Almost everyone who owns an iPhone has on a few occasions run dangerously low on power. You then have to scramble around to find some way to charge your iPhone before it runs out of juice completely. If you want to avoid that unpleasant situation, you should be using Low Power mode before the problem occurs. Maybe you have in the past been prompted by your iPhone to enable Low Power Mode after your battery reached 20%. But in my opinion, you should enable it way before it reaches that point, as it can make a big difference. If you know for example that you’re going to be out on the lake all day with nowhere to charge, you should turn it on even if you’re at 80% charged. It can extend your battery life by a few hours in some cases.
So, what does Low Power Mode do exactly? And how well does it really work?
The trade-off is that when you turn it on, it will affect certain features on your phone, which you should be aware of before you turn it on. Mainly, it will pause a lot of background tasks that your phone usually does automatically repeatedly all day long. Such as:
- Email Fetch: Your phone will no longer fetch your emails in the background. It will only fetch them when you actually click your email app such as Mail or Outlook.
- “Hey Siri”: The phone will no longer be always listening out for you to voice activate Siri, if that’s a feature you’ve got turned on.
- Background app refresh: This is a big one in my opinion. Apps like Facebook and Instagram will no longer constantly update your feed when you’re not using them. Your feed will populate only when you open the app. So, you may have to wait an extra second or two before you see all the new stuff. For most people, this is not a big deal.
- Automatic downloads: App updates will no longer be downloaded in the background. It could also affect things like podcast downloads.
- Some visual effects: Some of the visual eye candy that happens while you’re using your phone will be reduced, and the screen brightness may be automatically reduced in some cases.
- Auto-Lock: Auto-lock will default to 30 seconds.
- iCloud Photo Library: The syncing of your iCloud Photo library will be temporarily paused, and will resume once Low Power Mode has been turned off.
In my experience, most of these things are not a big deal for the majority of iPhone users. But still, you do need to keep an eye on things, as you may encounter some unexpected behavior once in while. For example, I realized after a few mishaps with my Uber app that Low Power Mode messed with my location on the Uber map for some reason. I’m not sure exactly why this happened, but it happened repeatedly, only while I was using Low Power Mode. That’s really the only quirk I’ve ever experienced with Low Power Mode, even though there may be more that I’m just not aware of.
Once you’ve decided that you want to use Low Power Mode, you can activate it from Settings > Battery and activate the “Low Power Mode” slider. The battery indicator in the status bar will turn yellow while Low Power Mode is enabled. Your iPhone will always automatically disable Low Power Mode when you charge it up to a certain point. Low Power Mode is always temporary and only lasts until the next proper charge. There’s no way to permanently enable it.
Now, if you end up using Low Power Mode a lot, you don’t really want to have to turn it on and off by going through Settings app every single time. So, instead you can create a shortcut that’s really easy to access through Control Center. On iOS 11 or later, you can activate and deactivate Low Power Mode from the Control Center. However, you have to add the shortcut to Control Center yourself.
Hers’ how: Go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls. Tap the plus sign to the left of “Low Power Mode” to add the toggle to your Control Center, and then touch and drag it to position it where you like it. You can now swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap the battery-shaped button to enable or disable Low Power Mode.
Alright, so that’s it for how to use and customize Low Power Mode for iPhone. I hope that you’ll find it useful.