Prolonging Your iPhone’s Battery Life iOS4 Edition

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Running tasks in the background, especially those which use location services, can diminish battery life.

Battery life is one of the most important things on any device. That's especially true for phones. After all, you want to be able to make a call in case of an emergency, right?

With smartphones such as the iPhone, there is a balance between functionality and extending your battery life. If you turn off too many of the necessary features, you don't have a smartphone, but if you use everything your phone has to offer, be prepared to charge that baby often.

Rather than tell you what you should turn off, we are going to inform you about a few of the functions on the iPhone that diminish or increase battery life. You can use that information how you see fit. Everyone's usage is different, so there is no right or wrong way. Customize the phone so it works best for you. Many of these come from previous lists we've done, some come from Apple's website and others are new for iOS4.

Multitasking – Multitasking loves to eat battery life. These Apps have to wait in the background ready for the user to open them again. Navigation Apps are a huge offender when it comes to battery life.

Charging – Two things to remember. Charging your device when at half a battery does not amount to a charge cycle, according to Apple's website. The full cycle would be using half the battery one day, charging it, then using half the battery again. Another thing Apple suggests is running your battery dry at least once a month. This, they say, gets the electrons moving around, which is good for the battery.

EQ- EQ is great for listening to music, but it will make your iPhone work harder to give you that enhanced sound. This can also decrease battery life. 

Airplane Mode – Apple's website mentions that using Airplane mode will save battery in low- or no-coverage areas. This is because the phone is no longer actively looking for a connection if it doesn't have to. 

Location Services – Location services require GPS. They are battery killers. Know that using these will greatly decrease their life.

Push Notifications and Push Mail – Though we love that these let us know the daily news as fast as it comes, we know that push notifications are another one of those features that can drain a battery.

Fetching new data – This usually means checking your email or updating your friends' timelines in Twitter. Each time you do this, it eats up some battery. Phones can be set to do this automatically in intervals. This is nifty for those who need to constantly monitor their inbox, but for others, checking that email every 15 minutes may be more than necessary, and more than they need to put their battery through.

Downloading Music and Apps – Along those same lines, downloading songs and Apps on your phone will make short work of your battery. Another thing to keep in mind when trying to prolong battery life.

Wifi – Using wifi for browsing uses less power than using 3G for browsing. However, having wifi turned on when you aren't near a network causes the device to search for a connection. Ever notice this when you are walking down the street and trying to make a call when your iPhone alerts you that there is a network nearby? Thats because it's been actively searching for wifi, which will suck battery life from your phone.

Brightness setting – This one is simple enough dim = less power consumption, bright = more power consumption.

3G – Data moves faster over the 3G network, but at the cost of more power consumption. 

Auto-lock – Auto-lock saves battery. If you have Auto-lock disabled, the phone's screen will stay on until you hit the lock button. Locking the phone also prevents accidental launching of Apps.

Games – Games are fine, but some tend to use up more of the phone's processing power. Especially anything with three-dimensional graphics or rumble features.

Bluetooth – Having bluetooth turned on will also cause the iPhone to lose its charge faster. Keep that in mind when your battery is running low.

Operating System – Some users experience differences in their battery's lifespan depending on their operating system. iOS4 tends to be labeled as a battery hog compared to the previous system. Weigh your options, and figure out which works best for you.

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