real life

The best tips to save your iPhone battery when you only have a teeny tiny percent left.

It was halfway between Belfast and Galway, in Ireland, when my blessed iPhone gave up on me. You’re probably wondering what is actually located halfway between Belfast and Galway.

That’s a good question. I wouldn’t know because my phone died, leaving me without my trusted maps and any connection to message someone, “HELP. STUCK. FIND ME SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY.”

Having to navigate a foreign country meant I relied completely on my phone for maps and almost, every day I tried all the tricks in the books to save my phone battery.

Safe to say, I am now a self-proclaimed expert in nursing your little phone so it can survive on 20% until you find your next charger.

Listen to Zoe Foster-Blake explain how she avoids being on her phone until her kids have gone to sleep. (Post continues after audio.)

1. Switch on that low battery mode.

Yeah, I know it sounds real simple but your low battery mode wasn’t made for nothing.

As the New York Mag writes, it is available on both iOS and Android, and it will automatically kick-in, at certain battery percentages.

If you need the 101: it will dim your screen, you can’t chat to Siri, mail fetch will stop, and those darn automatic downloads won’t happen.

On both the Android and iPhone, you can enable it by going into ‘Settings’ and then ‘Battery’, BUT, here’s the thing you should all know.

See that? Switch it on.

Don't just use your battery save mode for dire circumstances. A little hindsight has taught me that if you know you're going to be using your phone a lot and won't be able to charge, use it from the beginning!


You can manually turn the mode on and be free from probable-phone-battery-dying-related-stress.

2. Turn that brightness down.

There are two advantages of this.

As per the article, turning your brightness down will stop your battery being eaten away.

But the second, we all have one person in our life whose phone is ridiculously bright and so it's easier than ABC to read their messages.

Seriously, I still can't believe the people who have their phone brightness on 100% and don't realise how many people see what they're up to.


Key takeaway: dimming your phone not only saves battery but saves your privacy.

3. Streaming? No. Stop.

If you haven't put together that watching Netflix on the train is likely contributing to your phone's poor battery, then let me explain:

Watching Netflix on your phone drains your phone's battery. SIMPLE.

And, it's not just Netflix. We're talking Spotify and podcasts, too.

The good news is, you can download whole playlists of music and podcasts when you're connected to Wi-Fi to save your battery (and data).

I have recently started downloading my Spotify playlists for driving, which is proving to save my phone's battery.

One thing to think about, downloading all your songs or podcasts can eat up space on your phone, so just be wary of that.


4. Hello, Airplane Mode.

Mamamia writer, Luca Lavigne, recently wrote about how turning on Airplane Mode dramatically helped his mental health (10/10 would recommend).

Adding to the benefits of Airplane Mode, it saves your battery. Yessum.

If you are in a place with no signal (i.e. Belfast -> Galway), your phone will try everything to find a signal. Which, is really quite kind that it never gives up, but in that time, it sucks your battery.

In essence, Airplane Mode really isn't just for when your 30,000 feet above the ground.

5. No, no, no. Shutting down your apps won't save battery.

I was truly shocked when I read this. Forever, my brother has been telling me to get rid of those apps because "they're running in the background and that's why your phone never works, Abby".

NOPE. Does not work. 

Well, here's news for you, brother. That is not true.

The New York Mag writes that both iOS and Android have improved their management of "open" apps. Instead, those that appear to be "open" are really just cached versions of what you were last up to in the app.

Not only that, they even go on to suggest that it wastes your phone's battery by opening it up and spending precious screen time closing the apps down.

There you have it.

So next time you're stuck between home, a charger and a phone on seven percent, don't say I didn't warn you.