Tech Talk #165–October 23rd, 2021
To conserve your battery, reduce your cellular data usage, and increase your privacy, here are settings to change on your iPhone.
Open Settings > Privacy > Tracking and turn off Allow Apps to Request to Track. Turning this off prevents apps from tracking your activity across different apps and using that information to target advertising for you. This screen also shows any apps that already have permission to track you and gives you the option to ask them not to. Facebook hates this feature, so of course, I like it.
While we’re here in Privacy, open Tracking Services, here are all the apps that can track your location using the GPS chip on your phone. It’s okay to set apps to While Using, but if you see any apps set to Always, change them to While Using. Using the GPS only while you’re using an app will save a bunch of your battery charge.
Still in Tracking Services, scroll to the bottom and open System Services. I recommend turning off everything except Emergency Call & SOS, Find My iPhone, and Networking and Wireless. If you travel a lot, you can leave Setting Time Zone checked and maybe Wi-Fi Calling too, if you travel internationally.
At the bottom of the list in System Services, click on Significant Locations. Save your battery by turning this off. You also have the option of clearing your history of significant locations on this screen.
Go back to System Services and scroll down to the Product Improvement section. Turn everything off.
Go back to Privacy Settings, scroll to the bottom, and open Analytics & Improvements. Turning these off prevents sharing your information with developers and Apple, saves your battery, and less of your cellular data.
Go back to Privacy Settings and click on Apple Advertising and turn off Personalized ads. Notice that Apple says turning this off doesn’t mean you won’t get fewer ads, but it might. Companies use the information you share with the apps on your phone to target ads for you. Sharing less information might mean fewer ads.
Go back to Privacy Settings and click on Research Sensor & Usage Data. Turn this off to save some battery and possibly cellular data. This setting works with the Analytics & Improvements settings above.
For the iOS 15 users out there, go back to the main Settings page, scroll down and click to open Mail. Then, click on Privacy Protection in the Messages section and ensure the Protect Mail Activity switch is on. It should be on by default, but make sure it is.
Go back to Mail, click on Accounts and Fetch New Data. Set your accounts to Fetch to keep your phone from constantly checking to see if there’s any new mail. Fetch can be a big battery saver and save on your cellular data use, too. Setting your fetch time for 30 minutes works great for most people. Any time you open an email app, it goes out and gets your new messages anyway, so go crazy and set Fetch for hourly.
If you have an iPhone 12 or 13, your phone has 5G cellular network capability, and there’s a setting just for you. Go back to Settings, click on your name at the top of the screen, click on iCloud, then iCloud Backup, turn off Back Up Over Cellular to save a bunch more of your battery and cellular data.
Go back to the main Settings page and click on Cellular. Then, scroll to the bottom and turn off the switch next to iCloud Drive to keep iCloud from using your cellular data to keep documents and pictures synced with your iCloud account. Then, when you get back on a Wi-Fi connection, iCloud Drive will do its thing as always.
Finally, go back to the main Settings page and scroll down to Photos. Next, scroll down to Cellular Data and turn it off to prevent your phone from using cellular data to sync your photos. Your phone will sync once it connects to Wi-Fi.
Don’t worry, Android users; your settings are in the next issue.
What a concept
I’m tired of having to write “Sent from my iPhone” at the end of all my emails. Maybe I should just get an iPhone.
Do you have a computer or technology question? Greg Cunningham has been providing Tehachapi with on-site PC and network services since 2007. Email Greg at email@example.com.