I was out taking pictures with my iPhone 5 over the weekend when I got a low battery warning; within 15 minutes my iPhone was dead. Normally this would not happen as I always carry a backup battery but as luck would have it the charging cable failed me.
This is frustrating, and all too common: You've been happily taking pictures with your iPhone 5 (as well as making calls, doing FaceTime, texting and gaming, and what do you know? The battery is in the red danger zone and a few minutes later, you're out of business. And the day isn't quite over yet! How frustrating is that? The good news? There are ways to optimize your iPhone's battery usage that will let it sip, rather than chug-a-lug, your iPhone's juice.
Image Courtesy @fashion on Instagram. Slow Shutter Cam, Gorillapod Tripod & Adorama Tripod Mount.
The iPhone 5 uses a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 1440mAh. The battery life is as good or even a little better than the previous models, but it is a situation many iPhone Photographers have all been in, where we suddenly get a low battery warning with little or no opportunity to recharge the iPhone.
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When shooting photos or video, it is best to configure the features of the iPhone to maximize the battery usage. When the iPhone is on, it is constantly searching, monitoring, and updating data. The best way to save battery life is to minimize the use of apps that use data-intensive activities. Here are six helpful tweaks that can stop the heavy draw on the battery and maximize battery life, so you can keep shooting just a little bit longer.
1. Lower the screen brightness
It definitely helps to lower the brightness and dim the screen but try not to overdo it. You still need to comfortably see what images you are shooting. To manage brightness, go to Settings > Brightness and Wallpaper. I usually drag the slider to about 15%. Drag it all the way to the left and then move it slightly to the right. Auto-Brightness should be set to ON.
2. Turn off most app notifications
App notifications are sent to your phone even when the app isn't in use. The notifications usually appear as alerts or a pop-up message. I turned off over 50 apps that use Apple push notifications on my iPhone. Granted I've got a lot of apps but by limiting the number of apps in the notifications center to the absolute minimum, I'm saving on battery life. To disable push notifications, go to Settings > Notifications and disable notifications for select applications in the notification center.
3- Turn off push notifications for E-Mail, Contacts & Calendar.
The more frequently you access your email the more battery power your going to use up. I've chosen to fetch my email every hour rather than having my emails pushed to my phones after they arrive on the server. To Manage the delivery of new email data, go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data and tap hourly. Push new data should be set to OFF.
4- Turn off location services for most apps.
Again, I turned off location services for over 50 apps. I left it on for my camera apps but i am trying to minimize the usage as much as possible to maintain the battery life. To disable location services for specific apps, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services & select OFF for the apps you don't need. I also turned off Diagnostics & Usage, Genius for apps, Location-Based iAds and Setting Time Zone to conserve battery life. To manage these features, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services> System Services.
5- Optimize for WiFi, Bluetooth & Airplane Mode.
Turn off both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth if you dont need them. My phone was constantly connecting to free WiFi hotspots in parks and coffee shops so this definitely helps to save battery power. To disable WiFI, go to Settings > WiFi and select Off. Bluetooth > Location Services> Bluetooth, & select off. Set airplane mode to ON will prolong battery life and slow down the battery drain because the iPhone doesn't need to seach for network coverage or update data.
6-Close power hungry apps.
To save on battery life, I also recommend closing any iPhone apps running in the background. Open apps can be viewed in the multitasking bar that appears on the bottom of the screen after double tapping the home button. Apps that are running in the background tend to add to battery drain. To close these apps click on Home Screen>Double click the home button twice>Press and hold the app icon untill it starts to wiggle> Tap the small red "minus" tab to close down the app properly.
So there you have it, turn off or limit the features that are known to gobble up the battery when out shooting. I wish there was a magic button or an app that would help with the process but alas there is nothing. Remember, that following thes few steps will help you get the best mileage out of your phone & extend the battery life. If all else fails, you should consider getting a backup battery solution. I've been using various 3rd party rechargeable battery backups with my iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 for a while now and I cant live without them.