iPhone Life Extension Tips
Why are you still using that old iPhone? If you're like me, its because you are waiting for your 2-year contract to end so you can buy a new phone at the subsidized price. Or maybe you are waiting for the iPhone 5 or some of the Verizon 4G LTE phones coming out later this year. Whatever your reason for waiting, here are some tips that can help you keep that aging iPhone working for you until you are ready to upgrade.
1. New Case
Your old case has probably seen better days. A new case can make a dramatic improvement to the look an feel of your phone. You proably don't want to spend much money on your old phone. Luckily you don't need to! Since the introduction of the iPhone 4, retailers are heavily discounting 3G and 3GS cases. I bought a beautiful new hard case for my iPhone 3G for 99 cents. It looks like a new phone!
2. External Battery
No doubt your battery is not what it used to be. This could be your biggest problem with your old iPhone. Since the battery is not replaceable what can you do? Try an external battery. I know, you don't want to spend any money on you old iPhone. The right external battery will work with all your USB powered device (and you next phone too). Google "USB battery" and you will find several to choose from. The one I chose is about the same size as an iPhone. It is very simple to use. There is one button you can press to see the charge state. There is a micro USB port for charging the battery, and a standard USB port for powering devices. It will fully charge my iPhone a few times before it needs to be charged again. It also can charge my bluetooth headset. I don't travel without it!
3. Screen Brightness
The brighter the screen, the more power used. It's easy to just leave the screen set on its brightest level. This is only really needed when using your phone outside on a sunny day. To really save the most power, set your screen to the dimmest setting that still allows you to use it comfortably.
4. Turn things off
The less you ask your phone to do, the less demand you will place on your weak battery. Turn off push notification for your email. Set it to only check for new emails when you ask it too. This will save power by not using the Wifi, of 3G radio every few minutes to check for email. While we are talking about radios, turn them off too. Shut off Wifi and 3G when you are not using them. Your phone will then fall back to an Edge connection which uses less power. You will still get phone calls and can still get email. Only turn them on when you need a faster connection. This applies to your Bluetooth radio as well. Leave it off until you want to place a call or anwer one.
If your iPhone is not jailbroken, its time. There are many guides and videos online that walk you through the process. It's not difficult or dangerous (you can undo the process) and it will help you squeeze more life from your phone. Want to record video with your iPhone 3G? You can if you jailbreak. Are you jealous of the multi-tasking feature on the newer iPhones? If you jailbreak, you can have it. Want folders to organize your numerous apps or a button that locks the screen orientation? How about an animated clock icon on the home screen? Jailbreaking offers this too. Would you like a quick and easy way to toggle power to Wifi, 3G, and Bluetooth? Jailbreak has you covered. Once you've jailbroken your phone install these apps: Cycorder, Backgrounder, Categories, SBSettings, SBSettingstoggles, LiveClock, Rotation Inhibitor. Its like a whole new phone with all these (and many more) apps to choose from.
Hopefully these tips will make your wait for a new phone less taxing. Personally I'm holding on to my iPhone 3G until Verizon releases its 4G LTE phones. Without these tips, I don't think I could make it!