The new Apple operating system will offer users a way of improving battery life, one of the most common complaints about smartphones.
Anyone who gives their smartphone moderate to heavy use knows that it is rare to get more than half a day’s use from one charge. The short battery life of smartphones is a scourge of modern life, but things might be about to get better thanks to a new feature introduced by Apple, writes Zack Whittaker for ZDNet.
Battery life a bane for smartphone users
Smartphones are increasingly powerful devices, which means increased demands on their batteries. At the same time, tech companies are releasing ever thinner, lighter and more sleekly designed devices, sacrificing functionality for design values.
It is certainly possible to manufacture a smartphone which outperforms existing models for speed and battery life, but it would have to be considerable thicker than current market leaders such as the iPhone 6. Consumers prefer a smartphone which fits in their pocket, rather than one which can be used for an entire day without charging.
Apple is one of a number of companies that are guilty of placing greater importance on style than function. The new iPhone is expected to be released later this year, and it is hoped that significant improvements will be made to battery life.
However in the meantime the company has told users that they should activate the new “low power mode” if they need to eke out extra hours from a single charge.
Low power mode improves battery life
To enable the new mode, you will need to explore the settings in iOS 9. There you will find a new section devoted to power settings. “Low power mode” can be programmed to activate when the battery reaches 20%, or manually at any time.
Certain functions, such as push email fetching and automatic downloads, are disabled in order to make your battery last longer. Performance will take a hit because of a reduction in the processor clock speed, but battery life will improve.
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Low power mode will be music to the ears of many iPhone users who have been moaning about the poor battery life of the device. Power saving functions are one of a number of features that Apple has borrowed from Google’s Android software, which introduced a similar idea a few years ago.
Apple announced that the software update to iOS 9 should improve battery life by around an hour at its WWDC developer conference. According to independent reports, the low power mode adds up to three hours to the battery life.
During a benchmark test by MacRumors, device performance was lowered by approximately 40%, which means that an iPhone 6 becomes about as fast as an iPhone 5 or 5s.
Although the feature was introduced in the first iOS 9 beta, commentators claim that it has become far more effective in the second beta version, which was released to developers last week.
In the new power settings menu, users are also shown a list of which apps are using the most power, and can choose to close or remove power-hungry apps to improve battery life.
A public preview of iOS 9 will be released in July, and power consumption is one of a number of issues that Apple has addressed in its new operating system. Significant changes were announced in order to improve Siri, and Apple Maps, and a new News app will replace the old Newsstand.