The battery life issues in iOS5 are real. Apple has acknowledged them and they’re actively working on trying to resolve them. Unfortunately, its proving to be a bigger nut to crack than they thought it was going to be. So while Apple tries to dig themselves out of the battery life hole, I thought it might be a good idea to explore a few battery life saving alternatives.
Switch to EDGE Only
When 3G data was introduced to smartphones a few years back, it was discovered that 3G radios consume a LOT more battery power than EDGE based radios. It was also discovered that the device will work VERY hard to pull in and lock onto weak 3G signals, thereby consuming even more battery power. This is a problem, especially if you live in an area that skirts the edge of 3G coverage area.
One of the things that carriers tell their customers who are having battery life issues is to turn off 3G and run on EDGE only. Yes, you will be relegated to much slower speeds, but the extended battery life may be worth the trade off to you, especially if the 3G coverage you have in your area is spotty.
Curb Data Use
If you don’t have a lot of data running over your smartphone’s data connection, you can turn data off completely and you’ll save a lot of battery power. This kinda kills the smart in your smartphone, but again, you’d be surprised at how much power you can save. I do believe that this isn’t realistic, though. If you’re going to do this on a regular basis, then you probably didn’t want a smartphone in the first place. I’d switch to EDGE only first…
Carry a Power/USB Cable
If you’re going to be out and about, then you need to carry an iPod/iPhone cable in your gear bag, backpack, purse, whatever. If you’re going to be in the car for a while, you need to make certain you have a car kit or a power cord for your car. Charge the device when you can and keep the battery fresh at given points throughout the day.
Get an External Battery
Both Mophie and Zagg offer external batteries for your USB powered devices. While they can be a bit pricey, having additional battery power available for your iPhone can be important, if you choose to leave your data services as they are, fully enabled, and find yourself running low on power.
Get a Battery Case
There are a number of different battery cases available for the iPhone. Most offer an additional 10 to 20 hours of additional battery life as well as much needed protection to your iPhone. The only downside to a battery case is that they add a great deal of bulk and some additional weight to the device. You need to make certain you’re ok with a thicker, bulkier device before jumping into one of these. Depending on the model you buy, you can expect to pay $40-$100 USD for the case; but the additional bulk, weight and cost may be worth your while as Apple works on the iOS update that’s supposed to resolve this issue.