It’s two o’clock in the afternoon, and your iPhone’s battery is already heading towards the red zone. What do you do?
Must read: iOS 12.1: Tips and tricks to help you get the most from your iPhone or iPad
There are no end of “tips and tricks” out there for making your iPhone battery last longer. I’ve seen them all. Bit more importantly, I’ve also tested them all (well, OK, not some of the really crazy ones like wrapping your iPhone in tinfoil, but most of them), and found that most of them do little to improve your battery’s lifespan, and many compromise your iPhone’s features so badly as to make is pretty much unusable.
So, after a lot of testing, and spending a lot of time running my iPhone’s battery flat, I’ve come up the with two best ways of making your iPhone battery last all day. And the nice thing is that both of these methods and quick and simple, and don’t involve making huge changes to iOS.
The first one the simplest one, but also the most effective, and that is to switch on Low Power Mode.
As the name suggests, activating this setting puts your device into low power mode. And it really does work, giving you about three hours of extra battery life. If you are worried about your battery not making it through the day, this is the setting to activate.
However, it achieves this by turning off or reducing mail fetch, background app refresh, automatic downloads, and some visual effects.
Here’s a list of what Low Power Mode reduces or affects in order to increase battery life:
- Email fetch
- “Hey Siri”
- Background app refresh
- Automatic downloads
- Some visual effects
- Auto-Lock (defaults to 30 seconds)
- iCloud Photo Library (temporarily paused)
iOS pops up a notification offering to turn on Low Power Mode when your battery goes below 20 and 10 percent, and will automatically switch it off when the device is charged back up to 80 percent.
You can also turn this on manually, either from the Control Center panel, or from Settings > Battery.
One thing that I do if I know I have a long day ahead of me away from a charger is to switch over to Low Power Mode as soon as I start my day. I find that this gives me the longest possible battery life.
The other thing I find that dramatically improves battery life is turning down the screen brightness. OK, don’t go bananas with this one and turn it down to the point where the screen is unreadable, but knocking it down when you are indoors or not in bright sunlight really makes a huge difference to how long your battery will last.
You can either drop the brightness from Settings > Display & Brightness or from the Control Center screen.
Bonus tip: I think that life’s too short to worry about my iPhone’s battery life, which is why I carry around with me a portable battery power bank. These days, power packs are so small ( here’s the Anker PowerCore 5000 that’s marketed as being “lipstick sized”) that you can pop them in a pocket and not think about them, and yet they pack enough of a punch to add hours to your iPhone’s battery life.
What I do these days is carry a power bank with me, and if I think that’s not going to be enough to get me through the day I activate Low Power Mode. Fiddling with other iPhone’s settings (such as notifications and messing with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) in order to try to get a bit more battery life is, in my opinion, tedious and there’s a risk that I’ll forget to undo the settings later, so from now on I won’t be doing it.
Fortnite’s mystery ‘superstar’ virtual music tour kicks off next week – TechCrunch
Epic Games is teasing the biggest in-game event since Travis Scott psychedelically stomped through Fortnite’s virtual meadows.
The mysterious new event, which Fortnite-maker Epic is calling the “Rift Tour,” will kick off on Friday, August 6 and run through Sunday, August 8. In the teaser announcement, Epic invites players to “take a musical journey into magical new realities where Fortnite and a record-breaking superstar collide.”
In-game events building up to the mystery show series will run from July 29 through August 8, so players can hop into Fortnite to check out new Rift Tour-themed quests and rewards now. The cotton-candy-colored event will offer a custom loading screen and a fluffy cloud kitty emoticon, among other digital prizes.
The Rift Tour isn’t a one-and-done event. Like the Travis Scott event, Fortnite will host five different show times across three days to make it easier for players to catch. Epic says they’ll have more details to share on Monday, August 2, so Fortnite players will have to wait for more hints or an official announcement about who’s performing.
So … who’s performing? So far, all signs point to Ariana Grande. Leakers have been saying as much for more than a week, and the documents revealed through Epic’s court battle with Apple also detailed plans for in-game events with both Grande and Lady Gaga.
At Forbes, Paul Tassi also connected the dots on how recent leaks point to Grande, including some visual themes from her music videos and a reference to her pet pig Piggy Smalls.
