Grooming your iOS 9 update | Low power mode

 yellow battery 
Have you ever been on the last few electrons stored up in your iPhone battery and wish that it would just know what to focus on right now so you could get a few tasks done before you can provide a recharge?

Enter Low-power mode circa iOS 9. Low-power mode wasn’t invented by Apple. It’s not new to the mobile space. Each mobile device OEM has their own recipe for operations during the last 20% of your charge. 

Here are some of the things that happen to your iPhone during low-power mode:

  • Brightness dims
  • CPU down-clocks in speed
  • App-refresh in the background stops
  • Automatic updates and downloads cease
  • Mail stops auto fetch
  • Animations degrade

What does this sacrifice in performance give you? A boost in battery life. A huge boost. Up to 45% more.

#How do I set it up?


settings icon
Open Settings

battery settings
Select Battery

Here, you will see the toggles for low power mode and battery percentage. Sliding the toggle here will manually place your handset in low power mode. You can tell you are in low power mode by the color of the battery icon in the upper right.

You can also tell Siri ‘Low power mode’

#Can I leave the iPhone in low power mode?

Great question. Yes you can. But once the handset gets a charge, it will disable low power mode for full operability. You will need to enable it every day. It will continue to ask you if you want to enter low power mode if the cell charge falls below the threshold.

#What is the real life difference in battery life?

Someone did this analysis with documentation to back up his findings. On an iPhone 6 Plus, Matt Birchler decided to alternate days using all day manual low-power mode and regular mode.

  • I wondered what would happen if you used Low Power Mode all the time. I was surprised that no reviewer seems to have done this, so I took it upon myself to give it a try. I don’t have any standardized battery tests that I can do, so I simply spent the last 2 weeks alternating between using Low Power Mode all day, and not using it at all and comparing the differences. My findings are rather remarkable.

 low power mode toggle

Matt Birchler:

I only tracked weekdays, as I have a pretty solid routine those days. I wake up at the same time and got to sleep around the same time as well. In general, I wake up at 7AM, work for 8 hours, and go to sleep a little after midnight (I know, I should try to get more sleep). Here’s some additional info that will put this data in context:

  • I worked 10AM-6PM each day, so usage slows down during that time
  • The phone never got plugged in between 7AM and midnight
  • About half the days have 30-45 minute workouts in the morning, but they seem to have negligible impact on overall battery life
  • Bluetooth, WiFi, Cellular, and GPS were all on for all tests
  • The phone was connected to an Apple Watch the entire time each day

When using the normal power mode, I did not turn on Low Power Mode when prompted at 20% battery life

With that out of the way, I still must remind you that this was not a scientific test. I simply used my phone the same way I normally would day in and day out. And just a reminder, this test is less about how long the iPhone 6 Plus’s battery lasts, and more about what the difference is between having Low Power Mode on at all times and using the phone in its normal battery mode.

There is a definite separation between the days where Low Power Mode is used and the days when it is not. Even the best day in normal mode pales in comparison to the worst day of Low Power Mode. On average, my iPhone chewed through battery 38.7% slower when in Low Power Mode. This is a drastic difference! And while this is not a huge concern for me (my 6 Plus makes it through everyday without needing a charge), this would make all the difference to those with iPhones that are struggling to get the battery life they would like. If you wake up at 7AM and your phone tends to die by 5PM, this difference could get you to almost 9PM! On average, my battery was at 17% at midnight in normal mode, but 49% in Low Power Mode.

 graph low power mode

You can catch Matt’s complete report here

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