Improve Battery Life with Location Services Settings

Improve Battery LifeThere are many tips and tricks on the Internet for making your iPhone battery last longer. Unfortunately, some of the tips you read about only have a minimal impact on battery life. Generally, the biggest energy savings comes from reducing the usage of the largest power consumption devices in the iPhone, such as the GPS or the display brightness.

If you have ever used a map app to get directions, you know how quickly the GPS will deplete the battery. What you may not know is the GPS is used by many iPhone apps to find your location. Apps will automatically detect your location to provide information based on where you are located. For example, the Weather app can provide weather data for your current location. While this can be convenient, it is an unnecessary drain on the battery.


Use Location Services Settings to Improve Battery Life

The Location Services Settings on the iPhone can be used to limit when apps are allowed to determine your location. Each app with the ability to determine your location is listed in the Location Services settings. This provides one easy menu to adjust the setting for each app.

To check the Location Services settings for your iPhone apps, go to Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services. Scroll down and you will see a list of apps that can request location data.

Location Services


Tap an app to change the Location Services setting for that app. You can typically select either Always, Never, or While Using the App. There aren’t many apps that truly need to use the Always setting. I would recommend selecting either Never or While Using the App depending on how you want the app to behave. As a general rule, if you need an app to actively get your current location each time you open it, such as Maps, then use the While Using the App setting. Otherwise, set it to Never. If you find an app isn’t working the way you want, you can always come back and change the setting.


Set a Default Location in Apps

Instead of allowing apps to automatically determine your location, some apps allow you to set a default location in the app and disable location services for the app. In the case of the Weather app, setting a default location allows the app to quickly get weather data for the default location instead of first activating the iPhone GPS to determine your location. The GPS uses a substantial amount of battery power when active, so reducing use of the GPS can improve battery life.