Turn Off Time-Zone Sensing To Improve iPhone Battery Life?

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Switching off automatic time-zone sensing in iOS 5 can improve iPhone battery life significantly, according to iDownloadBlog. The site claims that a bug in iOS 5's GM release causes the GPS-enabled location tracking connected to the automated time-zone function to run constantly. This unnecessary use of the GPS circuitry may drain the battery exceptionally quickly.

    To fix the alleged bug and avoid the battery drain, head to the Settings app in iOS 5 and tap Location Services and then scroll to "System Services" at the bottom of that window. Then switch off "Setting Time Zone".


    It's not an official bug yet, though Apple is reportedly working on iOS 5's battery life issues. Anecdotal evidence suggests flipping this switch may significantly improve battery life.

    Article Link: Turn Off Time-Zone Sensing To Improve iPhone Battery Life?
  2. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
  3. macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2009
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Tried it last week and haven't seen it make a difference
  4. macrumors regular


    Jun 22, 2010
    Doesn't work, despite every tech website on the face of the earth claiming it does.

    What DOES work is turning off just about every feature that is new to iOS 5. It's obviously just a bug that Apple will fix ASAP because the betas didn't drain like this.
  5. macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
  6. macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2011
    I tried something this morning that seemed to help tremendously, i turned off the compass calibration. Havent gone below 90% all day.
  7. macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2008
    Queens, NYC
    I think it might have helped my battery life a little. But something is still draining it. iOS5 sucks on battery life.

    Either way, why would someone want to keep this feature on? How often do you cross a time zone?
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Nicky G

    Mar 24, 2002
    Baltimore & NYC
    I am using the new Radar feature in foursquare and the new location-based services in OKCupid, and it seems these are draining the battery quite a bit, despite the developers claiming it shouldn't make a noticeable impact, as it's not supposed to leave GPS circuitry turned on. I do hope this gets resolved quickly.
  9. macrumors regular

    Jun 22, 2007
    Austin, TX
    the only thing that it shows has used location services in the last 24-hours is weather.

    that said, i haven't had a reason to complain about battery life.
  10. clarkewingh, Oct 31, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2011

    macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2010
    Always on..

    Just noticed mine had constantly been active.. Turning it off now :mad:
  11. macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2008
    Queens, NYC
    What does this feature do? Don't we calibrate the compass by waving the phone around like a madman?
  12. xii
    macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2010
  13. macrumors 6502


    Nov 27, 2008
    Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
    on my iPhone 4 with iOS5 i turned the 4 bottom options off straight after upgrade and have had no adverse battery issues.

    Although I still believe the battery issue with the 4s is hardware related...
  14. macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2010
    This and calibrating the battery over the course of two weeks has worked for me. Back to iPhone 4 type battery life.
  15. macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2009
    time zone sensing

    Mine was also constantly active. I turned it off but I wasn't experiencing any problems. I'm on an iPhone 4 though, not 4s. Also, the addition of another email account to most people's phones (iCloud email) could be adding to the battery drain as there's another email address to push mail from or check at regular intervals. I got rid of two email addresses I didn't use that often and that significantly increased my battery life. I only have two now but I'd say I'd see another improvement if I cut that down to one.
  16. macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2010
    Well just turned of the four settings mentioned above. Really hoping there is some improvement. Seems I can't stray far from my charger at the moment, having to recharge several times a day. Not very happy about it considering I've never had any problems with either the 4 or 3gs.
  17. macrumors 68020

    Oct 12, 2006
    Yeah... I think this is magical thinking.

    Just because the arrow is purple, doesn't mean "GPS IS ON RIGHT NOW AND I'M DRAINING ALL YOUR POWER! MUHAHAHA!" It simply means the service "Setting Time Zone" it's doing something with your location.

    Furthermore, just because your location is "being used", this doesn't mean that your phone has to do any power hungry operation to obtain your location. It likely just looks at the cell environment that you're currently in which doesn't require constant transmissions to cell towers! I assume it's looking at the most recent cached tower information (within a reasonable time frame) and uses that.
  18. macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2011
    Compass calibration adjusts magnetic declination (the difference between true north and magnetic north). The adjustment depends on your location, hence the location service. If you disable this feature, any app that uses the compass cannot use this feature.
  19. macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Minimal if any improvement.
  20. macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2008
    Anything else we should turn off other than this, location, iCloud, wifi, Siri, compass.

    Why have a 4s?
  21. macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2011

    It's iMESSAGE..... I turned iMessage off and....voila! incredibly longer battery life.

    really. note that when you turn it ON....it has to "sign in"...it's constantly checking *something*...
  22. macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Location makes a difference?

    On my iPhone, the gray icon wasn't even on, meaning it hadn't even tried to use location services for time zones in the past 24 hours. I'm not experiencing battery drain; I'm finding my new 4S has about the same battery life my 3GS did (which is good enough for me). I'm wondering if this is only triggered if the phone accesses towers from multiple time zones or something else to indicate that you're close to a time zone boundary. I live in Fort Worth, TX (nowhere near a boundary), so there would be no reason for it to constantly check my location to see if I've changed time zones. Perhaps it's different for someone located near a time zone boundary (Yuma, AZ; Columbus, GA; Chattanooga, TN; etc.), as it might enable location services to provide a more precise transition from one time zone to another. This is purely speculation - can anyone living near a time zone boundary verify this theory?
  23. macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2008
    iMessage too, anything else?
  24. macrumors 6502


    Jul 18, 2008
    Tried this "fix" last night, it didn't work. With every fix I try I get better battery life for a little while, then my battery life still goes down hill. When I wake up my battery is down to ~75% from 100% overnight in standby.
  25. macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Same here. On my iP4 non-S.

    Before upgrading to IOS5, I could run 2 full days without charging with what is normal use for me.
    After upgrading I could only get 3/4 a day out of it.
    After switching all iCloud services off (except 'Find My iPhone') I could run 1 1/2 day, on very below my normal use.
    I ended up disabling 3G when I didn't have the use for it, and that gave me back my 2 days of normal use. But it is a bit annoying having to switch that on/off.
    But now that I have killed the constantly running location service by switching off 'Setting Time Zone', I definitely expect my 2 days battery life to be back without having to switch off 3G.

    At least it cannot hurt trying ;)

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