iOS 9 power-saving tactics include cutting display power for face-down devices

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2015
Better battery life is an Apple priority for iOS 9, and to that end the company has adopted extreme attention to detail, implementing things like face-down power restrictions, a Low Power mode, and a dedicated menu in the Settings app with more granular detail.




iOS 9 devices use light and proximity sensors to determine whether it's laying face-down, and stop the screen from turning on even when notifications come in. Displays are typically the most power-hungry component of any mobile device.

The Low Power mode can reduce consumption even further, mainly by limiting network activity. Email, for instance, is no longer fetched automatically, and background downloads and app refreshes are halted completely. Other measures include scaling back animations and screen brightness.

Apple is in fact promising that simply installing iOS 9 should give an iPhone 6 an extra hour of battery life. Turning on Low Power should add another three hours.

Partly because of that feature, the new Settings app moves battery options out from under a Usage submenu into a top-level section. The app can also track sources of battery usage on a narrower timeframe, recording since last wake, instead of just the past 24 hours or seven days.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 55
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    Just like the lessons from iPhone were brought back to improve the Mac, the lessons from Watch are now going to improve iOS. It's a nice cycle.
  • Reply 2 of 55
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,717member

    It would be nice if GPS/location based apps could all be restricted to "When Using".  Too many apps are still all or nothing.  There is no reason a traffic app (for example) needs to spin in the background using up battery when I'm at home or work.

  • Reply 3 of 55
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    No mention of GPS location sharing? I've long wanted my iPhone to me able to share my location with my iPad and MacBook. A simple Bluetooth protocol should be all it takes.
  • Reply 4 of 55
    drunkzombiedrunkzombie Posts: 169member
    My phone is on do not disturb mode most of the time, I have my mail set to check for new mail when I open the app. I hope the battery saving mode has some really cool features that I don't know about, otherwise I don't think I'll notice much of a difference from the way I currently use my phone.
  • Reply 5 of 55
    staticx57staticx57 Posts: 398member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post



    No mention of GPS location sharing? I've long wanted my iPhone to me able to share my location with my iPad and MacBook. A simple Bluetooth protocol should be all it takes.

    It is very much possible to use GPS over bluetooth. It used to be (still might be) possible using a jailbroken iphone or regular android device.

  • Reply 6 of 55
    schlackschlack Posts: 686member
    glad to see the focus on performance, efficiency, and context awareness...rather than a ton of new features.
  • Reply 7 of 55
    waterrocketswaterrockets Posts: 1,231member

    Too bad Tasker doesn't have an iOS version. This is a 6-line script.

  • Reply 8 of 55
    am8449am8449 Posts: 343member

    This is good news for iPhone 4S users like me, who are still on the original battery and have to be in Airplane Mode most of the day just to make it through the day without charging.

     

    I'm very glad Apple is still thinking of those of us who are on older hardware.

  • Reply 9 of 55
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    am8449 wrote: »
    This is good news for iPhone 4S users like me, who are still on the original battery and have to be in Airplane Mode most of the day just to make it through the day without charging.

    I'm very glad Apple is still thinking of those of us who are on older hardware.

    the sad thing for you is how easy it is to replace the batter on a 4S. two screws off the bottom, slide the rear off, undo one thing inside, and remove the battery. replace and close up.
  • Reply 10 of 55
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,114member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    On its website, Apple highlights that an iPhone -- and presumably other iOS devices -- will use light and proximity sensors to determine whether it's laying face-down, and stop the screen from turning on even when notifications come in. Displays are typically the most power-hungry component of any mobile device.

     

    This has me really interested, because one of the constant drains on my iPhone is every time I get an email or notification, the screen always comes on.

     

    I wonder if this will work even when your phone is in your pants pocket?

  • Reply 11 of 55
    idreyidrey Posts: 640member
    Very please to see Apple improving performance on IOS and very impress by the fact that the will support iPhone 4S, I was so certain the were dropping it this year, but happy to see they didn't . This leads me to think that the enhancements to IOS 9 most be really impressive. Can't wait to get it.
  • Reply 12 of 55
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member
    Quote:


     Apple is in fact promising that simply installing iOS 9 should give an iPhone 6 an extra hour of battery life. Turning on Low Power should add another three hours.


