How to improve battery life on iPhone in iOS 11

iOS 11 is probably the worst iOS release in recent memory when it comes to draining your battery on your iPhone. Even in point release iOS 11.1, it’s still drawing battery quickly. Here are some tips to help to improve battery life.

Check Battery Usage

Find out if there is any app draining unusual amount of battery. Go to Settings app > Battery, under Battery Usage, tap on the clock icon to display detail info. Is there any app that you rarely use but is using up large percentage of battery life? The app might have bugs that cause such behaviour. Contact the developer or remove the app.

Disable Background App Refresh

Background app refresh is useful for apps that needs to get your location such as taxi app Lyft. Or for apps that need to refresh their content while you sleep, for example news app. It is recommended to allow background app refresh only for important apps.

Go to Settings app > General > Background App Refresh and switch off usage for non essential apps. Better still, turn off the feature completely to save more battery juice.

Use Still Wallpaper

Avoid Dynamic and Live wallpaper as it uses GPU power. Just use plain still wallpaper.

Disable “Hey Siri”

You can wake up Siri by saying “Hey Siri”. This feature uses battery as it is listening to you for this instruction all the time. Disable the Listen for “Hey Siri” switch under Settings app > Siri & Search.

Hide AirDrop

Hide AirDrop if you’re not using it. AirDrop is a service running in the background that watches for other AirDrop peer services nearby. There is no direct switch to turn this feature off, but you can hide it from appearing. Go to Settings app > General > Restrictions. Enable Restrictions and turn off “AirDrop”.

Hiding AirDrop is unlikely to kill off the background service. But this will prevent AirDrop from activating when you’re viewing the Share/Action Sheet and will help to reduce some battery usage.

Disable Location Services

Go to Settings app > Privacy > Location Services and turn off services for non essential apps. For those apps that you allow the use of your location, make sure the “Always” option is NOT selected.

Disable App Store Automatic Download

Automatic Download is convenient feature that will download apps you purchase from other devices, or any app updates automatically to your iPhone. It also uses battery for its background check. Disable it under Settings app > iTunes & App Store.

Setup Reduce Motion

All those fancy animations and transitions affect battery life. You can reduce them by enabling the “Reduce Motion” switch under Settings app > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion.

Enable Auto-Brightness

Screen is the major source of battery drain in a phone. Enable Auto-Brightness feature will allow you to optimise the screen brightness based on your environment. The switch is under Settings app > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations.

Reduce Screen Auto-Lock Time

Another useful screen related settings is display auto-lock. It is under Settings app > Display & Brightness > Auto-Lock. Reduce the duration to save some battery. Always remember to switch off the display manually if you select the “Never” setting.

Turn off App Store Video Autoplay

Find those app promo videos interesting or annoying when you’re using the App Store app? You might want to turn them off to save some battery. Go to Settings app > iTunes & App Stores > Video Autoplay.

Fetch Email Manually

This is an age old method to save battery life if you’re using the iOS Mail app. Go to Settings > Accounts & Passwords > Fetch New Data. Turn off “Push” method. Under Fetch section, setup to fetch “Manually”. Mail will then be fetch when you’re using the app. If you rely on Mail for alerts, consider fetching less regularly at “Hourly”.

Desperate times require desperate measures. Until Apple put their acts together to give us a better iOS or an iPhone with 2-days battery life, you’d be better off to trade some inconvenience instead of a phone out of battery.