iOS7 battery life, background app refresh and GPS: tweaks

Tags: apple

I’ve got an iPhone 4S and I recently updated to iOS7.

One problem I noticed: the battery would drain faster. Way faster, in some cases. I think the cause is the “background app refresh” in combination with a couple of GPS-using tracker apps (strava, runkeeper, cyclemeter). I’ve been experimenting with them and when you give them the background permission (which they really need) they all seem to stay running and guzzling up your battery with their GPS, even when not recording.

At least, it seems like that. Likewise several other apps seem to work better with background app refresh, but they also use GPS. Some tweaks I made:

  • The weather app is handy to have on “background app refresh”: open it and you get the weather instantly. But there’s no need to have it look at the GPS. I only want to know the weather for Nieuwegein. So I switched off weather’s “privacy > location services” permission.

  • I hardly use Omnifocus’s you-are-near-a-specific-store function, so GPS is off for that app.

  • Background app refresh is on for the GPS trackers, but I kick them from memory when I’m finished with them now. Double-tap the home button and “flick the app up” with your finger, that’s how you really close the app in iOS7.

  • “Privacy > location services > system services” has a couple I switched off: location-based iAds, popular near me and traffic.

I hope that keeps the battery in check a bit. Perhaps I ought to switch off some more items: my battery is at 92% now. Seems a bit quicker that it used to be. Any more tips? logo

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My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.

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