How Tos

How to save your iPhone 3GS battery life

10 tips on sticking it to the iDrain

How to save your iPhone 3GS battery life

A quick statement of fact: the iPhone 3GS has a more powerful battery than the iPhone 3G. A quick statement of woe: that hasn't stopped it from draining pretty damn fast, especially if you're a keen gamer.

So what to do if you're a 3GS owner who wants to conserve the battery as much as possible, to keep you playing for longer. Well, we've got some tips.

Don't play games. Apple's own iPhone battery advice page suggests you minimise your gaming, anyway. "Excessive use of applications such as games that prevent the screen from dimming or shutting off or applications that use location services can reduce battery life." Er...
Don't do anything whizzy with it. Actually, that battery advice page is pretty depressing reading for early adopters. Disable location services, turn off push notification, turn off 3G, turn off wi-fi, turn off Bluetooth... Turn off many of the things that you bought an iPhone to use, basically.
Alright, pick your whizziness with care. Actually, though, picking and choosing some of those elements does have a noticeable effect. If you've not got any new-fangled 3.0 games that use push notification yet, then switching it off is no big loss. If you're on a long train journey, you probably don't need wi-fi on. And if you're settling in for a long Rolando 2 session, chances are you can do without 3G too.
Sort your Mail settings out. According to Apple, there's actually a few things you can do with the iPhone's email features to give you a bit more battery juice. For example, you can set your Mail, Contacts and Calendar apps to fetch more data hourly rather than every 15 minutes, while also disabling the push email feature. Also turn off any email accounts that you don't really need to check.
Fiddle with the brightness levels. The Settings> Brightness menu is your friend. Sliding your iPhone's brightness a bit towards the left (i.e. dimmer) is one very simple way to eke your battery out for longer. As long as you're not in direct sunlight, you'd be surprised at the low level of brightness you can get away with. Anyone who only ever played their PSP on the lowest brightness setting will appreciate this frugal strategy.
Run it right down every so often. It's tempting to always stick your iPhone on to charge when it goes below 20 per cent battery life, but actually, you should try to run it right down to zero every so often (once a month is Apple's advice), from full. It keeps the battery fresh, y'see.
Don't go to the Arctic. Sorry, Ben Fogle. You're supposed to keep your iPhone to as near room temperature as possible - anything below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and you're in trouble. Keep it cosy.
If all else fails, buy a battery pack. There are already several battery pack / cases for the iPhone 3GS, including mophie's Juice Pack and Juice Pack Air, and Case-Mate's Fuel. If you're hardcore about your iPhone gaming, it's worth considering one of these.
Or wait for the next software update. Early reports on the iPhone 3.1 beta software claim it may boost the battery life of any iPhone. It's happened before with software updates, which find more efficient ways to run the iPhone and save previous juice. Fingers crossed, eh?
Carry a plug around with you. Think this sounds silly? Think again. There are plug sockets everywhere - in pubs, on trains, in coffee shops, at friends' houses... The iPhone 3GS charger plug is notably small and pocketable, so what's to stop you carrying it around in your bag, ready to whip out for a quick 10-minute charge when suitable? Until Apple releases an iPhone Solar (well, we can hope), this is actually one of the better ways to ensure you never run out of playtime.