Taking photos with your iPhone provides a fun, creative and liberating way of expressing yourself and documenting the things you see on a daily basis. However, doing so for an extended period of time can significantly drain your battery life. If you’re out on a photo walk for the day or simply going to be away from a power source for a while you are going to want to conserve as much battery life as you can. As an iPhone photographer it can be extremely annoying when your phone runs out of juice which in turn brings your day to an abrupt finish.

To help you avoid such situations, here are some useful tips that will show you how to save battery power on your iPhone for more a productive days photography (without having to go home early).

Adjust the settings of your iPhone

Turn Off Location Services

One of the first settings you want to alter is the location settings. Location settings allow apps to access the Wi-Fi and GPS to get your location. They aren’t all necessary so you might want to turn these off. How far you go depends on how much battery life you want to save or how paranoid you are about being tracked by big brother. If you want to control which apps can access your location, or even shut everything off completely, then go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services.

If you are unsure whether this option is something you want to do you should at least turn off frequent locations by going to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Frequent Locations > Off


Turn Off Automatic App Refresh

Automatic App Refresh allows apps to refresh their content when on Wi-Fi or cellular data or to use location services in the background. It seems a shame to switch off apps from doing this as some provide useful reminders, updates and information that are core to their purpose. However, the automatic app refresh feature can be a heavy burden on your battery. If battery life is a really important consideration then turn this off.

To turn off Automatic App Refresh go to Setting > General > Background App Refresh > Off


Turn Off Automatic Updates

Automatic updates help to keep your iPhone up to date, on the fly but similar to the automatic app refresh feature it’s an added burden on your battery so turning it off can help save some battery juice.

To turn off Automatic Updates by go to Settings > iTunes & App Store > Updates.


Turn Off the Parallax Effect

The iPhone comes with a rather funky parallax effect to the background wallpaper which moves the background independently of the screen icons as you move the screen up and down or side to side. This may be a nice feature to show your mates but it’s also another factor that adds to battery drain. If you’re looking to optimise your battery life you’ll want to turn this off. It’s nice but unnecessary.

To turn off the Parallax Effect go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion > Off.


Turn Off Dynamic Wallpaper

While we are on the subject of backgrounds, the iOS system comes with a choice of dynamic background wallpaper or static image wallpaper. Like the funky parallax effect it can be very tempting to go for the dynamic option which adds a nice bit of added movement to an otherwise still screen but you’ve guessed it, it comes at a price. My advice, turn it off.

To adjust your wallpaper settings go to Settings > Wallpaper > Choose wallpaper > Stills.


Turn the Screen Brightness Down

One simple adjustment you can make is to dim down your screens brightness. While a bright screen is nice and can make reading easier, it can also take its toll on your battery.

To adjust your screens brightness go to Settings > Wallpapers and brightness. Adjust the brightness level by moving the slider down.


Force Quit Apps

Even when you have closed an app, it can still be active in the background. The more apps you have open, the more power that can be used. Try to get into the habit of force quitting apps once you’ve finished using them.

To force quit apps double tap the home button to display any previously opened apps along with some nifty screenshots. Swipe up to force quit the apps.


Turn Off Bluetooth

Unless you regularly use Bluetooth to connect to different devices or for using hands free in the car it is not necessary to have it on and is a big drain on the battery. By swiping upwards on the screen will reveal a shortcut menu which includes a button to switch Bluetooth on and off.


Invest in a Backup Battery

Of course, another approach to take maximise your iPhone battery life is to have some kind of solution that doesn’t merely preserve the battery power you already have, but actually adds to it. External batteries are just such solutions, offered by manufacturers like Anker and Mophie, the latter known for its highly rated third-generation range of Powerstation batteries.

mophie powerstation

When comparing external battery options, remember that a full iPhone charge is around 1,430 mAh, so any external battery will need to be more than that to even charge your device to 100%.

You could also consider using an iPhone car charger if you are driving about. There are many fine iPhone car chargers available from the likes of SDTEK and Belkin, enabling you to conveniently top up your phone’s battery power whilst on the road between locations.

You might also want to consider choosing a car charger that can charge an iPhone and Retina iPad at the same time, such as this little number from PowerGen, and you will be able to use in-car navigation and entertainment at the same time as giving your iPhone a renewed lease of life.

Battery cases: both practical and stylish

Another means by which the iPhone photographer can ensure their device’s battery power remains at a good level is by investing in an external battery case. As their name suggests, these cases are much like the usual cases that you may use to protect your iPhone, except that they also incorporate a battery for charging.

Admittedly, the need for such cases to find space for battery cells has led to many of them being rather bulky in design. Even Apple’s own official Smart Battery Case for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus hasn’t avoided this problem, as shown by this fairly standard-looking silicone case’s ungainly bulge. That said, you do get an intelligent battery status that lets you know the amount of charge remaining on the phone and the case.

A more elegant-looking alternative is the Tylt ENERGI Sliding Power Case, which is as slim-fitting as any other good protective case. With the battery being housed in a separate sleeve, if you need a boost in power, all that you need to do is slide the case into the sleeve and commence charging.

Tylt ENERGI Sliding Power Case

Some people are still hesitant to purchase a battery case for their iPhone, on the basis that they don’t want to wrap the sleeky design of the iPhone in something that looks cheap and awkward-shaped. However, with manufacturers like Mophie increasingly producing cases like the Juice Pack that are as compact and stylish as they are practical, there has never been a better time to purchase one.

Just remember to choose a case or charger that is actually compatible with your specific model of iPhone, and don’t forget to check power capacity too – again, about 1,430 mAh is a good guideline if you want to be able to fully charge your device.

What are your top tips?

How do you like to save your own iPhone’s battery power? What are your thoughts on our own advice? Are there any other great tips or tricks that we have missed? If so, feel free to let us know in the comments section below.