Back in the day, cell phones would hold a charge for what seemed like a week. Now, with all of the new capabilities our smart phones have, it seems like if you forget to plug your phone in before going to bed you wake up with your battery percentage in the single digits. But what can you do if you need to milk a few more minutes out of your iPhone battery? Or how can you prepare yourself ahead of time for those all-too-common circumstances in which your phone dies, but your day is only half over? Here are some ways you can keep your phone going, even though your battery is dying.
1. Conserve What You Have Left
There are a few great features that help your iPhone provide a ton of great value for you, but suck your battery dry at an accelerated rate. Here are a few features you can turn off or adjust to save what little battery life you have left:
- Turn Off Your Wi-Fi – Your Wi-Fi connection is great for downloading content at high speeds, but it’s one more way your phone drains your battery. To turn off your Wi-Fi, go into Settings, click on the Wi-Fi line, and then press the button next to Wi-Fi. The color behind the button should change from green to white.
- Turn Off Your Bluetooth – Bluetooth enables you to connect your phone to other technology, like speakers or your car, but at a time like this you’d probably rather have your phone running than playing tunes on your Jawbone. The option to turn off Bluetooth is also in the settings app–click on Bluetooth (just below Wi-Fi), then click the button on the Bluetooth line–which should turn from green to white. This does mean that your phone will not connect with your car or other devices while turned off, but it will save your iPhone battery.
- Dim Your Screen – That bright display may help you read this story more easily, but it’s sapping minutes out of your battery! You can still see your phone even on its dimmest setting, so try turning down the brightness. The easiest way to access your screen’s brightness–and a quick option to turn Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on and off as well–is by swiping up from the bottom of the screen when on the home screen. In the second section down, there is a horizontal line with a dot on it, and a sun on either side of the line–one big, the other small. Move the dot all the way to the left, and you should see the screen get a bit dimmer. Just press the home button to dismiss this screen.
- Disable Location Services – One of the cool features of the iPhone is that it knows where you are at all times, making it much easier to plot directions from your current location or tag a Facebook post. But constantly updating your location places a burden on your battery too, so turning off that feature can help you keep you phone on longer. To turn off location services, go to Settings, then scroll down to Privacy. Click on the Location Services line, and then press the green button in the upper right-hand corner. This means that your phone will no longer know where you are, but you can turn it back on if you need that information for some reason.
2. Make Your Battery Bigger
OK, so we can’t actually make your battery bigger, but there are some phone cases out there that will essentially do just that. Mophie, for one, makes a few cases for each generation of iPhone that charge with your phone overnight and provide a few more hours of battery life when your phone is running low. The downside is that these cases make your phone a bit bulkier, depending on which version of the case you get, and they aren’t too hard to break. The case itself protects your phone reasonably well from damage, but the charging capabilities break relatively easily if dropped excessively.
For the iPhone 5 and 5S, the cases come in three models: Juice Pack Helium, Air, and Plus, providing 80%, 100%, and 120% of your battery charge, respectively. The case goes on just like any other case, but also plugs into the charging port on your phone. Instead of using your normal cord to charge at night, use the Mophie cord, which charges both the case and your phone. Then, if during the day your iPhone battery starts to creep too low, just flip the switch on the back and the case starts charging your phone!
3. Have a Spare Battery Handy
There are tons of products out there of varying sizes, styles, and costs that hold an extra charge for your battery just in case. The quality of these products differs, so it may make sense to do some research before purchasing, but it’s pretty easy to find relatively cheap external chargers that work well enough to get by. The biggest downsides to using these devices is remembering to keep them charged and having them around when you need them. It doesn’t do much good to have an extra battery if it doesn’t have any power or is at home when you’re on the go.