iPhone 4S Battery Life Woes & What to Do About It
Forums, blogs and news sites are abuzz with the story that the iPhone 4S battery is anemic. Specifically, owners are complaining that Apple’s latest smartphone is losing its charge at an unusually fast place, even when it’s not in use.
Some Apple forum participants report that their iPhone 4S loses 15 to 20 percent of its juice during just one hour of light use. Among the posts about the iPhone 4S battery life (as of Wed. at 2:30 p.m. PDT):
“My iPhone 4S battery seems terrible! Almost equivalent to my 3GS and it's terrible battery life.”
“I tried turning Siri on and off, tried turning time zone on and off for location services - neither helped…I have AT&T, a guy in my office with Verizon has the exact same problem.”
“I have an iPhone 4 and since putting iOS 5 on it the battery life has been really bad it drops at a ridiculous rate even when I'm not using it where as it would barely drop any charge when it was in standby. I've tried turning lots of thing off but it makes no difference. I've been looking around and alot of people seem to be reporting this.”
The built-in iPhone 4S battery is supposed to last for up to eight hours of talk time on 3G or 14 hours on 2G, with a standby time of 200 hours. The battery is said to be slightly larger in capacity than the iPhone 4 battery.
As of this writing, Apple has not commented publicly on the growing tide of battery complaints. In the meantime, here are a few stopgap measures that some iPhone 4S users have found helpful:
* Use the device until it runs out of juice and powers off, then fully recharge it without interruption.
* Disable the calendar in your Exchange mail account, then re-enable it.
* Turn off Location Settings for apps that don’t really, truly need it.
* Go into your Settings and find System Services. Turn off Diagnostics & Usage and Location-based iAds.
* Turn off Push email, if you can stand it, and switch to manual Fetch.
* Dim your screen’s brightness level.
There are more draconian measures you can take, such as turning off 3G data, Bluetooth, and/or Wi-Fi, or all of the above by putting your phone into Airplane Mode when you don’t need it. Of course, then you have to remember to turn Airplane Mode off later. If you go this route, set an alarm on your phone’s clock as a reminder.
UPDATE 11.3.11: Apple has acknowledged that some iPhone users are experiencing battery drain problems after upgrading to iOS 5 and has released a beta version of iOS 5.0.1 to developers. The update should mitigate or eliminate the battery drainage issues, Apple says.