iPhone questions (redux)

My ‘iPhone questions’ thread kind of went off the rails due to my frustration with attempting to log into iCloud. (The original question had been answered.) Let me try again…

Last night my iPhone’s battery was charged to 100%. I unplugged it, and as I type this (about 12 hours later) it’s down to 81%. I have made no calls and have received no messages. I know that it must be using power for Mail, which I almost never open but have in case I take a photo I want to send myself. Does the power consumption seem reasonable for an iPhone 6S? How long should I be able to go on a full charge?

Settings-Battery-Battery Health

You can learn a lot by looking here. On the Battery page you can see battery usage by app, for example. The Battery Health page evaluates your battery’s capacity compared to a new battery.

You should know that Apple will replace your battery for $29 until the end of 2018. After that, the price will probably go up to about $79. I’d do it now if I were you.

Receiving messages doesn’t drain your battery much, and calling is not a huge drain on it either. Your phone is frequently checking for new email and receiving information that may or may not prompt it to alert you. It’s normal for one’s battery to get slowly drained even when the phone isn’t actively in use.

It’s a refurbished (‘Certified Pre-Loved’) phone that I only got last week.

It says Home & Lock Screen, 7m on screen; Messages, 1m on screen; Lyft, 3m on screen, 2m background; Screen on, 11m. Under Battery Health it says Maximum Capacity 100%, and that the battery is 'currently supporting normal peak performance. Low Power Mode is off.

From Battery Health it looks like you have a new battery. My two-ish year old iPhone 6s Maximum Capacity is 81%.

Why would he replace a new battery, even if at $29 it’s a bargain?

Oh! Yeah, if your phone is refurbished, it probably has a new battery. Also, the battery health info you posted looks fine, so never mind about getting your battery replaced, at least for the next 2 years or so.

Losing 19% of your charge in 12 hours of minimal use is normal and reasonable. While “dumb” phones comfortably went 3-7 days between charges, smartphones are doing a lot in the background and typically go 1-2 days between charges. This isn’t a big deal once you get used to plugging your phone in every night. I keep mine on my nightstand, as do most people I know.

A few power-saving tips:

  • If you don’t use any Bluetooth accessories regularly, turning Bluetooth off (and turning it back on only when you need it) will help conserve battery life a little.

  • Lowering the screen brightness will conserve power but might make the screen harder to read, depending on your eyes.

  • The GPS chip in your phone consumes a fair amount of power when it’s in active use. You can allow apps to use “location services” (satellite positioning plus cell tower triangulation) on a per-app basis. It’s worth going through your Location Services preferences in Settings and disabling location services for apps that clearly don’t need them. Some people do this for privacy reasons as well. (Lyft definitely needs location services enabled; most apps that truly need location services will complain if they don’t have permission to use them. So it’s not the end of the world if you disable location services for an app that needs them).

  • In the early days of the iPhone/IOS it was true that you could save power by force-quitting apps that you’re not actively using. I still see occasional articles that recommend force-quitting apps to conserve battery life. However, this is now a myth: power management in IOS has advanced tremendously in recent years, and the act of force-quitting apps often costs more power than it saves. And if you have no idea what “force-quitting” is, just ignore this bullet point. Your apps aren’t consuming any real power just by running in the background.

That would be absurd, as you suggest. You’ll notice that the OP didn’t mention that his phone was refurbished until after I mentioned the end date of Apple’s cheap-battery-replacement program.

The only reason for me to use Bluetooth is to connect to my MacBook as a ‘device’. Since that’s not allowed, I’ve turned Bluetooth off.

I looked, and didn’t see ‘location services’. Where do I find that?

I know what Force Quit is on the Mac, though I can never remember the keyboard shortcut and have to use the Apple icon. I did not know this was an option on a phone. How do I do it, just in case something locks up?

Oh – In looking for ‘location services’, I saw Flashlight. I don’t see an icon on the screen for it though. It’s in Settings => Control Center => Customize Controls. There’s a part that says INCLUDE, and there is a red circle with a white dash in the middle of it next to Flashlight. If I touch the circle, it gives me the option to remove it. That’s the opposite of what I want. I’d like to have an icon on the desktop so I can turn on the flashlight when I need it.

Also under the INCLUDE section are Timer, Calculator, Camera, and Home. Timer is not on my desktop either. It sounds useful.

Find My Phone?

There’s an app to find my phone. That seems weird, since I’d have my phone in my hand to use it. :confused: How is this app actually used?

Swipe up from your home screen. You’ll see flashlight.

From your Mac, iPad, etc. Has come in handy for me. A friend tracks his son with that app.
ETA: keep an eye on Bluetooth. “On” is the new default, I think.

Do you have a link?

I’ve turned it off.

If I swipe up, I get a screen that says ‘No Upcoming Events, Reminders, or Alarms’, SIRI APP SUGGESTIONS, and SCREEN TIME. If I swipe down, I get a search screen with SIRI SUGGESTIONS. No Flashlight visible.

Never mind. I found this online:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom bezel of your iPhone to bring up Control Center.
  2. Tap the Flashlight button at the bottom left.
    They really mean from the bezel, and not the screen.


Same with a remote control - but have you ever misplaced it :smiley:

Seriously, Find My iPhone has been handy a few times - like when my wife came home and thought she had lost it - but on my iPad the App showed it in her office. Less worrying that night. There are news stories every so often about stolen phones being recovered but I am not sure I would go knocking on doors demanding my phone back…

Further to Edelweiss’s comments on power consumption, I use an iPhone, and I spend a lot of time backpacking, so I’m sensitive to power consumption when out of cellular range and when sometimes using the GPS chip.

Until a couple of years ago (I forget exactly which iOS), toggling airplane mode also toggled the GPS chip. That made things somewhat more complicated, because if you wanted to use GPS you had to worry about a lot of other stuff that was consuming power when you turned off airplane mode. Now you can just leave it permanently in airplane mode in the backcountry, and you control the GPS chip by turning Location Services off or on.

To optimize power consumption for hiking out of cellular tower range:

  • Turn on airplane mode (no searching for nonexistent cell signal; WiFi search and many other things stop without you having to disable them individually)
  • In Settings\General\ turn off the master switch for Background App Refresh.
  • In Settings\Privacy\ go to Location Services. With the master switch on, go down every app individually and turn it off, except the mapping app that you are actually planning to use. Don’t forget to go into the System Services submenu and turn everything there off too, although you can leave “Find My iPhone” on, it makes no difference. Now you can use the Location Services master switch to turn the GPS chip on an off as you need it.

In airplane mode and with the GPS chip off, I comfortably get a week from an iPhoneX using it for the camera and a bit of reading with the screen brightness low after dark. Using it for constant GPS tracking will drain the battery much more quickly, I tend to only use GPS only occasionally when I want to check my position.

Yes to everything Riemann said!

Also, you can search within the settings app. To do so, open Settings and scroll up. You’ll see a search bar at the top of the screen. This is pretty helpful when you’re looking for a particular setting but you can’t remember what Apple filed it under.

Yup, I kind of feel it has been a bit more stable with the last few iOS releases, but it’s surprising how frustrating it can be when they change things around and you just can’t find stuff in Settings. It’s like when you go to your usual supermarket and find that they have done that periodic move-everything-around-to-a-different-location thing and you end up walking half a mile up and down the aisles cursing them.