Phone Charging Tips

Published June 1, 2018

You’ve probably been there.  You pull out your phone to take a picture, look up directions, or dial a number when you realize the phone’s battery is just about dead.  As a tinge of panic ensues, you wonder how you can charge your phone fast—or even what you could have done differently to prolong the battery’s life in the first place.

There are a lot of suggestions online for ways to charge your phone faster.  As iPhones go, some sources indicate that putting your device on Airplane mode while charging it will speed the process up a bit.  Other reports mention that using a larger power adapter, such as those that come with an iPad or a MacBook, will energize your phone faster than the standard charger included with an iPhone.  Most sources also suggest that you should not use your phone while it’s charging—that you should turn the screen off and just walk away.  While these suggestions seem to make logical sense, as iPhones go none of these is officially mentioned in the Apple iPhone manual.  The manual does, however, offer ‘official’ ideas for “Maximizing Battery Life and Lifespan.”

One of the first suggestions in the Apple manual is to update your phone to the latest software.  This ensures that everything is running efficiently.  That said, when new software is available, it may be a good idea to wait a week or so before actually applying any updates.  Often there are bugs that accompany the updates. It might be worth giving the bugs time to work themselves out.

While warmer temps may be ideal for summer activities, hot climates are not ideal for your phone.  According to Apple’s General Performance Tips for Batteries, your iPhone performs best between 62°-72°F.  Temps higher than 95°F can permanently damage your battery. According to Apple, even charging your device or storing it in high temperatures can damage it.

When charging your phone, Apple suggests removing it from its case.  Some cases generate excess heat, and this can affect battery capacity.

If storing a device long-term, you should store it half-charged. Honestly, I’m not sure why anyone would store an expensive device rather than use it, but I’m sure it happens. Apple recommends charging it to 50%, then powering down the device if you’re storing it for six months or more.

Low Power Mode extends the battery life of your phone when it’s in use.  Enabling this setting helps reduce display brightness and limits download content, helping to lengthen battery life. Low Power Mode can be found under Settings, then click on Battery.

Kind of like a physical checkup for batteries, Apple offers users the ability to analyze the general health of their phone’s power source.  Under Settings, select Battery.  Under Battery Health, you’ll find a percentage that indicates how well the battery is performing, as compared to when it was new and performing at 100%.  According to Apple, a ‘healthy’ battery will retain 80% or more of its original capacity.

Depending on the type of Apple device you are using, additional battery-saving recommendations can be found on apple.com.  Maintenance suggestions vary from iPads to iPods to other devices, so be sure to match the recommendations with the correct item. Ultimately, like any equipment, machine, device, or even person, performance is usually maximized when proper care and attention are given.