Newbie iphone wifi question


macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 30, 2009
Is using wifi on my iphone 4S while at home increase the speed in which I receive emails? Or should I only use it when browsing the web and downloading apps. BTW, I'm with Sprint, so you all probably know why I would use wifi. But my question is mainly about the emails, trying to save battery life here.


macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 30, 2009
I use wifi all the time on my phone at home. You are doing the right things!
What I mean, if I'm not surfing the web or downloading apps, wouldn't it save battery to turn it off instead? Is the wifi correlated to how fast I get my gmail, or does that work thru the cell signal?


macrumors 68040
Apr 20, 2009
Leave everything on. Turning off wifi will force it to go to 3G for your mail which is slower and will use more battery life.

What's the concern? The battery lasts all day anyway, doesn't it?


macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

The way I understood it was that wifi will sleep after x amount of time then the push comes over 3G wifi wakes and downloads the message. If 3G is off the wifi polls for push notifications.

If you turn wifi off you will save battery life in theory.


macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
The above isn't entirely true. If you have wifi available, and are connected to it, battery life will be longer than if you used 3G exclusively.

On the other hand, if you don't have wifi available, then it makes sense to turn wifi off to conserve power. Searching for wifi that isn't there takes more energy than using already-connected wifi.

Wifi connected to home broadband will almost always be faster than Sprint 3G. Unless that wifi is running off a really low-speed level DSL connection or something.


macrumors member
Jan 7, 2012
Anytime I am conserving battery life I turn WiFi off. WiFi and screen brightness are the two biggest battery drainers IMO. WiFi will pull your email in faster as well as webpages in Safari. 3G is almost always slower unless you have REALLY slow broadband internet (or dial up or something along those lines).


macrumors regular
Sep 14, 2009
You don't need to worry about it. If it is running on battery power, iOS turns off Wi-Fi automatically when the phone goes to sleep. If it is plugged in to external power, it will keep Wi-Fi on all the time. When the phone is asleep, it makes sense to only keep the bare minimum number of radios awake (aka the cellular radio). When you're actively using the phone, Wi-Fi is more battery-efficient (per byte) than 3G. So iOS is doing the right thing without you having to worry about it.
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