iPhone owners will pull out all the tricks they know to extend the battery life of their smartphone; From turning off background app refresh or using the low power mode the most common choices – but which is best?
Along with dimming the display brightness or avoiding data usage the above methods are fairly standard practice but it is sometimes hard to tell which is really more effective.
Switching off Background App Refresh (BAR), which is often blamed for the cause of many battery draining woes, can stop apps like Facebook pulling down data even when the app is not in use and can end up using some battery – but it is not as thirsty as one thinks.
Low Power Mode, on the other hand, has been specifically designed to turn off any non-essential features of the phone including disabling email fetch, Siri and some power hungry visual effects.
To find out the best battery-saving strategy a YouTube channel called iAppleBytes has performed a test using three iPhone 6s handsets on iOS 10.3.3: one running as normal with all the trimmings, one with BAR off and the other with Low Power Mode on.
The eight-minute video shows elapsed footage of the handsets running the Geekbench battery test with all their apps all forced closed. The results can be seen below.
The fairly predictable result showed that Low Power Mode blew away disabling Background App Refresh by lasting six hours and 16 minutes as opposed to four hours and 36 minutes. Score settled. This is the best way to prolong your iPhone battery. This is because it also turns off BAR anyway, on top of all the other power hungry features.
However, what was most surprising about the test was that the iPhone running as standard actually lasted one minute longer than the phone with BAR off. This could mean turning off Background App Refresh actually makes no difference at all.
It could possibly be due to the fact all apps were forced quit before the test meaning nothing was running in the background on the standard phone. However, in another twist, even Apple engineers admit that force closing apps to save battery was a myth. Only another test with popular apps running in the background could prove this, although not everyone uses the same apps so it could be difficult to measure.