The Frustrating Opaque Nature of iPhone 5 Battery Life

This is a really short post expressing a personal frustration of mine. I regularly carry two phones, an iPhone 5 and a Samsung Galaxy S3. One of the things I really like about my Galaxy S3 is that it gives me some insight into which applications I’m running are having the most impact on my battery life. I appreciate that the Android OS gives me that level of insight. I find the experience on my iPhone 5 to be maddening. I have no real insight into which applications on my phone are taxing my battery the most. The simple answer is that I know that things that are GPS or network heavy (Google Maps, Waze, Spotify, Pandora) can be heavy consumers of my battery, I have no idea how much my usage of a given application is contributing to my mediocre battery experience on my iPhone 5.

As a counterpoint, one of the things I really like about Onavo is that it gives me some sense for which apps on my phone are consuming the most data. Why can’t I get the same level of insight on my iPhone 5 when it comes to battery life?

And yes, I have spent countless amounts of dollars on Mophie, Maxboost, and other supplementary batteries for my phone. Rather than deal with the symptoms, I’d like to know more about the root cause of the apps that are draining my battery so I can do something about it.

As always, comments are open – feel free to leave one below or send me a message on Twitter @chudson

  • I would categorize this under a handful of things Apple should do in iOS to give power users more control/insight, such as allow maps to connect to Google Maps, allowing browser to go to Chrome, etc. Battery performance information, as well as the ability to “kill all open apps” in one touch should start. I am hoping/praying that Jonny Ive understands the spirit of this and pushes for this kind of transparency.

  • I totally agree – this is an OS level feature that I think should exist for the benefit of users. I think it’s also less controversial than allowing me to use Gmail, GMaps, or other 3rd party apps for default functions such as navigation, calendar, and messaging.

  • Claus Christopher Moberg

    I use Carat to track battery usage of my iOS apps, though it is certainly far from perfect (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/carat/id504771500?mt=8)

  • I had high hopes for Carat and could never get it to work for me!