Settings>Wallpaper & Brightness > Wallpaper > choose a static wallpaper for your phone.

Number 7: Lose Location

There are times when location services are useful. There's also times when they aren't. You have a host of apps clamoring to use your location data, but you probably don't need them all to do this, and some will only do so in order to serve up ads or other digital debris.

You can control Location Services when you aren't using them: Settings>Privacy>Location Services. This gives you the choice of disabling Location Services on a per-app basis, or of switching this feature off altogether.

Don't be surprised if your Maps app or similar doesn't work when you have disabled this feature: if you need to use Maps, just follow the same command path to enable Location Services once again.

Armed with these suggestions you should be able to  squeeze a little more battery life from your iOS 7 iPhone while you make your way to the next recharge point. And, of course, if it's going to be a while till you get to recharge the device, why not get a Mophie?

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