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There are many myths about the iPhone battery, but what makes it last longer?

by ace
There are many myths about the iPhone battery, but what makes it last longer?

Hasan Albari / Pexels

If there is a common complaint among practically all users of smartphone the world, is that the drums it doesn't last long enough or it loses the capacity it had when it was new. Because of this, over time there have been several suggestions for practices that promise to improve battery life or health.

Many of these practices have been true long ago, but have ceased to be recently. Others are nothing more than inventions that at best do not help at all, or at worst, may even cause the opposite effect of what was proposed. Let’s look at some myths, truths and tips on how to improve battery life and health on your iPhone.

MYTH: closing all apps makes the battery last longer

How many people do you know – perhaps yourself – who keep opening the apps of iOS and "killing" all apps, throwing them up? It sounds intuitive: of course, if you quit apps, you're saving battery. In fact, the most likely is that the opposite will happen and you will impair the performance of the system, using even more battery.

I explain: what you see in the app selector are just screenshots of the last screen you were on when you left the app. An app being in the app selector doesn’t mean it’s actually open and consuming processing, memory and battery.

IOS has an intelligent memory and processing management system, which takes care of ceasing all activity of applications that you are not currently using. But this is done in a very efficient way, allowing you to get back to where you were in the app in a very short time and using little energy.

If you actually end an app by throwing it up in the selector, the next time you use the same app, it will have to start over "from scratch", which uses a lot more energy than if it was paused at second plan. In addition, this sudden closure can cause loss of Dice and impair some application functionality like notifications.

There are two more important details that you need to know about this. The first is that some apps have a feature called "background update". With this feature turned on, the app is able to run in the background periodically to update information.

The feature is useful for social networks and messaging. So, when you return to the app some time later, you don't have to wait for the information to load. This feature obviously consumes battery power, so it’s a good idea to turn it off on apps that you don’t want to do that. To check which ones use this feature, go to Settings> General> Background update.

The second is that some types of apps are actually running even when you don't have them open on the screen. This is the case with maps and navigation as Google Maps and Waze. For these, it may be useful to terminate them when not in use, just to ensure that the use of the GPS and the battery is not occurring.

MYTH: Using wireless charging preserves battery health

One truth is that – in general – ultra-fast charging tends to reduce battery life in the long run (longer than you usually do without changing devices, by the way). Because of this, some people believe that induction charging, being slower, is better for battery life.

Is not true. IPhones' batteries are especially sensitive to temperature variations or high temperatures. Wireless charging is not very efficient and because of that it ends up generating a lot of heat, heating the device and also the battery. Therefore, charging the iPhone by induction does not guarantee a longer battery life.

This also does not mean that you should avoid charging the iPhone by induction for fear that the habit will harm the battery. It just means that having this habit will not bring the expected benefit.

MYTH: Apple slows down your iPhone to make you buy a new one

Most conspiracy theories have a little bit of truth in them, which makes them more credible. That the Apple updates iOS to make iPhones slower is quite old and got even stronger when some time ago a system was introduced for manage processor usage on devices with older batteries.

What happens is that the lithium-ion batteries used in iPhones are consumable components: the chemistry present in this component degrades over time, reducing the capacity of the battery to supply the necessary energy for the optimal functioning of the device. When the battery is very consumed after years of use, this can manifest itself with the device suddenly turning off during use, as the battery is not able to supply the energy needed for the current demand.

The solution found was to introduce a system that reduces performance in these cases, allowing continuous use of the device even with a damaged battery. Apple's mistake was in not doing this transparently. This error has already been corrected, in the latest versions of iOS you can go to Settings> Battery> Battery Health and check how is the maximum capacity on your device. For those who have an older iPhone that is having problems because of the battery, the tip is to take it to an authorized service center and install a new one.

There are many myths about the iPhone battery, but what makes it last longer?

Markus Spiske -temporausch.com / Pexels

Tips for a longer battery life

Now that we've seen three of the most common myths about battery life, let's go to three simple tips that can actually make your battery last longer.

1. Low Energy Mode

This mode can be turned on in Settings> Battery and can also be activated as an option in the Control Center. When the iPhone battery reaches 20%, the system also offers to turn the feature on automatically, but you can activate it at any time, even if your battery is full.

What this feature does is to disable several non-essential features of the system, such as downloading emails in the background, in addition to slightly reducing processor performance and some visual effects. This helps a lot to save battery and can be a good option if you are going to spend an entire day outside the house with no chance of charging. I use it a lot on trips, for example.

2. Dark mode on OLED devices

The dark mode that was introduced with iOS 13 can also have a positive effect on battery savings, but only on devices with OLED screens. Since this screen produces its own light, the standard white background ends up using more energy than the black background in the dark mode.

To activate dark mode, go to Settings> Screen and Brightness. It is also possible to activate the automatic mode, which activates the dark mode automatically only at night.

3. Automatic screen brightness and lock

All iPhones are equipped with a light sensor on the front, very close to the front camera. This sensor is used to adjust the brightness of the screen automatically depending on the environment, since in darker environments it is not necessary so much brightness. This helps a lot to save battery, since the brightness of the screen is one of the main responsible for the energy consumption in the devices. Therefore, it is recommended to leave the feature always on in Settings> Screen and Brightness.

In addition, I also recommend setting the automatic lock in the same menu for the shortest possible time, 30 seconds. Thus, if you are not using the device, it will turn off the screen and lock automatically in a short time, preserving the battery.

Conclusion

There are several myths about electronic gadgets in general and the battery of iPhones has always been a source of many of them. I hope that with the tips given you will be able to make your battery last longer. It is important to stress that it is not worth worrying too much about your habits regarding the iPhone battery.

If you always charge your phone using fast charge because that's how it works best for you, you don't have to stop doing it just because there is a possibility that in the long run it will reduce its life. If you change your phone with a certain frequency – every two years, for example – the chance that you will encounter a battery problem caused by normal use is very small.

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