     

    Yeah, they have a long way to go. Battery life is laughably bad in Beta 1, twice the drain rate of 6 and 7 combined if my notes are accurate. I can only assume that this is due to the new "smarter" Siri digging through my phone when it is inactive. On the upside, App compatibility is fantastic so far compared to the two previous Beta 1 versions. iOS 6 Beta 1 was notoriously bad, killing compatibility with over half the apps I had loaded on my phone at that time. I'll be ready to test my apps in another day, which is less than half the time it took to get things working right in 7. Looking forward to Beta 2.

  • Reply 13 of 55
    jeffpajeffpa Posts: 2member
    Funny, iOS9 killed my battery in 1/3 the time it normally takes. First time I ever had a dead iPhone battery!
  • Reply 14 of 55
    fred1fred1 Posts: 311member
    OK, I'll say it, knowing that it won't go over well in this group: this is a feature that Samsung phones have had for a long time and advertised quite a bit: a power saving mode for when one's battery is getting low.

    Or am I wrong? (of course I know that Apple will do it better!)
  • Reply 15 of 55
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Fred1 View Post



    OK, I'll say it, knowing that it won't go over well in this group: this is a feature that Samsung phones have had for a long time and advertised quite a bit: a power saving mode for when one's battery is getting low.



    Or am I wrong? (of course I know that Apple will do it better!)

     

    Nope, you're right. It's been there since the S4 at least.

  • Reply 16 of 55
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member

    I wiped my i6 and did a clean install to see if that improves battery life. Sometimes updating from previous version causes weird memory leaks and hangs that keep background processes chugging away. Resetting network settings usually fixes this, but I wanted to go tabula rasa to be sure. Going to let it sit for 7 hours with screen off and nothing running to see how it does.

  • Reply 17 of 55
    pakittpakitt Posts: 154member
    Question is: why didn't they do these things before? Is it really sci-fi tech to introduce low power mode? or it would make them loose face of their battery performance (I mean, Samsung and most Android phones probably need it, otherwise you really need to drag an extra battery along all day).

    The facedown thing, is used in Android already - the sensors to do it are in the iPhone since the first iPhone ever came out.

    I also already use extensively the "do not disturb" feature as I work in an open space office and do not want to have my phone disturb others all the time. Not to mention that I do not need constant notification of *every single message* I receive e.g. on whatsapp etc. I can still receive phone calls from important people as per favorites settings. I am going to check my phone regularly in any case and all notifications will be there waiting for me in the lock screen.
    So I wonder what battery improvement, on top of the ones I got already using this strategy, will really bring? (I now easily manage 1.5 days of usage (stand-by active use) rather than the usual 12-16; using default settings for background app refresh and geo-location)

    I also agree that Apple should enforce more strict geo-location policies, as most apps have still only the "on/off" option, instead of the more intelligent "when using".

    An off-topic feature I would like to see in iOS 9, not mentioned anywhere, is the iOS keeping the keyboard language chosen, *per chat*, rather than system wide. I use 3 languages regularly with people of different nationalities, and each time I switch chat, I need to switch typing language again. Why cannot it just keep the language I have been using so far in that chat/screen?
  • Reply 18 of 55
    waterrocketswaterrockets Posts: 1,231member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pakitt View Post



    An off-topic feature I would like to see in iOS 9, not mentioned anywhere, is the iOS keeping the keyboard language chosen, *per chat*, rather than system wide. I use 3 languages regularly with people of different nationalities, and each time I switch chat, I need to switch typing language again. Why cannot it just keep the language I have been using so far in that chat/screen?

     

    That's a really good idea.

  • Reply 19 of 55
    am8449am8449 Posts: 343member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NolaMacGuy View Post



    the sad thing for you is how easy it is to replace the batter on a 4S. two screws off the bottom, slide the rear off, undo one thing inside, and remove the battery. replace and close up.

     

    Thank you for the information, but this is not news to me.

     

    I had looked into replacing the battery, but ultimately decided against it after reading many negative reviews of aftermarket batteries being unreliable (i.e., worse performance than used original)  and sometimes even damaging iPhones. I'm currently waiting to upgrade to the 6S.

  • Reply 20 of 55
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member
    am8449 wrote: »
    Thank you for the information, but this is not news to me.

    I had looked into replacing the battery, but ultimately decided against it after reading many negative reviews of aftermarket batteries being unreliable (i.e., worse performance than used original)  and sometimes even damaging iPhones. I'm currently waiting to upgrade to the 6S.

    That's why you buy them from a reputable source on Amazon or eBay. I've been repairing iPhones for 4 years and have never had a single battery issue. On average, battery life doubles after replacement.
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