The initial adoption rate of iOS 8 is lower compared to the releases of iOS 6 and 7 in prior years, according to sites like Chitika and Tapjoy. One reason for this may be due to some of the battery issues early adopters of iOS 7 experienced this time last year. For many this continued to be an issue up until the release of iOS 7.1.1. Waiting to see what issues other users are having before deciding to upgrade can be a smart thing to do.
There is, however, one new feature in iOS 8 that may actually solve any battery issues you have been having with iOS 7; iOS 8 can identify which apps are using up battery’s power the most.
Same power saving techniques as iOS 7
Maximizing your iOS device’s battery life has become an acquired skill that we have all had to learn; it is a modern-day tech survival skill. Thankfully, many of those battery saving techniques have not changed since iOS 7 was released last September:
- Dim the brightness setting and be selective on when to use Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Airdrop
- Cut down on Cellular Data usage and Background App Refreshes
- Disable Spotlight Search, Auto Downloads and limit app Notifications
But despite taking every precaution and tweaking every possible setting to maximize one’s battery potential, many people are still running low on battery life.
Identifying the cause of so many battery issues
There’s a simple reason for many battery issues on iOS and why tracking down the cause of these issues has been hard: it’s the apps. It’s not just bad apps, but also good apps that we use each and every day. Sometimes we just do not realize what our apps are doing when we are not using them.
The problem has been identifying which app is causing the problem and why. If you don’t catch an app using up all of your remaining battery life right after you download it and use it for the first time, you have to try to isolate it from the rest of your apps. This can be a tedious and almost impossible task:
- Back up your iOS device to either iCloud or iTunes
- Erase All Content and Settings and Set up as a new iPhone
- Install one app at a time and track your battery usage, repeat this step until you have found the culprit
- After the battery draining app has been identified, restore your device from backup
There are apps that have been called out as being excessive battery hogs. Such was the case earlier this year with the Facebook app. Verizon even went so far as to keep an updated list of Naughty Apps that used up their customers’ cellular data and in turn their battery. But most of us have given up and leaned to lived with the battery problems. We just assumed it was all somehow Apple’s fault.
Identify which apps use the most battery in iOS 8
From within the General section of the Settings app, navigate to the Usage section and from there tap on Battery Usage. Here you will notice two tabs that show the last 24 hours of battery usage and the last two days of battery usage. The apps are listed from most to least, in terms of power usage. Additionally you may also see an explanation for the main reason the app used so much power.
For instance, an app ranked on the list may indicate that ‘Background Activity’ was the primary reason it used up so much of your battery’s power. If such is the case you can disable the app’s Background App refresh setting located in General > Background App Refresh. Recharge your battery back to full and see if the app in question uses less power from this point forward.
“Low Signal,” on the other hand, may be a little more difficult to manage. You could opt to disable cellular data usage for such apps and see what effect that has on battery performance. This can be done from the Cellular section of the Settings app. However, doing so will prohibit the app from accessing the internet when you are not connected to WiFi.
In both situations, disabling background app refresh and preventing an app from using cellular data could render the app useless. It is certainly a better first step to take rather than simply deleting the app entirely from your device. Ultimately you have to decide if using the app is worth it or not.
Is it time to replace or upgrade?
That is not to say that Apple is completely free from blame when it comes to your iOS device. Apple has previously identified a certain population of iPhone 5S devices that have poor battery performance due to a manufacturing defect. If you think your iPhone 5S may be one of these devices, you can check Apple’s website and see if it is eligible for a replacement.
If you have AppleCare and feel that your battery is not performing as it should be, you may want to schedule an appointment with an Apple Genius and have it checked out. They will run a diagnostic test on the device in the Apple Store and see if the battery depletion is 50 percent or more from original specification. If it is not performing to spec, Apple will likely replace it.
When all is said and done, you may come to the realization that you have configured your iPhone the way you like it to be configured, the apps that are using up all of your battery life are your favorite must have apps, and there is nothing wrong with your iPhone’s battery. Your only recourse may be to either invest in a battery case like one of the Mophie Juice Packs, or upgrade to the longer battery life of the iPhone 6 Plus.