The new iPhone XS and XR models come with some of the best battery lives Apple has ever put into a phone but the phones are also some of the most useful devices the company has ever made. To get the most out of them yet also reliably get through a day without your battery running down, you need to make some compromises.
Fortunately, there are a few power-saving steps that you can set up in advance. Use these tips and your phone battery will last long enough that you don't have to minimize your use or keep thinking about conserving power throughout the day.
1. Update your iPhone
First and foremost, you need to make sure your iPhone is always updated to the latest software, as Apple continually optimizes iOS, which can help improve battery life. To check if your software is up-to-date, go to Settings, General, and then Software Update.
This part of Settings may already have a red badge notifying you that there's an update available but if it hasn't, checking this section will make your phone look again for the latest release.
2. Turn down the brightness
Out of everything that drains battery power on your iPhone, the display takes the cake, by far. Senk9 tested how much power an OLED device consumed at different levels of brightness.
You would obviously expect that the brighter the display, the more power is being used but it's much worse than you'd think. When you go over 80 percent brightness, battery drain climbs dramatically. Then when you go behind 90 percent you come close to doubling the power consumption compared to 70 percent brightness.
While you're in that section of Settings, also turn on Reduce White Point.
This doesn't give you as marked a power saving but it basically reduces the intensity of bright colors and will help save battery life even at 100 percent brightness.
By default, iPhones will first dim the display, then switch it off completely and automatically lock if the device hasn't been used for a couple of minutes. You can control how long it is before the iPhone does that and one option is Never. Some users set their iPhones to Never auto-lock and they do so because they need, say, the clock running throughout a long presentation they're giving. However, the times when you actually need the phone to stay on are few and all the rest of the time you are pointlessly wasting battery life.
So by all means switch this Auto-Lock feature to Never when you need to, but for the rest of the time, set it to 30 seconds or 1 minute. Go to Settings, Display & Brightness, then Auto-Lock.
In the same section, you can also turn off Raise to Wake so that your display isn't constantly turning on.
Both this tip and the next are specifically for iPhones with OLED displays, such as the X, XS and XS Max. Since pixels are individually backlit on OLED, pixels displaying black or dark colors use significantly less battery life.
So use the iPhone's version of Dark Mode, which is here called Invert Colors. Go to Settings, General, Accessibility, Display Accommodations and turn on Invert Colors.
When you've done that, the iPhone's graphics most web pages will display black instead of white, helping save battery life. Some third-party apps don't support this yet so images can hard to see, but you can easily turn it off by triple tapping the side button.
6. True Tone
A similar tip involves changing the colors of your display but letting your iPhone do it. Go to Settings, Display & Brightness and switch on True Tone.
Now when you're in a warmly-lit room, the iPhone display will change to show less of the harsh blue color you might see outdoors. You can even go as far as turning on night shift mode to really cut out that power-draining blue color.
Make sure WiFi is turned on when at home or anywhere its available since cellular uses extra battery life. Conversely, when you're driving, turn off WiFi so it's not constantly searching for a WiFi signal.
8. Low Power Mode
This might be the most obvious tip because whenever your battery gets low enough, your iPhone will suggest this one to you. Low Power Mode does things like reduce brightness, animations and background activities to help save battery life.
Rather than waiting for your iPhone to prompt you, though, you can toggle it on and off whenever you need. The quickest way to do this is to add Low Power Mode to Control Center so that you can just swipe and tap when wanted. To do that, go to Settings, Control Center, Customize Controls and tap to add Low Power Mode.
9. Tracking battery-draining apps
Check which apps are using the most battery life by going to Settings, Battery.
This can really help you get an idea of which apps you need to take a break from or reduce brightness while using. This is particularly useful because some apps have a lot of background activity which drains extra battery power without you realising.
10. Background app refresh
Just turn this off. It's useful to have apps work in the background to, say, finish downloading something, but you can turn it off completely. Or you can just disable it for apps that, for instance, you don't use very often.
This option is in Settings, Background App Refresh.
Apple's Mail app is one that works in the background and it also refreshes constantly. So you can save a good amount of battery life by preventing this.
You do that by turning off Push Notifications. The drain comes from how Mail has to keep looking to see if it's received a push notification. So go to Settings, Passwords & Accounts and then Fetch New Data. This will probably be set to Push, but you can change that to fetch new mail less often or manually to save even more battery life.
If you're someone who doesn't use Bluetooth very often, turning it off can help save battery life as well.
You can switch it off in Control Center with just a tap of a button but note that this is temporary. It only turns it off until tomorrow. To completely turn it off, go to Settings, Bluetooth, and then disable it.
13. Location tracking
Something that also drains battery power is apps that track your location. You may not even be using some of those apps, so head to Settings, Privacy and choose Location Services. There you can adjust which apps will track your location and when.