A hidden iPhone setting is being hailed as a game-changer on social media, as millions of users are just now discovering it improves battery life – although Apple released it last year.
Called ‘Optimized Battery Charging,’ the feature is designed to reduce the wear on your battery and improve its lifespan by reducing the time your smartphone spends fully charged.
Apple says it delays charging an iPhone past 80 per cent, using machine learning to learn your daily routine so that Optimized Battery Charging is activated at the right time.
The charging stops at 80 per cent because the battery will chemically age if it always reaches 100 per cent power – and social media users urge others to ‘always turn on optimized battery charging while charging your phone.’
Underneath those shiny, sleek surfaces, your iPhone battery is full of a complex chemical paste that goes through a high-energy reaction every time you charge your phone and every time you use it.
So, naturally, there are ways to introduce all of that electrochemical energy into your iPhone’s battery wisely — and plenty of ways to charge your phone recklessly, slowly degrading your battery’s performance over time.
‘A battery’s chemical age results from a complex combination of several factors,’ according to Apple, ‘including temperature history and charging pattern.’
‘All rechargeable batteries are consumable components that become less effective as they chemically age,’ the company says.
Fortunately, the iPhone maker has tucked away a feature inside your phone’s Settings that helps manage how your battery is charged, tailoring it to your charging habits so your battery undergoes the least amount of electro-chemical ‘wear and tear’ possible.
Here’s how to start optimizing your iPhone battery.
First, find the Settings app on your Home Screen.
Open Settings, then click Battery > Battery Health & Charging > Optimized Battery Charging.
Once set, optimized charging will limit the amount of time that your iPhone’s battery is fully charged. It slows the charging after your phone hits 80 per cent.
In other words, it cuts back on how long your battery is packed to the gills with energy, some of which inevitably becomes much more likely to cause chemical reactions that decay the battery internally.
Note that, according to Apple, Optimized Battery Charging needs at least two weeks to fully learn your charging habits. So, it will take a while before kicking into gear.
That also means you will need to permit your phone to keep track of ‘Significant Locations’ where you commonly leave your iPhone plugged in for charging.
To allow that, pop back into the Settings app again and turn on these geolocation permissions: Privacy & Security > Location Services > System Services > Significant Locations > Significant Locations.
Note that there’s no need to worry about being tracked with these permissions. None of the location information used for Optimized Battery Charging is sent to Apple. It’s all stored exclusively on your iPhone.
Once your device has undergone at least nine charging sessions of five hours long or more, the feature is ready to get to work extending the life of your battery.
Users with iOS 13 and above will find that this optimization is toggled on automatically. But for those with an older iPhone or someone who has switched off location services, this dive back into Settings to double-check could be a lifesaver.
What Optimized Battery Charging does is temporarily pause the charging of your device overnight, extending the time it takes to get to that much-needed full charge by morning when you wake up. It will also make the same calculation as you charge your phone in the office or wherever you typically leave your device docked.
Or as Apple describes it, ‘Your iPhone uses on-device machine learning to learn your daily charging routine so that Optimized Battery Charging activates only when your iPhone predicts it will be connected to a charger for an extended period of time. The algorithm aims to ensure that your iPhone is still fully charged when unplugged.’
So, if you’ve been finding that your iPhone struggles to keep its power, this trick could help you keep your charge longer without further weakening the battery. And, if you’re in a hurry and need your phone charged fast, don’t worry: All you have to do is press the Optimized Battery Charging notice on your Lock Screen and tap Charge Now.