Extend battery life of your iPhone 4S by disabling ‘Setting Time Zone’

“Poor battery performance is one of the major teething issues that’s been plaguing [some] early iPhone 4S adopters,” Oliver Haslam reports for iDownloadBlog. “The problem appears to be affecting some iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS users as well, indicating a likely software bug rather than a hardware defect.”

“It appears that the Setting Time Zone function in iOS 5 can lead to excess power drain because the device is repeatedly polling the user’s location in order to set the time zone based on their current location (which is useful when traveling),” Haslam reports. “To disable this functionality, launch the Settings app, navigate to Location Services > System Services and turn off the Setting Time Zone option.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

16 Comments

    1. Try removing calendar events from Notification Center. I read that iOS 5 has a bug that causes it to re-post the same events over and over, ramping up background CPU usage and killing battery life. I switched off the Calendar in Notification Center and my iPhone 4S battery life went from 5.5 hours to just under 10. Note, switching off calendar notifications only prevents them from showing in the Notification Center UI. Alarms and alerts still come through as always.

      To switch off calendar events in Notification Center go to: Settings > Notifcations> “In Notification Center” > Calendar, then switch the toggle to off.

  1. You may have some luck by using the app “System Activity Monitor” to get a peek at what processes are running excessively and draining your battery. It’s got to be *something* going on since most 4S phones don’t have excessive battery drain. Also, if you’re on the fringe of cell reception it’s possible that the drain is coming from the phone continually searching for a signal.

  2. As far as I know, my battery life is fine. I’m getting 4-5 days between charges, and I listen to a lot of podcasts and music and like to browse the web on it at home.

    I checked the “Setting Time Zone” setting. I disabled it, but I don’t think I needed to, because according to the setting panel, the time zone hadn’t been polled in the last 24 hours.

    But then, why would it? Like all cell phones, I presume the iPhone gets the time from the cell tower. And thanks to the repeaters installed in my office, I am never in a “no service” zone.

    So, what I figure is that, in order for this to be a problem, you not only have to have “Setting Time Zone” turned on, but you have to be in a place with poor cell reception. Otherwise, the iPhone would just grab the time from the tower.

    But then again: Being in a place with poor cell reception can itself drain a phone’s battery, because it keeps actively scanning for a tower.

    Long story short, if this truly is the problem, I don’t think many people are being affected by it.

    ——RM

  3. I turned off all sytem location services (the location based iAds were sneaky)… and have been getting great battery life. I also have push disabled and find my iPhone off. Push really eats battery.

  4. Also check to see that you are not sending diagnostic data to apple. I had that on the first day & it trashed my data. No problem at all since. Got mine on launch day.

  5. I’ve been on Mac’s since 1988. I’m going to get my first iPhone and was looking at Sprint because of the unlimited data rate until I started reading Sprints support forum concerning very slow download speeds. I even tried a 4s at the Sprint store and it was really slow trying to open MDN. Don’t know where to go now. Sprint support link is 80 some pages at: http://community.sprint.com/baw/thread/78766?tstart=0

  6. Someone please explain this: There seems to be two different settings and paths to it that do the same thing. Here’s the first one:

    1) Settings>Location Services>System Services>Setting Time Zone

    2) Settings>General>Date & Time>Set Automatically

    What is the difference?

    Right now, I have the #2 method turned off but the #1 method is turned on.

    1. I believe 1 is about the method — using the (radio and battery draining) location based (gps) services to set time zones and 2 is about whether you want it to happen at all (including using the cell network to do it).

      1. “1) Settings>Location Services>System Services>Setting Time Zone”

        This is only a permission setting for privacy purposes. The phone is already aware of your location communicating with cell towers. With this setting turned in you’re just giving the OS permission to use the location to set your time zone. it doesn’t mean it’s constantly pinging for your location.

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