Is WiFi draining when not connected

ChandlerXJ

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 3, 2007
67
0
I am at work and in my new office I just got moved to, WiFi is not enabled yet. Is my iPhone battery being drained if WiFi is ON on my iPhone, but not connected?
 

davegoody

macrumors 6502
Apr 9, 2003
307
58
Nottingham, England.
Yep !

I am at work and in my new office I just got moved to, WiFi is not enabled yet. Is my iPhone battery being drained if WiFi is ON on my iPhone, but not connected?
On every device that is powered on but not operative, there is some power drain inevitably. WiFi is a real power hog at the best of times, there is no middle ground, i.e. if on and connected, it is always looking for a connection and therefore is always draining power. Bluetooth is the same. On my Sony Ericsson K800i phone, if I do not switch BT off, the battery dies at least 25% quicker, regardless of whether my MacBook Pro or BT headset is actually connected to it.

My advice would be to power down any unused Wireless connections i.e. BT or WLAN. Just my 2pence worth !
 

ChandlerXJ

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 3, 2007
67
0
awesome, i figured that even when it said "not connected" it would still be searching/draining. Plus, at work, I have internet in front of me all day, so I wouldn't use the iphone to browse. Actually, the EDGE works quite well for email and even the web, i don't know what everyone is complaining about - In fact, on the way to work, the buddy i carpool with told me he would give me a minute to find something out via google, using EDGE. He asked when the town Peach Festival was, and specifically when the parade started and I googled it, found the site, found the info, and even got a picture of it - within a minute.

Thanks for the second opinion.
 

davegoody

macrumors 6502
Apr 9, 2003
307
58
Nottingham, England.
awesome, i figured that even when it said "not connected" it would still be searching/draining. Plus, at work, I have internet in front of me all day, so I wouldn't use the iphone to browse. Actually, the EDGE works quite well for email and even the web, i don't know what everyone is complaining about - In fact, on the way to work, the buddy i carpool with told me he would give me a minute to find something out via google, using EDGE. He asked when the town Peach Festival was, and specifically when the parade started and I googled it, found the site, found the info, and even got a picture of it - within a minute.

Thanks for the second opinion.
Pleasure - I just wish I could get my hands on an iPhone over here in the UK - I will be waiting until November at the EARLIEST !

Thanks
 

MrCompletely

macrumors newbie
Jun 30, 2007
19
0
I noticed that whenever I'm around a wireless network that is programmed into the phone(at home, or work, etc), the phone switches from edge to the network whenever I wake it up, suggesting to me that the phone is on EDGE whenever it's idle and a wireless network is in the area.
 

rayward

macrumors 68000
Mar 13, 2007
1,608
53
Houston, TX
I noticed that whenever I'm around a wireless network that is programmed into the phone(at home, or work, etc), the phone switches from edge to the network whenever I wake it up, suggesting to me that the phone is on EDGE whenever it's idle and a wireless network is in the area.
This is true, but whenever you have WiFi "on", it's looking for one even when not connected to one. If you're not going to need WiFi, or you know you're nowhere near one, it'll save battery life to turn WiFi off.
 

organik

macrumors member
Jun 30, 2007
47
0
I have indeed noticed that with Wifi off, my battery lasts significantly longer - which is nice because I can usually leave it off. I pretty much know when Wifi is available and when it isn't. Also, turn off bluetooth and set brightness as low as you can stand. Battery is lasting 3 or 4 days of normal use (a little of everything). My slvr wasn't too much better than that, and it only had a fraction of the iPhone's features.
 

joshysquashy

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2005
707
1
UK
This is true, but whenever you have WiFi "on", it's looking for one even when not connected to one. If you're not going to need WiFi, or you know you're nowhere near one, it'll save battery life to turn WiFi off.
surely when the iphone is idle (swipe to unlock) WiFi is turned off, and it is turned back on when you start using the iPhone? that would make more sense.


the only thing that wouldn't work that way would be push email (yahoo), so maybe wifi is active even in idle mode, there should be a setting for this...
 

rayward

macrumors 68000
Mar 13, 2007
1,608
53
Houston, TX
surely when the iphone is idle (swipe to unlock) WiFi is turned off, and it is turned back on when you start using the iPhone? that would make more sense.


the only thing that wouldn't work that way would be push email (yahoo), so maybe wifi is active even in idle mode, there should be a setting for this...
I think the coms are still active when you turn ouyr iPhone "off". It's not really off unless you shut it down. Alternatively, put it in airline mode if you want to shut the coms down but keep using it (for music, movies etc.).
 

joshysquashy

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2005
707
1
UK
They need a shortcut on the home screen to turn wifi on and off....


Thanks,
like clicking on the wifi symbol, then choosing turn off from the menu (if that gets in the way then press and hold for a second to bring up the menu).

this is how it works on mac os x, and it seems fairly intuitive.

can anyone try that and see if it works?

I think the coms are still active when you turn ouyr iPhone "off". It's not really off unless you shut it down. Alternatively, put it in airline mode if you want to shut the coms down but keep using it (for music, movies etc.).
But the difference between WiFi and other com's is that in idle mode there is no need for it, its not like you won't receive calls or something, also WiFi is much more power hungry as it was never intended for mobile devices. As I said, apart from push email, why would anyone want WiFi to be active when the phone isn't?
 

mrJnC

macrumors regular
Jul 18, 2007
166
17
Actually WiFi drain is LESS than EDGE drain if email is checked while idle!

I know this flies in the face of conventional reasoning. But this claim is based upon the surprising result found in Anandtech's Battery Analysis.

They found that for the case of checking email while idle, there is a 25% improvement in battery life if WiFi was enabled!

I think it's still good advice to turn off the "ask to join active networks" option. But apparently polling for new data while idle is much more power efficient with WiFi compared to EDGE.

If mail is set to check manually, then there is no need for the iPhone to poll while idle. It would stand to reason that turning off WiFi while it is not being used would improve battery life.