Aug 19, 2013 at 4:39 pm #1306719
In the next month I'd like to update the iPhone for Backpacking article. If you use an iPhone while backpacking, I'd like your contributions. If you haven't read the article, and you use an iPhone while on the trail, please read the article first :) [Also note that the article comes up as the second and third hit if you google iphone backpacking. I'm trying to continue to provide a useful service to backpackers and keep it up to date.]
I am in the process of clarifying the differences between iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 (ATT models) with respect to battery drain. The differences between iPhone 4 and 5 are ENORMOUS and all iPhone users need to be aware of them. If you are geeky and inclined to try to help, please read my geek thread on the topic.
Once I've finished the research, I'll update the main article and try to disseminate the information. In the meantime, here is a summary of what I believe to be true about the iPhone 5:
SIM Locked. When there is no ATT signal, the SIM is locked, and Airplane mode is OFF, the iPhone 5 battery drain is 10% per hour. Egregious, unbelievable, horrible, terrible. In iPhone-4 locking the SIM was the best solution for backpacking (1-2% drain per day). In iPhone-5 it is completely unusable. This drain is so bad that the SIM Lock feature is unusable even for the average non-hiking user if they are out of cell signal range.
SIM Removed. When there is no ATT signal, the SIM is removed, and Airplane mode is OFF, the iPhone-5 battery drain is ~8% per hour. Not quite as bad as the SIM-Locked state, but completely unusable. In iPhone-4, removing the SIM worked as well as locking the SIM.
SIM Unlocked. The drain depends on various factors:
- Airplane Mode = OFF and ATT signal present: ~8% drain per day
- Airplane Mode = OFF and ATT signal absent (this is the normal state for backcountry hiking): ~22% drain per day (compared to 1-2% per day for iPhone 4)
- Airplane Mode = ON and ATT signal present: ~4% drain per day
- Airplane Mode = ON and ATT signal absent: ~4% drain per day
iPhone Apps for Mapping
Since I first wrote the article two years ago, Gaia GPS has emerged as the leading solution for iPhone map apps for hikers, at least for the US and Canada. I use Maplets and Gaia GPS now almost exclusively in the US. I have, however, not gone back and reevaluated the dozens/hundreds of other mapping apps that are out there, so it's possible I'm missing a new app or an app that has had significant improvement since I studied them in 2011.
I could use your help here: Do you know of a map app that, at least for some particular function, is significantly better than Gaia GPS? If you have suggestions please try to be specific about why some other app is better than Gaia GPS as a primary tool, or why it's a good secondary tool to use in conjuction with Gaia. Here are some examples:
- I still use Topo Maps for three specific tasks: searching for a geographical feature and showing it on the map; the distance tool; and the "what can I see from here" feature. However, the ability to import and export tracks and waypoints and the ability to switch between different map types makes Topo Maps a poor choice for a primary mapping app.
- In Scotland this past spring we used ViewRanger. Gaia does not offer the OS maps, which are essential for hikes in the UK. ViewRanger worked very well for us, and I was pleased with it. However, it does not offer satellite imagery, and switching between one map type and another map type (e.g. OS to OpenCycleMap) is too complicated. I would not consider using it for US/Canada trips, but it is a fine choice for UK trips (in conjuction with Gaia for Satellite imagery and OpenCycleMaps)
- I use National Park Maps HD (from National Geographic) when hiking in one of the parks it includes, because the clarity of trials in their Trails Illustrated Maps is excellent. Again, I still use Gaia GPS as my primary tool, because of robust import/export of tracks and waypoints and because Gaia gives me access to a bigger range of map types.
- Maplets is a brilliant app for maps published by park agencies such as state and county parks. If there is a park map available, I always take that map in Maplets, in addition to using Gaia.
Additional Apps for Backpacking
I'd like to add a section to the article that lists useful non-map apps for backpackers. I'm all ears here, so please chime in with additions, or replacements if you've got an app that does the same job but better. Here's my list:
- Wiki Offline — A Wikipedia Experience: The entire text of the wiki database, avaliable offline :) No tables or images though, that would make it too big to fit.
- Autostitch Panorama: Easily build panoramic images. The app saves all the components of the image, so you can edit and restitch when you are home. In the field, you can set the app to not do any stitching (to save battery) and then at home you can stitch at the highest quality and resolution. Pano is a simpler app, but the end result is not as good.
- Photosynth: to build spherical panoramas.
- Snapseed: for post processing of photographs.
- HalfMile PCT: Freakin Brilliant. If you're thinking about hiking any section of the Pacific Crest Trail (including the JMT), take a look at this (free) app. It's my new gold standard for an app design that does exactly one thing and does it so perfectly that it makes my heart skip a beat.
- PCTHYOH: Like HalfMmile's app, this one is only relevant to Pacific Crest Trail, but it is a must-have resource if you're hiking any section of that trail.
- Shralp Tide and Shralp Tide 2: Only useful if you're on a coastal hike. There are many tide apps out there, I've been happy with these so I haven't looked at others.
- Sol: Sun Clock – Your daylight tool…: Based on date and location, it lists astronomical, nautical, civil twighlight in addition to sunrise and sunset. And lets me set an alarm based on those events. So I can set an alarm for 15 minutes before civil twilight and not have to adjust the alarm as the season changes.
- Storyboarder Postcard Collage: makes it easy to send postcards to my dad while I'm out travelling. (Requires data connection, so not for backcountry use.)
- RiverGuide for Kayakers: Stream flow data for the US. Is there a better option or is this the best app for viewing the real time streamflows? (Requires data connection, so not for backcountry use.)
- The Sibley eGuide to the Birds of North America: IMO The best of many north american bird apps, although other people have found iBird to suit them better.
- StarMap: guide to stars.
- Skitch: I use it in the field to markup photos in case I want to make notes about something.
- Evernote (with subscription): Syncs notes across all desktop and portable devices.(/li)
- Dropbox: Can't live without it, in the backcountry and at home. Syncs files between my devices, and save those files for offline use. For example, I store my gpx files in dropbox so I can import them into Gaia while I'm away from home. I also use it to store my trip reference documents, and my 1Password file. Jim and I can share folders so we can both add things that we want to sync to the phone to have while on our hike.
- 1Password: Why did it take me so long to start using a real password storage solution? If you're still struggling to keep track of passwords, then bite the bullet and start using 1Password! This isn't really about backpacking, but if you're away from home and you lose your wallet it's very helpful to have all your account information accessible (I learned the hard way).
- US Fires: for getting information about current US wildfires. This one is useful, is there a better solution out there? (Requires data connection, so not for backcountry use.)
- Pocket (Formerly Read It Later): Save web pages for offline reading. Syncs across devices, so at my desktop computer I can save reference material that I want to have on the trail, sync to my iPhone, and then I have offline access to those web pages.
- Kindle: For viewing reference material, particularly pdf files, and for reading books.
- Voice Memo (the native iPhone app: for creating audio journals.
- Swift Player: to listen to audiobooks.
- Guitar! by Smule: for playing around with chord progressions and singing to myself at night!
- Geocaching: the hobby is a great way to add another layer of fun to getting outdoors.
Thanks a TON to everybody for your help!
AmyL, Palo Alto
P.S. Please limit comments on this thread to helpful things for others who have already chosen to use an iPhone while backpacking. There are already other threads about Android apps, about why one shouldn't use electronics while hiking, about the purity of paper maps, about the advantages of a Garmin or an Android over an iPhone, and skeptical questions about whether iPhone GPS really works when out of cell signal range.
P.P.S. I'm not planning to tackle recharge solutions, so if you've got passion about solar panels and backup battery chargers, please do those in a different thread too (I'm interested in the topic, but don't have the bandwidth to tackle it for the main article).
P.P.P.S: updated content of this post 2100 PDT Aug 19 with additions of Photosyntgh, StarMap, Voice Memo, AutoStitch Panorama, Guitar! by Smule, Snapseed. Thanks to sdparks, AttaboyBrad, and oiboyroi for the suggestions.Aug 19, 2013 at 4:59 pm #2016681
I always bring Gaia, Maplets, and MotionX map layers as well to compare against, but I invariably return to AccuTerra, even a couple years after I did my own article on the subject a few weeks before yours was released. I don't think another app has been on my phone (over 3 different generations of phone, now) as long.
That said, I think all the apps out there remain pretty bad from a UI standpoint. I've been through more than a dozen and they all offer pretty much the same stagnant map data wrapped in various abominations of design. Curious to see what you think has changed.
What layers are you using in Gaia? The several I've tried recently don't even have trail labels for well established trails. AccuTerra (Neotreks on iOS) has trails where other apps have none, and they're all labeled.
You should also probably postpone publishing until you've tested with iOS 7, given how few people will be using iOS 6 in a few months. Being able to switch airplane mode on and off quickly through Control Center is a game changer (and about darn time we got that basic functionality).
I would anticipate battery performance to change as well. It was pretty atrocious during the early betas on my iPhone 5 but has gotten much better.
I use autostitch for any pano work I can't get done with the built in app, which is little. Snapseed for post processing. Sometimes I press an 8x monocular to the lens if I want to get close to some wildlife. Got some great shots of bison this way.
Swift player is great for audiobooks, which are my usual trail companion.
I journal with the voice memo app while looking over the photos of the day.
Smule's Guitar app is great for playing around with chord progressions and singing to myself in my hammock.Aug 19, 2013 at 5:19 pm #2016690
Stephen ParksBPL Member
"Locate" is one app that I think is worth your consideration. It is a GPS app, but not a mapping app. It makes the iPhone a great supplement to a paper map and compass. It will give you your local declination, your position and elevation, and your bearing and distance to a waypoint. You can set your location as a waypoint or create waypoints by entering coordinates. That's about it, but if you have a paper map and compass, that's a good deal. If you can't figure out your location on the map, Locate can tell you where you are. Even if you are off map or without map, Locate can tell you "that way" to known coordinates or a saved waypoint. I have not evaluated it enough to be able to comment on battery usage etc, but it should be capable of relatively low consumption.
I use Photosynth (a Microsoft product I don't hate!) for spherical panoramas, but haven't tried anything else.
-StephenAug 19, 2013 at 6:50 pm #2016729
@oiboyroiLocale: South West US
I recommend an app called StarMap which is great for stargazing. It was kinda pricey though.Aug 19, 2013 at 9:19 pm #2016781
I updated content of the original post with additions of Photosyntgh, StarMap, Voice Memo, AutoStitch Panorama, Guitar! by Smule, Snapseed. Thanks to sdparks, AttaboyBrad, and oiboyroi for the suggestions.
sdparks — I'll take a look at Locate.
AttaboyBrad — Thanks for poking me about AccuTerra. I was dismayed by it when I originally evaluated apps because the one region I looked at, completely at random, had the wrong label on a major peak, and that seemed so wrong to me that I didn't get past it. Clearly I should evaluate again. I'll look at three places that are interesting to me right at this moment (my friend Manfred is on the JMT, my friend Alan is in the Wind Rivers, and my friend Gary is in Spain) and I'll grab screen captures of the maps provided by AccuTerra and those provided by Gaia — that will be a good selection to look at. And I won't be cherry-picking locations — I'll just look at the actual locations of three friends!
Please keep making suggestions. AmyAug 19, 2013 at 11:35 pm #2016805
I'm comparing the maps provided by Gaia GPS with the maps provided by NeoTreks GPS (formerly AccuTerra), as AttaboyBrad suggested. For my purposes the various map sources available via Gaia are far more useful than the AccuTerra map. But it varies for each user based on destination and desired maps. Gaia has a pretty dang good selection of maps, and I'm not thinking of an place where the combo of Gaia and Maplets would not be better than NeoTreks. Suggestions?
So as not to be cherry picking one region over another, I am looking at the trip that my friend Alan is currently taking, and which I am following via his SPOT dots. Here is the trip itinerary: http://caltopo.com/map?id=225O
From that CalTopo site, I exported the kml file. And then I imported that file into both Gaia GPS and NeoTreks. When I import into NeoTreks I only got a single four mile segment. As far as I can tell it dropped all the other segments, and it didn't import any of the waypoints. I was going to grab screen captures of the place where Alan is camped as I write this, but instead I'll grab an image from a place where NeoTreks has part of his route – the area around waypoint HR-14, including Upper Golden Lake.
Here's the NeoTreks image. The blue line is the imported route segment. Since the waypoints didn't import HR-14 is not shown.
And here are the Gaia GPS images of all the map sources which I would carry on that route. First, the USGS Topo layer.
Then I'd carry the USFS Topo layer. This version of the topo map does not include the green shading that indicates vegetation (which is on the USGS layer), which means it's clearer in some locations, but lacking information that is sometimes useful (if you want to camp at tree line, for instance). The USFS layer shows the USFS labels for all forest service roads, which is sometimes useful, although not in this case.
I'd carry the Elevation Shading Layer, which I can superimpose on another map to give it a 3D look. In this image, I've set the shading at about 50% intensity, but I can vary it to suit me.
And I'd carry several different satellite imagery sources, because for any given location one source is often better than another. The sources available via Gaia are: ESRI World Imagery, Google World Imagery, USGS Aerial, and MapQuest Imagery. Here are two of them, showing why I often carry more than one.
And finally, I'd carry a USGS Historic layer. Occasionally this is useful (if you're trying to follow the now abandoned Cartridge Pass or Junction Pass trails, for example), but usually I carry it just because I'm amazed that very tough men were able to build reasonably accurate maps of remote mountain areas 100 years ago, using good old fashioned surveying equipment.
Gaia has a great feature "Download Maps for Track". I can import my route plan, and then, with a single command, download all the maps needed for that track. This is especially useful for long linear routes, like the HRP or Vermont's Long Trail. So grabbing 6 different map sources for a route like Alan's is as easy as importing the kml file and then "Download Maps for Track" for that file. With the base Gaia product, you have to repeat the Download Maps for Track for each of the map layers. If you upgrade to "Gaia Green" you can get them all in one fell swoop.
And, although not relevant to the Wind River maps shown in all the images above, Gaia provides the NPS Overview maps, which are a nice layer to have along when hiking in certain destinations. For example:
Aug 20, 2013 at 7:47 am #2016860
Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
While not great I do use Gaia. It's the best GPS app I have used on the iPhone
-1 iTopoMaps… clunkly, scanned maps seem often misaligned
Wind Meter… I have found it to be surprisingly close to the speed measure by real instruments
WorldPeaks is kind of interesting
Delorme InReach SE (not really an app, though they have a so/so app called Earthmate). You can put the phone into airplane mode, turn on bluetooth, and get location updates which are usable by any app without killing the phone's battery.
None backpacking specific but used on trips:
evernote (with subscription so all notes are avail offline)
mag. light (magnifying glass)
–markAug 20, 2013 at 8:47 am #2016881
Michael RayBPL Member
You might contact Wired who should be finishing her CDT through hike in a couple weeks. She uses an iphone 5 to do her blog. Don't think she's a member here.Aug 20, 2013 at 11:39 am #2016943
Really nice to see the linear path import. Shame there's no way to produce the desired path on the device. What do you suggest for producing a prospective path you'd like to follow that can be imported to Gaia?
Can you confirm that there are no trail or mileage labels on any of the Gaia layers?
EDIT: Been a while since I did a deep dive on Gaia. The map blending is really impressive, and the distance grid will allow at least estimated distances. Not sure it's going to replace Accuterra for me, but it's earned another subscriber.
Accuterra has separate higher quality maps for many popular areas, and I think at least one of your subjects should be able to use them. Should be a fair test and I'll be curious to see your results.
You might also want to check out EveryTrail Pro. It's not better than Gaia for pure navigation, but it's a great way to find trips you might want to take including detailed directions, side routes, photos, etc. Basically a huge sortable collection of trip reports from a variety of sources (you can make your own as well).
Photosynth's spherical panos are fantastic for true 360 panos from summits. When the built in pano doesn't cut it (usually because I need a wider vertical angle) I use autostitch because it allows me to preserve the full resolution of the original shots, producing incredible final resolution.
Finally, I can't believe I forgot Geocaching. It's a great app and the hobby is a great way to add another layer of fun to getting outdoors.Aug 20, 2013 at 12:22 pm #2016957
David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Amy: thanks for the detailed info on the iPhone 5 battery issues. That may have saved me from making a big mistake.
Not a wilderness app, but we all use cars or public transit to GET to the trailhead. We just got back from Europe and Iceland, did some day hikes, some overnight BPing trips, and lots of driving on autobahns, country roads, and, especially navigating city streets. Friends who had just gotten back raved about MapsWithMe, the free version. They were so happy about it, I just sprung for the $4.99 version to avoid any ads. You download country or state maps while in wifi and then they are resident on the unit. Of course the maps are lovely on an iPad but still useable on an iPhone. I was very impressed by the level of detail. The country of Italy – the whole dang country – was on one map and yet zooming in would show the details of every roundabout, autostrada interchange, toll plaza, pedestrian street, bakery, store, and museum location with many building outlines detailed. And the details weren't generic intersections, but the precise size, angle, and orientation of the particular stretch of road. Again, I was impressed.
Previously with the the native map app or Google maps, I'd take screen captures of route maps and details at various magnifications while in wifi because 1) there were valleys and remote areas where I had no cell coverage and 2) I was trying to minimize international data roaming fees (ended up at 110 MB of cell data over 3 weeks in 7 countries, locating 7 different lodging locations, 4 different hikes and innumerable gelato stops).
Search functions were spotty. Pretty good in Italy and Germany, crap in Iceland (also true of google maps, BTW). But when the searches worked that too was off-line so it worked in mountain valleys, on the plane, and without data charges.
P.S. unlike many USA highway tunnels, the numerous and long tunnels in Switzerland and Italy all seemed to have repeaters in them because we would rarely lose cell coverage 1 km into a tunnel.Aug 20, 2013 at 12:30 pm #2016959
In the Google Maps app, typing "Ok Maps" into the search bar will cache all the maps for the area on the screen. Being vector based, they don't take up much space and contain all zoom levels.Aug 20, 2013 at 12:52 pm #2016967
That's a great google map tip. Do you know if it caches all zoom levels for the displayed area, or just the displayed zoom?Aug 20, 2013 at 12:56 pm #2016971
In Gaia, you can create a path from within the app. They added that feature about a year ago. When looking at the map, click the Flag icon on the right side, and choose "Create Route".
Although it's possible, I don't use Gaia to create my route plans. I use a combination of desktop tools that is certainly not for novices. I use BikeRouteToaster.com (which can build lines following trails in OpenCycleMap). I use Google Earth when satellite imagery is useful. I use CalTopo when I want to see a USGS map. I import from EveryTrail or trip reports or forum posts or any of many places where files are available. It really depends on the destination. For example, our next trip is the Long Trail in Vermont, and we found a file for that path somewhere on the web (don't remember where). If I used a PC instead of a Mac, I'd get TopoFusion and use that.
Then I use GPSBabel to convert between all the different formats. And I store all my pieces in Google Earth, where I can copy things and make folders.
As to which layers in Gaia show trail names, OpenStreetMap often has trail names (it depends on who added the trail data and whether they included a label, and when not available the labels could be added, wiki style). Gaia offers a couple different renderings of the OpenStreetMap data (OpenCycleMap, OpenStretMap, HikeBike.de, OpenHikingMap). None of the OpenStreetMap renderings will be as useful or attractive as a dedicated map such as a Trails Illustrated map. It's easy enough to look at the area that interests you by viewing it directly at the website. Here's a view of the trails around the Green Gulch Zen Center.
For local parks where there are lots of intersecting trails, I tend to use Maplets, since I like having the local agency map.
EveryTrail — Their collection of trail data is extensive, and we have used it to find bits of trail. The app, the last time I looked, was very buggy and not appealing to me. Personally, I like the OpenStreetMap model of acquiring trail data, because I can open a map and see what they've got, whereas with EveryTrail I have to click through to (sometimes dozens) of trip reports in order to figure out if the report contains bits that I need. I'd rather have one definitive source for a trail, rather than 50 trip reports, where each person took various side trips. But you're right that for the majority of users an easy to download single report, EveryTrail model, is a great option.
Gaia has the ability to import trails directly from sources like BAHiker.com, TrimbleOutdoors.com, SummitPost.com, LocalHikes.com, and I don't know what else. When on the map view, click the Layers button on the right, scroll down and near the bottom make sure Trails is checked. Then on the map you'll see icons for places where there are Trail downloads available. I haven't used the feature, and I don't know if the sources Gaia is drawing on are as extensive or useful as EveryTrail.
I'll download the other maps that AccuTerra offers for the Wind River Range to see what they look like. Is there a place online (like CalTopo.com or OpenStreetMap.org, where it's possible to just view the AccuTerra maps, or do I need to actually download them to the app? I'm in the process of downloading the Bridger National Forest map to AccuTerra and it's cranking away very slowly on my sluggish DSL connection – it's going to take over half an hour. After it finally finishes I'll download whatever else is on offer from within the app.
AmyAug 20, 2013 at 2:08 pm #2016984
"Zoom Levels" doesn't apply to vector maps the way it does to tile maps, but yes, you'll have every level of detail with the "OK Maps" trick.
To my knowledge, there's not an online portal for the Accuterra maps data.
Bikeroutetoaster is AWESOME. Hadn't seen that before.Aug 20, 2013 at 5:33 pm #2017030
@stingray4540Locale: South Bay
Are there any decent topos with the trail distance on them? That's all I really want to use a map for. I keep my phone off and turn it on when I want to know where I'm at. Look at where my blue marker is, then use that to reference my real map with distances on it, and figure out how far it is to a specific intersection or planned rest spot, or just to judge what my pace is like, and if I'm going to make my planned camp, or if I'll get there too early, etc.Aug 20, 2013 at 9:47 pm #2017154
I don't know of any country-wide maps that have trail distances on them. Many of the maps available through Maplets include distances for trail segments, but that just depends on which map you've got. For example, the Mid-Penninsula Open Space District maps show distances for trail segments, and they're all available via Maplets.
Alan uses some tool (I'm not sure which) to add one-mile-markers to his routes, so that when he imports the gpx/kml file into Gaia he has a waymark at each mile. But I believe the desktop software he used to do that is no longer supported. He's out in the mountains now so I can't check with him. Anybody know of a tool that will read a track or route in a gpx file and add waypoints at each mile? In the release notes for RideWithGPS, version 1.1.5: "Mile markers can now be overlayed on trips". I just played with RideWithGPS for the first time ever. I imported a 250 mile long track, and indeed I can have it display mile markers. But I didn't spend enough time to figure out if I can export it with the mile markers.
AmyAug 22, 2013 at 11:37 am #2017617
Ike JutkowitzBPL Member
@ikeLocale: Central Michigan
I recently used my iphone 5 (sprint) with Gaia on a 3 day trek in Alaska. Using sim lock, my battery levels went from 95% to 78% over that 3 day period. In addition to checking my location periodically, I did use the phone camera periodically as well. Not sure why you had such a bad experience with yours, but maybe it does not apply to all iphones or carriers.Aug 22, 2013 at 1:26 pm #2017669
Ike – I'm encouraged! Your post gives me hope that I can figure out what my disastrous drain is about (and AlanD who has the same bad drain when the SIM is locked). Would you be willing to take a look at my list of settings to see if you notice anything that you had set differently? Maybe it's simply a difference between Sprint and ATT?
Did you put the phone in AirplaneMode=ON between each use of Gaia? (That is the workaround I've been using since I got the iPhone 5)
I have run tests 8 different times now with the SIM locked, and every time that SIM is locked, Airplane Mode is OFF, and there's no signal I get 10% drain per hour.Aug 23, 2013 at 3:25 pm #2018038
Ike JutkowitzBPL Member
@ikeLocale: Central Michigan
I'm afraid I'm not going to be much help. I'm a map and compass guy, and everything I know about iphone usage for GPS I learned from your excellent article. I locked my sim, power cycled off twice (if I just turned it off and then back on, I still got texts), turned off cellular data, closed all other applications, and made sure gaia was set to only activate gps when I searched my location. Other than that, I left my settings as default.
