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iPhone for Backpacking article is updated
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Amy Lauterbach
(drongobird) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
iPhone for Backpacking article is updated on 09/12/2013 01:43:44 MDT Print View

I just updated the iPhone for Backpacking article.

I rewrote the info about what the user needs to do to tune different models of iPhone to prevent battery drain (I'll try to get my hands on the about-to-be-released 5S and 5C and add that info soon).

I improved the list of battery-conservation settings.

I added a link to a list of non-map apps that various people said they like to use while hiking.

I still need to update the linked spreadsheet of map apps.

Thanks to folks who gave me input. It's a moving target, but together we can keep the info current.

Amy

Edited by drongobird on 09/12/2013 01:44:40 MDT.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
iphone on 09/12/2013 07:15:14 MDT Print View

danke- very timely as I'm looking at finally getting into the smart phone arena (probably the C)- I'm the guy who bought his first ipod just two years ago :)

Marc Eldridge
(meld) - MLife

Locale: The here and now.
Re: "iPhone for Backpacking article is updated" on 09/12/2013 09:44:37 MDT Print View

Thanks to your articles, Amy, I have successfully used the iPhone 4S as a back country GPS and mapping device. For whatever reason I settled on the National Geographic Topo maps. I down load the maps onto the phone and also print a set on waterproof paper and take these. I've already gone through the phone and done all the battery saving tips that you suggested and if I know I'm not going to need the phone very often, I shut it down and only turn in on to take a position and then reference it to the paper map and make a decision about the route. If I know that I will be needing it more frequently I make sure all the apps are shut down and then put it in airplane mode and leave the phone on. To use it again I have to go into Settings and turn off the airplane mode then go into the app and look at the map to get a location. Even with having to go into the Settings and turn off the airplane mode it is faster than having to turn on the phone each time I want to get a position. I also like to read and listen to music sometimes so I also carry a backup battery in case those activities drain too much of the battery. On a recent 5 day trip I didn't use the GPS very often and didn't read or listen to music and only used about 45% of the battery.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: "iPhone for Backpacking article is updated" on 09/12/2013 09:53:27 MDT Print View

I'm car camping at Mt. Hood and keeping up with BPL -- 2 bars but 3G nene the less. Stored Podcasts at bedtime are great.

I've been using the Gia GPS app for a couple months. I'm happy with it, but you do need to remember to download the maps when you have good bandwidth.

Amy Lauterbach
(drongobird) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: "iPhone for Backpacking article is updated" on 09/12/2013 10:16:23 MDT Print View

Marc -

Alan confirmed with me this morning that the ATT 4S does behave like the ATT 4, and we'll update the article tonight.

If your 4S is an ATT model (I don't know about Verizon), and if you lock the SIM, then you don't need to power down or use Airplane mode. The baseline battery drain is only 1-2% per day. I've used an ATT iPhone 4 (and Alan&Alison have used their 4S) for many long trips and never put it in airplane mode or powered down. If for whatever reason you don't want to remove or lock the SIM, then the toggle-Airplane-Mode solution is just right.

I'm not convinced that powering down and back up is less battery intensive than just leaving it in standby mode with all the battery conservation settings. I haven't tested it, but I have a hunch that all the diagnostics run at power-up may be more power consuming than the 1-2% per day you lose in standby mode. No data, just wondering.

Amy

Edited by drongobird on 09/12/2013 10:21:28 MDT.

Trace Richardson
(tracedef) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
5s on 10/23/2013 21:13:02 MDT Print View

Any usage or feedback regarding battery drain on iPhone 5s's?

Amy Lauterbach
(drongobird) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
iphone 5s on 10/24/2013 07:10:50 MDT Print View

I don't know about the 5s, nor about iOS7. I may install iOS7 soon and rerun my tests, but I won't be getting a 5s, so hopefully somebody else on this forum who has one will run some tests. If you've got one and are interested you can PM me and I'll work with you and then include your results in the article.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
5c on 10/24/2013 07:22:52 MDT Print View

any insight into the 5c as far as gps/mapping, battery life, etc? my wifey just purchased one

danke

Amy Lauterbach
(drongobird) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
iPHone 5c on 10/24/2013 07:35:09 MDT Print View

Mike - as far as GPS and mapping, the 5c will undoubtedly be just like the other iphones, as described in the article.

As far as battery life, I don't know. If you are a slightly obsessive, attention-to-detail kind of person, and you're willing to spend the time running the tests, I'd be happy to take your results and incorporate them into the article.

For sure, if you don't tune the settings for improved battery life while you are backpacking, you will be disappointed, so study that section of the article and do at least nominal testing at home before you head out on a multiday trip.

Amy

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: iPHone 5c on 10/24/2013 16:59:31 MDT Print View

^ thanks- wasn't sure :) if I get some off time I'd consider doing some testing- might have a tough time prying it out my wife's hand though

Amy Lauterbach
(drongobird) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
iOS 7 for iPhone on 10/27/2013 19:08:40 MDT Print View

I just updated to iOS 7. I haven't done any testing, but on very first glance here are the new settings that I think might affect battery life. I don't know for sure, but these are things that appear (to me) to need to use CPU power just to be enabled.

Control Center -> AirDrop. I turned it off, I don't need the phone to waste battery broadcasting itself.
Settings -> General -> Background App Refresh. I turned off everything except one or two apps that I care about (Gaia and Google Maps). I'm sure this will save battery life. I don't need it spending any cycles while I'm asleep updating data for the Stocks or Weather app, etc.
Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services -> System Services They've added some new battery-consuming things in that list, and all should be turned OFF to save battery (except Compass Calibration if you care about true vs magnetic north). This is a very sneaky place where Apple hides stuff that really does drain the battery and which many users would turn off if they knew these existed. One new setting Frequent Locations keeps track of where you are for reasons that most of us will never make use of.

Also, this is not new in iOS7, but I just noticed it's missing from the article and this is my reminder to update the article.
Settings -> General -> Date & Time. Set Automatically should be OFF. If it's ON, then the phone is detecting your location in order to adjust your time zone for you.

Jeremy and Angela
(requiem) - F - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: iOS 7 for iPhone on 10/28/2013 18:26:18 MDT Print View

One new setting Frequent Locations keeps track of where you are for reasons that most of us will never make use of.

Of course, the day after I read this I notice my "agenda" screen has this to say:iPhone knows my routine

(It also knew where I was headed in the morning.)