Location feature the culprit of iPhone 4S battery drain

If you own an iPhone 4S and have seen your battery drain much faster than normal on the device, you are not alone. It seems that there are a lot of complaints from owners about the battery life of the new smartphone from Apple. The Guardian web site has posted up a possible explanation of this mysterious issue.

The fault may lie in a (so far) unconfirmed software bug in the "Setting Time Zone" option of the phone's Location Services settings . If a person with the iPhone 4S travels to a different time zone, the "Setting Time Zone" section, when turned on, goes into action to change the time on the phone via a location server. But it seems that the time zone option is still running on some iPhone 4S devices. That could mean that the location server is being pinged even when the phone hasn't moved to a new time zone.

In short, this possible bug, when combined with the iPhone 4S's wireless location features, could drain the phone's battery much faster than normal. While Apple has yet to comment officially, it seems like the company's is contacting some iPhone 4S users to investigate this issue.

Battery life on any smartphone is always a big concern as more and more people not only own them but use them constantly. For many, one of the iPhone's biggest flaws is that its battery is not removable; there's a cottage industry of third party companies who create battery extenders for the iPhone and after this issue some iPhone 4S users are certainly thinking about getting one.

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Reinstall iOS firmware and restore from backup.

Turn Off these under
Settings->Location Services->System Services
1. Diagnostics & Usage
2. Location-Based iAds
3. Setting Time Zone (Most important to disable this)
4. Traffic

Turn off :
Settings->Wi-Fi Networks
1. Ask to Join Networks
2. WiFi (Turn Wi-Fi off completely helps a lot)

Personal Hotspot should always be off
Bluetooth should be off as well

Disable Ping
Settings->General->Restrictions
Ping

These were pretty much useless features which I will never need anyways.
If above doesn't work,

Some are saying that iOS bug which tries to sync corrupted contacts with iCloud. This is resulting in too many failed syncs and subsequent battery drain.
Best would be to copy all contacts on piece of paper or export them to a file. Delete all contacts from iCloud as well. Also you transfer purchases of apps to iTunes for restoring them later. You will only loose save game data.

Do a DFU restore of 4S. Set up as a new phone and enter contacts manually and sync backed up apps over. Enter iCloud account details and let it sync. I had this problem myself and along with above steps, my battery drains 1-2 percent every hr. Previously it was 10% every hr. Very acceptable now.

This should take you through for another few weeks till the time some fix is offered via software update.
Glad that I don't need any fix now. Quite satisfied.

sanke1 said,
Glad that I don't need any fix now. Quite satisfied.

You're satisfied with the above "solution"? Copying your contacts to paper is quite frankly not an acceptable solution.

lt8480 said,

You're satisfied with the above "solution"? Copying your contacts to paper is quite frankly not an acceptable solution.

Ohh my bad. What I meant was I had this battery drain problem and I fixed it without going through contacts removal process. But I followed all the previous steps.

Well, I turned the time zone feature off and still got reduced battery life time (with my iPhone4, that is), so that's definately not the only reason. But I'm confident they will fix it soon.

I have disabled "Diagnostics & Features", "Location based iAds", "Setting Time Zone" and "Traffic" since day 1. My 4s battery life is virtually identical to my iPhone 4 battery life.

Give it a try!

myxomatosis said,
My 4s battery life is virtually identical to my iPhone 4 battery life.

That's because you bought the same phone with a different name.

lt8480 said,

That's because you bought the same phone with a different name.

Wow if you actually believe that, then you really are dumb.
But if that was sarcastic, then good one.

myxomatosis said,
I have disabled "Diagnostics & Features", "Location based iAds", "Setting Time Zone" and "Traffic" since day 1. My 4s battery life is virtually identical to my iPhone 4 battery life.

Give it a try!

So does that mean its a good thing or a bad thing?

This bug doesn't just affect the iPhone 4S. It also causes drain on iPhone 4. When tested a few days ago that location setting was constantly looking for a location. I turned it off and suddenly battery life on iOS 5 is the same as on iOS 4.

Useful to know. My iPhone 4S was fine until I travelled 5000 miles and the clock auto set. Back to normal couple day use instead of 1.

This is my second iPhone 4S and I had the same problem with both of them. Turning off the location service for most of the apps and leaving just a few solved the problem for me.

i just ordered this phone, but with my htc hd2 i had the same problem but a new rom solved the problem but upon installing a new rom it takes time for the phone to adjust. besides in comes with the course of getting a smart phone. most people expect this.

The battery problem that they are referring to is something that you cannot live with. You would unplug your telephone at 9am and see at 11am you have only 35% left even without using the telephone.

It's insane how much it drains the battery. I just upgraded from a 3 year old 3G and it has better battery life than this thing. I took it off the charger and within 5 min it dropped to 99%. It took at least an hour for my 3G to do that. I've done what has been listed above and will wait and see but they really need to get this fixed before I return the phone.

They are all turned off for me and my 4S still goes down by 15% an hour in standby mode. So there's definately another cause.

xplatinum said,
They are all turned off for me and my 4S still goes down by 15% an hour in standby mode. So there's definately another cause.

One thing I forot to mention is try disabling Siri "Raise to speak" let us know if that works for you.

sanke1 said,

One thing I forot to mention is try disabling Siri "Raise to speak" let us know if that works for you.

While in standby mode the phone is always laying down though. But I will give it a shot.

Followed the tips mentioned above and charged my iPhone 4 last night, at 8:30pm it was fully charged, now almost 16 hours later it's still almost 100%. usually its less than 50% after a day of minimal usage!

Gonna try this with my iPhone 4, have noticed that as of recently, the battery life has rapidly decreased. :l Not good, especially as I'm due a 6-hour coach journey to London in just over a month. :l Hopefully this'll solve it. I do tend to use it a lot for facebook/twitter/texting, but even so, the battery never drained as fast as it has been. (And, come to think of it, I remember tampering with the location features about a week ago, so...)

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