Plugged In: Apple update survival tips

Morgan Kinney, Columnist

I have an iPhone. You probably do, too. As it turns out, almost half of all American smartphone users own an iPhone.

And these phones are more than just that — they are our most intimate companions. They hold all of our most embarrassing selfies, secrets and drunk texts (Just think: if iPhones could talk … ). There’s no one and nothing that knows more about our lives. As such, the relationship between people and their iPhones is hallowed and sacred — something that you just don’t mess with.

Which is why the iOS 7 software update is so disturbing. Apple took your best friend and and gave her a new face. Now she wears different clothes, talks about different things and falls asleep at 8 p.m. She’s just not the same.

But there’s no going back. You were young and naive enough to upgrade, so now you have to learn to live with your bad choices. The only thing we can do is be productive and figure out how to move on with our lives. Here are a few tips to fix iOS 7’s most heinous flaw — the battery life:

1. Kill them apps. Nothing will send you running for a charger faster than leaving Google Maps open. Double click your home button and swipe up to make your problems go away.

2. Turn off app updates. Some genius decided it would be a good idea to let your apps update in the background, even if the app is closed. That means your phone is connecting to the Internet to constantly refresh your weather apps, news apps, Snapchat, etc. That’s a major drain on your battery. Go to settings, general, background app refreshand uncheck “background app refresh.” Problem solved.

3. Turn off parallax effects. iOS 7 is full of nauseating zoom transitions and frivolous 3D effects. They drain your battery and are the definition of unnecessary. Go to settings, general, accessibility, reduce motion and switch “reduce motion” to on.

4. Turn off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS. You don’t use Wi-Fi when you’re out and about. GPS is only useful when you’re lost. And when’s the last time you used Bluetooth? All three of these drain your battery when you’re not using them, which is probably most of the time. Do yourself a favor and switch them off unless you absolutely need them.

5. Turn off auto brightness. Obviously the biggest drain on your battery is your screen. It’s the biggest, brightest, most used part of your phone. Turn off auto brightness and set the brightness to the lowest possible level. You’ll be surprised how much battery this saves.

Follow these five tips, and hopefully you’ll be able to leave the charger at home and stop asking for a table by an outlet at a restaurant.