Apple’s devices appear to be design to last about a day on battery life. No, not 24 hours, but a day– 10-12 hours for a Mac and iPad, perhaps 12-18 hours for iPhones, a bit more for Watch. Yes, usage matters, but a day is a day. Why? Why a day and not a week? Battery technology being what it is, Apple’s devices live in the sweet spot of usability and size. Until the technology changes, an iPhone with a battery that lasts a week wouldn’t fit into your pocket.
My experience through the years probably mirrors most Apple customers. I charge iPhone, iPad, and watch for x-number of hours each day, almost every day. I can squeeze six to 10 hours from my Mac, an easy 10 hours or more from iPad Pro, up to 36 hours for Watch, and up to three or four days on my iPhone X.
Wait. What? Four days? How is that even possible?
Low Power Mode. I read about this trick a few weeks ago. If I unplug iPhone X at about 6:00 AM after full charge, then turn on Low Power Mode (open Settings > Battery > Low Power Mode) by the end of the day the phone’s battery still has 70-percent or more remaining on the battery’s charge. Yes, your mileage will vary.
Here’s what Apple says about Low Power Mode:
When Low Power Mode is on, your iPhone will last longer before you need to charge it, but some features might take longer to update or complete. Also, some tasks might not work until you turn off Low Power Mode, or until you charge your iPhone to 80% or higher.
When the iPhone’s battery reaches 20-percent you’ll get a pop up notification with an option to turn on Low Power Mode. That sounds reasonable, right? But what really happens during Low Power Mode? Some features are reduced or affected:
- Email fetch
- “Hey Siri”
- Background app refresh
- Automatic downloads
- Some visual effects
- Auto-Lock (defaults to 30 seconds)
Wait. What? That’s it?
Email Fetch simply means email won’t come to you; instead, you’ll need to open Mail to retrieve email. As much as I hate email I see that as a plus. ‘Hey Siri…’ can still be invoked with a press to the Home button, or, on iPhone X, the power button. Background app refreshes and automatic downloads are not a deal breaker and, typically, I update such items at the end of the day– before charging the battery– or just after charging the battery.
Otherwise, Messages still works as expected; Wi-Fi, too, and I have yet to notice any performance hit in Low Power Mode (games might be impacted, but so far, not on my favorite– Galaga; yeah, I’m that old). It’s my understanding that Apple throttles back the CPU a bit, auto-locks the screen faster, and reduces some of the built-in visual effects. Sometimes I turn the iPhone off at night; sometimes not.
Low Power Mode can be turned on in Settings or from the Control Center. The battery indicator turns yellow when using Low Power Mode. What you get is a battery that lasts all day almost no matter how you use the phone, but under normal usage, battery life is doubled to triple the standard day.