Since Epic is calling its latest virtual event a tour, that suggests Grande won’t be alone, if she is indeed the mystery superstar. A Lady Gaga appearance could also be in the cards, since Epic apparently had plans for Gaga to appear in a December 2020 concert that never materialized. Kanye West is also releasing his newest album on August 6, but it seems less likely that Epic would be willing to partner with West given his myriad recent controversies. And “Donda,” West’s latest album, was originally scheduled for a different date before being delayed.
Whoever it winds up being, we’ll likely know more on Monday. Even if you’re not a Grande fan or a regular gamer, Fortnite’s in-game concerts are some of the most creative and visually exciting virtual events to date.
Everyone should fall through the metaverse with their friends while a skyscraper-sized virtual rapper shoots neon lightning bolts at least once.
Why companies and brands need to tune in – TechCrunch
What comes to mind when you think of livestreaming? In the U.S., most people would name their favorite celebrity leading a Q&A on Instagram or a gamer doing a speedrun on Twitch.
In China, it’s shopping, streamed live.
Livestream e-commerce has taken off in China in the last few years and is expected to yield more than $60 billion this year. In 2019, 37% of online shoppers in China (a cool 265 million people) made purchases on livestreams — and that was well before quarantine. In 2020, it’s estimated to have reached around 560 million people.
During Taobao’s annual Single’s Day Global Shopping Festival in 2020 (China’s Black Friday), livestreams accounted for $6 billion in sales — nearly doubled from a year earlier.
Starting to see a trend? The big U.S. companies have noticed, and they’re jumping on the bandwagon faster than you can say, “Swipe up to buy now!”
Last December, Walmart livestreamed shopping events on TikTok. Amazon released a live platform where influencers promote items and chat with customers. Instagram launched a Shop feature that encourages users to browse and buy within the app. Facebook also kicked off Live Shopping Fridays for the beauty and fashion categories.
“It’s an entertaining way for shops to tell the story behind their products. It brings buyers closer than ever to their favorite creators and allows them to have a voice in the conversation.”
Startups are growing fast to keep up with the heavy hitters — PopShop.Live raised $20 million to let people buy everything from books and toys to jewelry from sellers who livestream their offerings, and Whatnot raised a $50 million Series B, largely to expand its livestream commerce infrastructure. There’s also a burgeoning category of SaaS tools such as Bambuser, which is working with brands like Klarna to test native livestream shopping directly within branded apps.
At this pace, retailers will all welcome livestream commerce teams like they have influencer partnerships in recent years. It’ll just be part of the digital equation to stay competitive and relevant in the future of marketplaces and e-commerce.
From B.C. to 5G: The evolution of shopping
What is old is new again. Your grandparents spent years watching QVC because it balanced the experience of speaking with an associate with the convenience of their retirement community’s TV room. Livestream is today’s version of “shoptainment,” where hosts showcase products dynamically, interact with their audiences and build urgency with short-term offers, giveaways and limited-edition items.
Now, with livestream commerce, hosts can form deeper customer connections and answer questions in real time. It’s a new standard of communication that holds a longstanding truth from Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar to smartphones: People shop to kill time and are more likely to buy when they feel connected with a salesperson.
Twitter shuttering NY, SF offices in response to new CDC guidelines – TechCrunch
Just two weeks after reopening its New York and San Francisco offices, social media giant Twitter said Wednesday that it will be closing those offices “immediately.”
The decision came “after careful consideration of the CDC’s updated guidelines, and in light of current conditions,” a spokesperson said.
“Twitter has made the decision to close our opened offices in New York and San Francisco as well as pause future office reopenings, effective immediately. We’re continuing to closely monitor local conditions and make necessary changes that prioritize the health and safety of our Tweeps,” the spokesperson added.
The company initially just reopened those offices on July 12. It declined to reveal headcount per office.
The CDC this week recommended that fully vaccinated people begin wearing masks indoors again in places with high Covid transmission rates amid concerns about the highly contagious Delta variant.
Earlier today, TechCrunch’s Brian Heater reported that Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that the company will require employees to be vaccinated before returning to work on-site. It was part of a larger letter sent to Google/Alphabet staff that also noted the company will be extending its work-from-home policy through October 18, as the COVID-19 delta variant continues to sweep through the global population.
In a message to TechCrunch, Facebook’s VP of People, Lori Goler, confirmed a similar policy for the social media behemoth.
Amazon also responded to TechCrunch’s inquiry on the matter, noting, “We strongly encourage Amazon employees and contractors to be vaccinated as soon as COVID-19 vaccines are available to them.”
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