We’ve already heard that the iPhone 4S battery doesn’t last quite as long as that of the iPhone 4. Part of it is the dual-core processor. It’s more power-hungry, but according to some reports, there may be more to it than just that (and Apple is looking into it). Don’t forget, recording video is also a huge battery killer, but lets get into the less obvious stuff.
It seems that the issue may lie in iOS 5 for some. As is expected with new software, there are still a few kinks to work out, and the latest version of Apple’s mobile OS is no exception. The problem may actually have something to do with power management and a few little crash bugs.
First, we suggest going through and turning off all the possible offenders: iCloud sync, wifi sync, location tracking, time zone switch, location-based reminders, and anything else below that affects battery life. Turn all of them off and begin monitoring your battery life.
Then, go down the list. Turn one of the features on, and monitor your battery life. If things are okay. Turn it off again and turn on the next possible offender. Eventually, you should run into the culprit. When that happens, you know that you can safely turn on all the other features and home in on the problem. For example, if it’s a wifi sync, maybe you can start to figure out what part of the sync, if any is going wrong.
An App to Help
One of the best ways that users are finding to help diagnose potential problems is an app called System Activity Monitor (linked below). It’s a 99 cent app that lets you check the processes currently running on your iPhone as well as crash reports and other activities going on behind the scenes with your iPhone. It’s been reported on both the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 running iOS 4.2.1 and iOS 5.
Problems and Solutions
One of the main problems seems to be crashing loops. Basically, the iPhone tried to access some sort of data, but it crashed. The iPhone tries again to access the data, resulting in another crash, over and over. This is all going on behind the scenes, so the user never sees or notices. However, it is a major drain on the battery.
To view your crash logs, go to Settings>General>About>Diagnostics and Usage Data
You may see something like the following:
We have a LowMemory error going on several times as apps crash. Perhaps removing the problematic apps will help.
iCloud syncing is said to be a problem with some devices. The Register UK says that a corrupted contact can cause issues. That bit of data is corrupted and the iPhone tries to keep syncing to iCloud to pull the contact data, causing the battery to quickly wear down. Some users said that deleting their contacts has helped, but that sounds like a drastic measure. We always recommend trying absolutely everything you can before clearing out your iOS device.
Time Zone Set to Auto
Another bug that can be a problem, according to reports is that Location Tracking is constantly trying to update coordinates. This happens when the Time Zone is set to auto. It’s suggested that users go to Settings>Location Services>System Services and turn off “Setting Time Zone.” In case you’re wondering what that is, it’s just a feature that allows the iPhone to automatically update the time when you cross time zones.
This was the problem with iSmashPhone’s iPhone 4S. For some users, wifi is the cause of short battery life. While the iPhone 4 seems to be doing just fine, as is the iPad. The iPhone 4S would lose about 40 percent of its battery overnight, with no use, of course. We turned off wifi sync, and that seems to have helped immensely.
Plug your iPhone into your computer and open up iTunes. In the iPhone menu, look for the Sync wifi option:
1) The sync option may be on. You will see it checked off as shown below.
2) You can turn it off by unchecking the “Sync this iPhone over wi-fi” option.
We have more instructions for wifi sync settings here.
Location-based reminders are also battery suckers, we’ve heard. We haven’t had many issues with this, but we’ve only used it for quick tests. Still, it may be worth turning these off if you really need some extra juice.
Maintaining Battery Life
There are plenty of things you can do to help maintain battery life. We have written some tips, here are good few that are, but can apply to anyone – Tips for maintaining iPhone Battery Life.
Here are a few of the activity monitor apps we found: