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Apple Low Power Mode (iOS 9) test: does it work?

Apple’s iOS 9 sports a brand new Low Power Mode, which promises extra hours of battery life when used on your iPhone. We tested it out to see if it really makes a difference over 24 hours.

Battery life has been a long-time source of heated debate for Apple fans, with some iPhone updates appearing to take a sledgehammer to a handset’s longevity. And while Android phones have come packing special low battery modes for as long as we remember, it’s only with iOS 9 that Apple finally acknowledges that iPhones could use a helping hand in the battery department.

What is Apple’s Low Power Mode in iOS 9?

If your iPhone’s set to keel over and you’re nowhere near a socket, you can head into the settings menu and go to the Battery option. There you’ll find the new Low Power Mode, which can be activated with just a quick tap.

With Low Power Mode activated, your wee battery icon in the top right turns yellow, just in case you forget it’s on. You’ll also notice that your wallpaper is now static and all of Apple’s snazzy animations have been axed. As well as these cosmetic changes, Low Power Mode also limits network activity. The likes of emails and apps won’t be synced automatically – you’ll have to do this manually instead, which is supposed to keep your phone going for longer in hibernation mode.

So does Apple Low Power Mode actually work?

First, this was a test using the iOS 9 beta, so the final feature may operate differently. We’ll be sure to re-evaluate once the final version of iOS 9 rolls out.

For our test, we charged the iPhone 6 Plus to 100% and then left it for 24 hours with only the occasional screen check to see what the battery level was. We then repeated the experiment, but this time turned on Low Power Mode. Both times the phone had a working SIM installed, while Bluetooth and Wi-Fi were activated.

The results were surprisingly good – the Low Power Mode definitely has a serious impact, although it still hasn’t completely fixed the problem of poor battery life.

Without Low Power Mode activated, the iPhone 6 Plus actually died before the day was up, lasting just 22 hours in all. We’re hoping that the short life is just a result of inefficient beta features – again, something we’ll fully test out with the official release.

Over 24 hours with Low Power Mode switched on, the battery still had 23% remaining with the same lack of use. Not exactly a stunning effort, but a clear improvement.

So, if your phone won’t even last a day right now, iOS 9 might be your knight in shining armour. In the meantime, here’s some quick tips to getting better battery life from your phone:

Read next: Hands-on Apple Maps iOS 9 review

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