By Paula Bostrom updated on 12/10/2013
Our iPhones and iPads are capable of amazing things, but most of us only use a small percentage of their abilities. In this weekly column I share tips and tricks for beginners, or anyone who wants to harness the full power of their iDevice. This week, I'm going to give you some tips for saving battery life.
1. Turn Off Raise to Speak Feature
Siri can use precious battery even when she/he is not searching for a command from you. There is a Raise to Speak feature that automatically launches Siri when you raise and hold your phone to your ear. To turn this feature off go to Settings > General > Siri > Raise to Speak and toggle off. And, if you don't use Siri at all, go ahead and turn it off as well.
2. Disable Auto-Brightness
I've never been fond of the Auto-Brightness feature on my iPhone. The screen never turns out to be as bright or as dim as I would like. To turn off Auto-Brightness go to Settings > Wallpapers & Brightness and toggle off. For extra savings, always make the screen as dim as you can handle. When you need it brighter outside in the sun, just drag Control Center up on your screen and adjust brightness from there.
3. Turn off AirDrop
The new AirDrop feature constantly searches for something to connect with. To turn it off when not using it, swipe up your Control Center, tap on AirDrop ,and toggle off. Note: AirDrop is not available on iPhone 4/4S.
4. Turn off Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
I took a road trip recently that had me crossing through the Navajo Nation. Not a Wi-Fi signal to be found. To keep my phone from searching…, searching…, searching… for Wi-Fi, I toggled it off by swiping up Control Center and tapping the Wi-Fi symbol off. This can also be turned off in Settings.
Bluetooth is another feature that persistently looks for another device to connect with. Turn it off same as Wi-Fi by using Control Center or Settings.
5. Turn Off Parallax
If Parallax hasn't made you too dizzy and you are enjoying it, you might consider stopping it to save battery life. To do this go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion. Toggle on to turn Parallax off.
If you'd like to see how much battery life is left with a percentage number instead of just a bar level in your battery symbol located on the top right corner of your iDevice, go to Settings > General > Usage, and toggle Battery Percentage on.