On Sept. 18, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) introduced sweeping changes to the iPhone and iPad ecosystem with the public release of iOS 7, which received a bulk of new features as well as a complete redesign of the classic style, colors and textures of the mobile operating system.
Since its release date, the adoption rate of iOS 7 has far outpaced that of last year’s iOS 6 release, which means many users are upgrading and learning about all the new changes. But as with any new iOS release, Apple users may be confused by their new device preferences, and wonder why their battery life depletes faster than it did before the iOS 7 upgrade.
We’ve spent a great deal of time with iOS 7, even experimenting with the iOS 7 betas prior to the public release date, and we’ve accumulated 15 great ways to reduce battery life on your iPhone or iPad running iOS 7. Let’s get into it:
1. Airplane Mode: Apple designed its iPhone and iPad to constantly search for a signal to always stay connected, but when you’re in a bad coverage area – or if you’re not using your iPhone or iPad for Internet purposes at that moment – it’s always a good idea to turn off the device’s Wi-Fi and cellular usage temporarily by engaging Airplane Mode. The option is accessible via one’s Settings app, but it can also be easily toggled on and off with the new Control Center in iOS 7, which is activated with a simple swipe from the bottom of one’s screen.
2. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi: Airplane Mode shuts off all connectivity, but if you prefer to be selective, it’s easy to just switch off Bluetooth pairing and Wi-Fi, especially if you’re not in a great service area. Both options are easily accessible via the iOS 7 settings and the Control Center, but be warned: Turning off Wi-Fi without also turning off cellular can hurt battery life, since apps and services will attempt to use your GPS signal in place of normal Wi-Fi.
3. Close Your Apps: Many people don’t realize how many applications are open on their iPhones or iPads, especially since those apps remain open after you click on them until you officially close them. Luckily for iOS 7 users, there’s an easy way to see which apps are open in order to close them. By double-tapping the home button on your iPhone or iPad, the new multitasking feature in iOS 7 shows full page previews of all your open apps. Simply scroll horizontally to see all your apps, and close the apps with a simple flick towards the top of the screen. Try to remove any power-hungry apps that use cellular or location data, which most certainly will drain your battery life faster.
4. Delete Your Apps: Apps are great, but owning too many could be one of the causes behind your battery life problems. In iOS 7, apps not only will continue using location and notification services when they’re not in use, but they’ll also update automatically in the background – in other words, each app you download sets more constraints on your device’s battery life. Simply hold your finger on an app until all the apps start wiggling and little X’s appear in the top left corner of the icon. Click the “X” to delete an app from iOS 7.
5. Limit Notifications: Most apps have notification settings, which allow those companies to push you updates and alerts as soon as they happen; however, these updates are usually unnecessary. To choose which apps you want to display notifications, visit the Privacy section of the Settings app and toggle off any apps you don’t want to send you notifications.
6. Limit Location Services: Apps within iOS 7 will leverage GPS technology to find your location, but for many apps, offering one’s location isn’t necessary, and using the GPS can be a major drain on one’s battery life. It’s easy to turn off all Location Services within iOS 7 – simply visit the Privacy section of the Settings app – but you may want some apps to always use your location data, such as Google Maps or Find My iPhone, so you may want to be selective with which apps and services you want to toggle off.
7. Hidden Cellular Data: Cellular data is a major drain on battery life, and there are three small cellular settings embedded within other app preferences. In Safari, users have the option to sync items in their reading list across all devices via iCloud; in the iTunes & App Store settings, users can enable downloads, iTunes Match and iTunes Radio to occur over cellular (they’re otherwise reserved for Wi-Fi); and finally, the third hidden setting is embedded within the iCloud Documents and Data section of one’s Settings, which allows for syncing of app data that uses iCloud storage. All three of these hidden cellular features impact battery life on iOS 7, so users can easily toggle these off to conserve power.
8. Limit AirDrop: One of the newest features in the release of iOS 7, AirDrop lets users share photos, location points, links and documents with other nearby iOS 7 devices. It’s a great sharing feature, but leaving it on will constantly have your iPhone or iPad searching for other nearby devices. It’s easy to turn it off when it’s not in use: Simply swipe up from the bottom of the screen to activate Control Center and toggle off AirDrop.
9. Change One's Brightness: This feature tends to impact battery life on iOS more so than any other preference or setting, but one’s brightness settings on the iPhone or iPad tend to change after the initial update to iOS 7. It’s good to keep your iPhone or iPad dim on a regular basis, but you can also modify the screen’s brightness automatically by toggling “Auto-Brightness” within the “Wallpapers & Brightness” section in Settings.
10. Turn Off Your Device: Many users wait for their iPhone or iPad to auto-lock, rather than simply turning it off when it’s not in use. This is more of a habitual change, rather than an actual setting within iOS 7, but it’s just as important to conserving one’s battery life. A little bit can go a long way.
11. Turn Off Auto Downloading: Apple introduced an auto-downloading feature in iOS 7, which allows apps and downloads to automatically occur without user intervention. It’s convenient, sure, but it’s also a drag on battery life. Visit the “Automatic Downloads” setting in the “iTunes & App Store” section of iOS 7 settings to turn this feature off.
12. Turn Off Background App Refreshing: Having one’s apps update their data in the background is helpful, but just like auto-downloading, it hurts battery life on iOS 7. Simply visit the “General” section within Settings and switch off all Background App Refresh services, or select which individual apps you want to refresh their data automatically.
13. Turn Off Spotlight Search: By swiping down from the middle of the iOS 7 home screen, users can search the entire index of their iPhone or iPad. This feature has always been useful in iOS, but keeping and using this index can affect one’s battery life. Visit the General section within iOS 7 settings and turn off Spotlight Search by toggling off each data type listed.
14. Don’t Fetch Email: Just like apps that automatically download, having one’s email set to “Fetch” in iOS 7 can drain one’s battery life, especially if it’s seeking servers every five or 15 minutes. It’s best to refresh one’s email manually. Visit the “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” section in Settings, click “Fetch New Data” and at the bottom, click “Manually.”
15. Turn Off Parallax and Dynamic Backgrounds: It’s true that iOS 7 makes some users queasy, and that’s likely due to the advanced motion effects that make the iPhone or iPad feel alive when you sway the device up and down, or from side to side. These dynamic effects are cool, but totally unnecessary, and they do decrease one’s battery life. Since they don’t affect the functionality of iOS 7, it’s easy to turn these effects off. Visit Settings, click on “General” and then click on “Accessibility.” Switch on “Reduce Motion” to halt the parallax effect from the lock and home screens. If you already have a dynamic background as your wallpaper, simply choose a stationary image instead.
The release of iOS 7 introduces a multitude of new features for iPhone and iPad users, including the useful Control Center, which is a quick-access hub for important functions and applications; AirDrop for iOS, which allows iOS users to send photos and files to nearby iPhone and iPad owners running iOS 7; the new version of multi-tasking, which allows iOS 7 users to see full previews of their open applications and provides an easy way to close them; new camera features including color filters and a new "Square" mode; redesigned apps like Safari and Photos; and iTunes Radio, which allows iOS 7 users to stream music and create their own radio channels for free.
Apple made iOS 7 compatible with the iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5c and 5s, the iPad 2, 3 and 4, and the fifth-generation iPod Touch. But iOS 7 will also be available for a number of upcoming devices, including the second-generation iPad mini and the fifth-generation iPad, which are both expected to reveal and release in late October or early November. For more on the release of iOS 7, check out our list of 21 features shown in photos, and be sure to check out our guide on how to block your crazy ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend in iOS 7.