IkeAug 23, 2013 at 3:44 pm #2018043
Do you have any "Notifications" turned on? If so, turn them off, could be part of the problem.
Also, do you have iCloud turned on? Turn all that off too.
Also check Automatic Downloads in the iTunes & App Stores setting. Turn off "Use Cellular Data" there.Aug 23, 2013 at 4:09 pm #2018051
Jeremy and AngelaBPL Member
@requiemLocale: Northern California
I locked my sim, power cycled off twice (if I just turned it off and then back on, I still got texts)
This is interesting; in theory a SIM lock should prevent any cellular data. I noticed a similar battery drain two weeks ago and had done the basic SIM lock along with disabling bluetooth and wifi, and killing any other apps.
On my iPhone 4, that would have been more than enough, but on the 5 I was seeing a few percentage points dropping off at each location check (~20 minutes maybe).Aug 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm #2018055
Do you have any "Notifications" turned on? If so, turn them off, could be part of the problem.
– All are off.
Also, do you have iCloud turned on? Turn all that off too.
– I have it set up, but it is set to iCloudBackup=OFF. Today, the apple genius suggested that I disconnect my account, just in case it's got a bug and is doing something even though it's set not to autosync.
Also check Automatic Downloads in the iTunes & App Stores setting. Turn off "Use Cellular Data" there.
– Automatic Downloads are OFF, and Use Cellular Data is also OFF (although not relevant since Automatic Downloads is already OFF.
I spent an hour at the Genius Bar today. He checked all my settings and I had already done everything on their list to preserve battery life. They offered one lead that didn't pan out. They gave me an inactivated SIM. We already knew that a Locked SIM and a Removed SIM, when there's no signal present, have egregious drain. They hoped that a valid SIM that had never been activated would stop trying to establish a connection. I've tested only for one hour with that dummy SIM, and lost 10% in that hour, just like in the Locked or Removed states. I'm bummed. I had a flicker of hope that we'd find a workaround solution.
I'll go back tomorrow to see my Apple guy with the bad news that the dummy SIM didn't solve the problem. He seemed genuinely interested in the data I was giving him. He had never had somebody come in with "battery drain problems" who had results from actual controlled tests and had isolated factors that make a difference. He has an iPhone 4S, which I've never tested, and he seemed motivated to run tests on his phone to see if it behaves like the iPhone 4 or the iPhone 5 — I hope he does it!
Right now, it's not looking good. The best I've gotten on an ATT iPhone 5 when no signal is present and Airplane Mode is OFF is a baseline drain of 22% per day. Compared to best case with iPhone 4 of 1-2% per day. Yuck.Aug 23, 2013 at 6:00 pm #2018076
The last bit of advice I could offer, if you haven't already done it, would be to hook it up to iTunes and restore iPhone, and then set up as a new phone instead of restoring from backup. This should force a new software install with whatever the latest software is. Don't put anything on it other than what the system installs and test it then. Then start loading programs and test as you go. Might help isolate what's causing the problem.Aug 23, 2013 at 6:33 pm #2018083
Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Power the phone off when you are not using it to check the map.
That is what I do in the RARE instances I take an iPhone.Aug 24, 2013 at 5:24 pm #2018293
Had my second meeting today with the Apple Genius.
It looks like the ATT phone is what it is. I'm doing one last ditch test, after doing a Device Firmware Update and before installing any apps or setting up any accounts. Neither Apple Genius nor I think it will help.
So far, it looks like the iPhone 5 with GSM and CDMA (Verizon and Sprint model) is much better than iPhone 5 ATT model. My brother is currently running controlled tests with his Verizon iPhone 5. Ironic since it was the reverse situation for iPhone 4, where ATT phone was great but Verizon phone was not.
I'll update the article when I've got a few hours to do the editing.
I really appreciate the input from folks about their battery drain experiences with different models.
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