Many those with an iPhone 4S have complaints about the battery life. Apple has acknowledged that there are problems, and is working to fix them with an OS update. In the mean time, users of this new smartphone can make a few changes that will increase their time between charges.
In response to widespread complaints about the battery life of the iPhone 4S, as well as earlier devices that are running the newly-released iOS 5, Apple said: "A small number of customers have reported lower than expected battery life on iOS 5 devices. We have found a few bugs that are affecting battery life and we will release a software update to address those in a few weeks." This fix will likely come in the form of iOS 5.0.1, a beta of which has already been sent to developers for testing.
Increase Battery Life Now
A work-around for one of the bugs that Apple referred is available now, and many users have reported significantly better battery life with their iPhone 4 and 4S. This involves turning off a function that sets the clock based on what the local time zone is -- this is apparently checking for the current time zone far, far too often.
To make this change, go to: Settings > Location Services > System Services and turning off 'Setting Time Zone'. Obviously, this will disable the device's ability to tell which time zone it is in; but users who need this function can temporarily re-enable it when they are traveling.
The other changes aren't the result of bugs, but are instead, general tips for using less power. For example, Apple suggests that users keep Wi-Fi on all the time as it can increase the accuracy of the GPS. This is true, especially in cities, but it is also a constant drain on the battery. Turning it off when not in use is good a way to save power. The same is true of Bluetooth; turn it off.
The backlight is also a major power drain. Rather than allowing the device to pick its own brightness level, users can turn off Auto-Brightness and manually set it at the lowest level they feel comfortable with -- about 30% works for many people.
Push email, in which messages are sent to the smartphone as quickly as possible, is a popular feature but it's also a significant drain on the battery. Coming up with alternate settings takes careful thought, though, or it can make the problem worse. Asking the iPhone to check for messages every 15 minutes would only be a savings for those who regularly get large amounts of email, more than 8 or 10 an hour. Dropping down to every 30 minutes will probably bring a longer battery life for most people, and checking only once an hour will almost certainly result in a noticeable improvement.
Some people believe that Apple's social-networking system Ping is an unnecessary battery drain. This can be turned off by going to Settings > General > Restrictions > Enabling Restrictions with a password, and then flipping Ping off.
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