iOS 7: A guide to improving the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5’s battery life, and combating lag

iOS 7 has been out for almost a week now, and the results have been mixed. While the new features and redesign are incredible, the performance and battery life of older iOS devices has suffered.

Apple will surely address some of these issues with better optimisation down the road, but there are a few things you can do to improve your experience right this moment, with your iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, or iPad.

With these six simple steps, you can minimise the lag, improve your iPhone or iPad’s battery life, and keep browsing all day.

Turn off the parallax effect

With the new OS, Apple enabled a new snazzy looking 3D effect on the Home screen. As you move your device around, the icons seem to hover above the background. It’s neat, but it does use some of your system resources. If you’re noticing some lag, consider turning off this effect by heading to Settings > General > Accessibility. Tap the Reduce Motion button, and then toggle on this feature.

Turn down your brightness

The screen is one of the biggest power hogs on any iOS device. If you’re running low on battery, head into the Settings app, and navigate to Wallpapers & Brightness. Toggle off the Auto-Brightness setting, and then you’ll be in full control of how bright your screen is.

Turn off your radios

Radios are also extraordinarily power-hungry, so turn off what you’re not using. If you’re just playing an offline game, toggle on Airplane Mode in the Control Centre to turn off all your radios. Not using Bluetooth? No need to keep it turned on all the time. Now that you have quick access to the radio toggles from any screen, this is a superb way to improve your battery life in iOS 7.

Turn off background refreshing

Multitasking is much improved in iOS 7, but that comes at the cost of system resources. Luckily, you can pick and choose which applications are allowed to refresh content in the background. Under Settings > General you’ll find the Background App Refresh button. From here, you can toggle each multitasking app, or you can simply turn off this functionality completely.

Turn off Spotlight

Spotlight has to frequently index the files on your device, so it can really start to chug if you have a lot of flash storage. If you don’t mind losing the search function, you can simply disable Spotlight indexing completely. Mind you, you do have granular control here, so you can disable only selected data types if you so choose.

Turn off Raise to Speak

The Raise to Speak feature of Siri can be useful, but it does require the proximity sensor to work overtime. If you’re okay with using the simple press-and-hold function instead, this can be toggled off under the Siri menu in the general section of the settings app.

All that should definitely help, and while you’re here you might want to read our 6 handy tips for Apple’s iOS 7. You might also want to take a peek at our look at popular apps which have been revamped for iOS 7.