Computer giants such as Apple, Google and Microsoft always love to tell you that upgrading to a new operating system for their computers, tablets or smartphones will always result in a better experience.
But we all know that's usually far from the truth. Sure, you may get cool new features or you'll be able to run the latest software because your device is up to date. But for many, there also are a host of problems that come with a new upgrade. Oftentimes, your computer or device may run slower or suddenly become buggy, for example.
So far, I haven't heard a lot of complaints that upgrading an iPhone or iPad to the new iOS 7 operating system has done that. For me at least, it's just as stable as before and maybe just a tad slower on my third-generation iPad.
But many people have complained to me about a different problem after upgrading iOS 7 is a battery sucker. They say there is a significant difference in the phone's battery life.
I think that's largely because after you upgrade to iOS7, there are some features turned on by default that take a lot more battery power. Here's a guide of what you can do to help minimize the battery drain from iOS 7.
App refresh • iOS 7 has a new feature called Background App Refresh that might be the biggest culprit for many. This is a feature that will automatically refresh or update the content of your apps such as the information on your weather or stocks app in the background. By turning it off, you will tell your phone or iPad to only update the news or information for apps when you first turn them on. You may wait an extra second after you launch an app for it to update, but it's a small price to pay for more battery life.
To turn it off, go to settings, General, Background App Refresh, and then turn off the switch.
App updates • Another new feature is iOS 7's ability to automatically update apps to their latest versions. Doing so takes battery power because it's updating those apps in the background automatically. By turning it off, you save battery life, but that also means you will have to occasionally check the iTunes App Store on your device to see if there are any new updates to your apps and manually download and install them yourself.
Go to settings, iTunes & App Store, and then switch off Updates under the Automatic Downloads section. You also can switch off all of the other automatic downloads for music, apps and books, to make sure they aren't working in the background either.
Bluetooth • I've noticed that a number of people had their Bluetooth receiver turned on when they don't use a Bluetooth device (such as a Bluetooth headset or a Bluetooth stereo system). That's a big battery drain, especially if you have an older model of the iPhone or iPad that uses the older version of Bluetooth (the newer Bluetooth 4.0 is better on battery life).
So if you don't use Bluetooth, turn it off. Go to settings, Bluetooth, and then switch it off.
Wallpaper • There are two new features in iOS 7 that are nice to look at but are bigger battery drains. They are the new parallax 3D view for the homescreen and new animated wallpaper.
The parallax view is a faux 3D effect that adds depth between the phone's wallpaper and the icons on the screen. It looks nice, but it takes up precious battery power. The setting is also in a weird place and kind of hard to find. Go to settings, General, Accessibility, and then switch on Reduce Motion which turns off the home screen's parallax view.
The new OS also supports animated wallpaper like the Android operating system. Again, it's pretty but a drain on the battery. By default, it's off, but if you have it on, go to settings, Wallpapers & Brightness, Choose Wallpaper, and then pick a still for your wallpaper instead of a dynamic one.
Notification Center • Notification Center is the settings for all of your phone's notifications, for example when you get a text. But you don't need to be automatically notified about everything your phone does, do you?
Go to settings and then Notification Center and start turning off notifications on the lock screen and for other apps that you don't need to be notified on.
WiFi searching • When your WiFi antenna is on, it is using power even if you are not connected to the Internet. You can go to settings, Wi-Fi, and then switch off the WiFi antenna. If you don't want to do that, you should at least turn off the Ask to Join Networks switch at the bottom. That means the phone won't constantly search for a WiFi network and automatically connect to one wherever you are, which takes battery power.
If you turn off the WiFi switch, there is an easy way to turn it back on with iOS 7: Just swipe up from the bottom of any screen to call up Control Center, which is all of the phone's important settings. One of them is the WiFi switch so you can have fast and easy access to it.
Location Services • Finally, you can turn off location services, or the GPS function, for the whole phone or for certain apps. For example, the CNN app uses location services to give you weather information based on your current location. But maybe that's not important to you. Turn it off and other apps that use the GPS by going to settings, Privacy, and then Location Services to turn the whole thing off or just for the apps you don't want to use the GPS receiver. Be aware, however, that navigation apps such as Google Maps or Waze require location services to work, so don't switch those off if you use them a lot.
If you have a tech question for Vince, email him at email@example.com, and he'll try to answer it for his column in The Salt Lake Tribune or on its website. For an archive of past columns, go to www.sltrib.com/Topics/ohmytech.