Improve your iPhone 3G's battery life

You know how your iPhones many apps can improve your productivity tremendously, but have also learned that its not-so-fantastic battery life increases your stress level at the same time?

Don’t despair - by following a few simple rules you can make its battery last the time you need to, and that doesn’t mean having to turn your gadget into an unused brick.

Let’s be honest - we all know the main energy hogs of the iPhone. The trick is of course to learn how much the use of each component costs in terms of battery capacity and use this knowledge to plan ahead for the day, and avoiding the use of costly features that don’t give a high enough return in increased usability. Here are some ways you could implement this:

  • Prefer applications that cache and fetch instead of pushing
    Many applications leave you the choice between pushed and fetched data. Do you really need that RSS feed more often than every 15 minutes? Disabling Push for every non-critical communication channel is one of the best ways to improve battery life.

  • YouTube - an enormous battery drainer
    Streaming YouTube videos, especially over WAN connections like 3G, can take your battery from full to empty in less than 3 hours, so try to avoid those “couples of celeb vids” unless you know you’ll be able to charge soon.

  • Charge your battery right
    Let it completely charge, then completely dry out at least once a month.

  • Lower the auto-lock value
    This value found under “Settings” > “General” tells your iPhone how long to wait before it goes into standby when you are finished using it. The lowest possible value of 1 minute conserves the most battery, but if it disturbs your regular usage, just set this one higher and remember to press the stand-by button after each use.

  • Lower the brightness
    While the new iPhone’s screen is even brighter than before, using it fully is still an energy hog. I would try to balance usability and performance by setting brightness as low as possible and keeping “auto-brightness” turned on.

  • Transfer as much data as possible via cable
    - not only will this increase your battery life by charging it concurrently, transferring large files (such as apps, songs and attachments) through the USB port can also be a lot faster.

  • Toggle WiFi scanning as needed
    Unless you’re a real hotspot hopper, chances are the extra hours you can get out of toggling WiFi on and off are worth it.

  • Switch off A-GPS unless needed
    The same goes for Location Services (A-GPS) - a lot more apps than you think might otherwise use your location to “improve their functionality”, and suck your battery dry at the same time.

  • If everything else fails, bring more power with you
    - by carrying a power-extending case, an emergency charger, a travel charger or simply by having compatible chargers in as many places you frequent as possible, including your car.

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