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How to Super-Charge Your iPhone Battery

Updated on November 23, 2017
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Alfred is a long-time teacher and computer enthusiast who works with and troubleshoots a wide range of computing devices.

Until such a time when there shall be long-lasting battery life for smartphones, humanity shall be content with lithium-ion batteries and a host of tweaks to keep them running optimally.

Charging the iPhone 5
Charging the iPhone 5

According to Apple, a typical iPhone battery is capable of 400 charge and discharge cycles upon release. When this number is reached the battery capacity will reduce to about 80%. These charge-discharge cycles account for approximately two years of proper use.

Instead of the original 10 hours of talk time on 3G per full charge, the phone will last for about 8 hours.

To achieve this longevity - and more, you need to begin watching your battery closely.

A few tricks should get you going and they include:

  • Turning your iPhone off while charging,
  • Charging it via power mains,
  • Use of genuine lion battery charger
  • Turning smartphone features off.
  • Harmonization of charge and charge cycles.

1: Turn iPhone off While Charging

Yes, switch it off. This should be an option when you are not expecting a call and of course, want to charge your phone fast!

While it is straightforward affair to charge the battery when a phone is off, Apple makes it a little tricky. This is because the iPhone will turn itself on once connected to a power source. For it to charge while powered off, all you have to do is plug it into a power source, and ensure it charging, before switching it off normally. It may not display charging activity on the screen, but will actually be charging.

2: Charge Via the Power Mains

I believe most users find it convenient to charge their smartphones using the USB ports on the laptop, which is fine. However, this will not give the phone sufficient juice in a short time. This is unlike the power mains which delivers quick results.

The wall socket will charge your device at 1amp compared to the 500mA available through the USB ports. That is double the power and speed.

3: Use Genuine iPhone Charger

There are many fake chargers out there and you need to be sure they are not causing harm to the lion battery inside your smartphone. Fortunately, all new iPhone firmware forewarns you if it is connected to below-par cable.

Use genuine chargers to avoid damage to the iPhone
Use genuine chargers to avoid damage to the iPhone

Apple uses complex conversion mechanism to turn the 240v into appropriate charging amps, something that cannot be perfected by manufacturers of cheap substandard chargers. This explains the charger explosions around the world.

4: Turn Features Off

If however, you need to leave your phone on while charging, you may consider, disabling a number of battery intensive features. You do not want to have your battery discharging just as it is charging.

Begin by disabling and tweaking resource hog features on and off:

Turn Airplane Mode on in order to switch off the incessant cell tower activities that just as well feed on your battery. But you will not be able to communicate during this time. Remember to turn Airplane Mode off after charging is complete.

Turn off 3G or 4G Hi-speed connectivity and where necessary turn it completely off!

Turn wi-fi and Bluetooth off because they are notorious for continuously seeking wireless and Bluetooth enabled devices nearby.

Turn off GPS reliant location service it uses mapping and wireless capabilities to locate your phone on the map.

Make sure the auto-lock feature is on and auto-time it to a minute or less. This way, you ensure that the screen, which is the biggest battery sucking component is off while charging.

Ensure the charging environment is optimum; not too cold and neither too hot. Charging in a hot environment is detrimental to your battery and very cold temperature will slow down the charging process. Read this Apple page for optimum temperature recommendations.

For those that charge using the computer, ensure the sleep and hibernation features are disabled. You don't want to come back an hour later only to find the computer asleep with no charging activity. Alternatively, use the BIOS settings to turn on USB charging when a computer is asleep or in hibernation.

Airplane Mode
Airplane Mode

5: Try Third Party Utilities Like Battery Doctor and Asus AI

A number of third-party software notably Battery Doctor and Asus AI claim to speed up battery charging.

Among other options, Battery Doctor will:

  • alert you about the remaining charge hours;
  • allow you disable battery sucking apps and tweaks;
  • kill all running apps;
  • free up phone memory.

Battery Doctor for iPhone and Android
Battery Doctor for iPhone and Android

Another nifty little utility is called Asus AI. To use it, simply download and install it in your windows computer.

Asus AI running in the System Tray
Asus AI running in the System Tray

Asus AI runs in the System Tray as soon as the iPhone is connected.

It supposedly sends up to 1.2amps to your charger, in order to speed up charging beyond the stated amps.

How best do you charge your iPhone?

See results

© 2013 Alfred Amuno


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