Apple released a new feature with iOS 8 that lets you see the battery usage of apps installed on your device. The great thing about this feature is that it lets the user determine what apps are actually being used on a frequent basis. It is a great trouble-shooting tool when you notice your battery charge is not lasting as long as it used to, or a productivity tool to help you understand where you are wasting too much time.
Here is a screen shot of my current iPhone 6 Plus App battery usage for the last 7 days:
You can see that currently Newsify is using almost a quarter of my battery life over the last 7 days. This seems accurate to me as I frequently use my phone to check the latest technology, Social Security, local, and national news. Outlook and Chrome follow with about 10% battery usage each, and my lock screen also takes about the same amount of my battery (mainly because of notifications throughout the day). Although PocketCasts is probably my most used app, since I use it mainly in my car and at home to listen to podcasts, I usually have my phone plugged in while this app is being used. (Battery usage does not provide any stats on energy being used by apps while your device is plugged in).
For me the main surprise when I review my battery usage is how few apps I am actually using on my phone over the course of a week. It does not appear that any of my apps are using a disproportional amount of my battery, and it appears that I use my iPhone mainly to stay up-to-date on current news, read email, surf the web, and listen to podcasts.
Once you get past my top 8 apps, it looks like the remainder of the apps barely have any impact on my battery usage. Here is the second screen showing my remaining battery usage (notice that basically every app on this screen only uses 1% of my battery life):
The surprising part for me is how efficiently most apps installed on my device use my battery. I use Fitbit everyday and have it set to sync with my Fitbit One throughout the day. Despite always running, this app uses only 1% of my battery over the course of a week. Wink and Kevo are mainly used for home automation, and although I open up Wink 5-10 times per day, it has no noticeable impact on my battery life (OnSwitch, Acme, and Kohl’s, all of which I rarely open, seem to use the same amount of battery or more). Even Facebook and Twitter, that send me background notifications throughout the day, have little to no impact on my iPhone battery life.
Beyond troubleshooting bad battery life on your device, the battery usage screen is a great tool to understanding what is happening on your device on a daily basis. Just reviewing these stats again today has made me question why OnSwitch, Acme and Kohl’s are using any of my battery life at all (I don’t think I have opened Kohl’s since I installed it). It also helps you determine which apps can be deleted from your phone if you notice you are low on space. Despite having 384 applications installed on my iPhone, I only have used 25 user-installed apps in the past week.
To determine which of your apps are using your battery life, open up the “Settings” app, select “General”, then “Usage”, and finally “Battery Usage”. Battery Usage stats were introduced in iOS 8, so if you are using an earlier version of iOS, you will not have the option of reviewing your battery usage.
This post was written by Steven Butler. Steven is a full-time Delaware attorney that limits his practice to Social Security Disability. Along with being a contributor for iPlugDelaware, he is a partner at Linarducci & Butler, PA.