Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Why the iPhone 5 is Discharging Fast and Can Not Connect to Mobile Internet

My wife's iPhone 5 is almost two years old. I could say it is still in top condition and could deliver it's service the way as it was when it was new. But yesterday, it was a different story. My wife found out that she could not use the internet when at work and the battery is almost flat dead after her 12 hours duty despite being fully charged  when she started work.

Knowing her, I suspected  a user's fault rather than a hardware's fault. And here's what I found out.

Can't connect to data mobile whilst at work.

It is not unusual that there are dead spots inside a building. Initially I suspect that this is causing her internet problem.  Or she might over looked that the mobile data button is not activated.

Fortunately her mobile data and 4G network buttons are on, and  the settings are correct. So no issue with non-active data connection. Testing it from home provides positive conclusion that there's no conflict with the configuration and network's availability.  If she can not access internet from  work then  her location when she is accessing it is the culprit.

I was about to believe this but when she insisted that she can't access the internet anywhere from the hospital, I became suspicious to a non-obvious reason why she can not connect, an open wi-fi connection! At work, there are open connections but need to be authenticated  before it gives you internet access. Although the phone says it is connected, it does not log you in without the proper credentials. But even when you are not logged on,  it somehow locks your wi-fi and tricks your phone into being connected to an internet access. This means the data connection is disabled as wi-fi supersedes mobile connections when available.

The solution is simple for this, just disable the wi-fi button!

Battery discharges quickly.

The problem above is also a clue why the battery is not performing very well. The desperation on getting online might made her press buttons and activate functions that does not need to be active.

Turn off wi-fi and personal hotspot when not in use.

Obvious cause is the wi-fi being on, and investigating further, the personal hotspot button(settings>Personal hotspot) is also on! Turning them off when not in use saves battery. The personal hotspot has nothing to do with going online unless you want your device to become a gateway for other devices to access the internet. Using this could rake up mobile data bills specially when tethering is not included with your contract or you have a limited band width.

Turn off background App Refresh

Another culprit which is usually overlooked is the background app refreshing their contents. once they are connected to any internet access, either wi-fi or data.  Specially those applications that tracks the user's location like Facebook, Maps (see screenshot with arrows) and other's identified by the active location logo.  The best way to control this is to just turn the slider to the left(off).

Mind the FB videos.

By default, video feeds playback from facebook is set to automatic. It may appear harmless, but this  really drains the battery specially when your friends has too much videos to share. Automatic playing does not only shortens battery power but also your data bundle. To turn this feature off, open facebook, tap more at the bottom right corner, account settings, videos and photos, then slide smart auto-play to the left. This make the device not to play  video contents automatically.

Last Words.

These are not just the factors in having problems with mobile connectivity and short battery life. This are the problems I discovered in my wife's phone. Screen brightness could be blamed by majority of users, but for me, it is crucial to have enough clarity and I value this more than conserving the battery as it can be saved by other sensible measures.

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