Five Tip Friday ~ Making your alarm wake you, and what Background App Refresh means and how to control it

ChncButs1/  Sleeping through your iPhone’s alarm? Sometimes the alarm tone is so quiet you can sleep right through it even if your iPhone’s speaker was cranked pretty high, but maybe you forgot that earlier , you turned the volume down before playing some podcasts. When you pressed the “volume down” button on your iPhone (or iPad), it turns down the volume for everything, including alert tones.
So open Settings, choose Sounds and scroll down to the Ringers and Alerts heading. See the Change with Buttons setting? Toggle it to ‘off’. Now make sure the volume slider above the ‘Change with Buttons’ setting is set high enough to wake you up in the morning.


2/ Controlling Background App Refresh — Background App Refresh is a feature introduced with iOS 7 that let third-party apps go out and pull new messages, headlines, status updates, and more from the Internet, even while they’re not actively running on your screen. Apps busily refreshing themselves can put a dent in the battery life of your iPhone or iPad, particularly if you’re not keeping an eye on which apps are doing the refreshing. Facebook and Twitter, for example, can silently fetch status updates in the background; Gmail can grab new messages, CNN and New York Times will pull the latest headlines, and Pocket saves articles you’ve bookmarked on the web, all whether they’re active on your handset’s screen or not. You can see which apps are using this feature under Settings>General>Background App Refresh. If you see any apps that you don’t want refreshing themselves in the background, flip the appropriate switch to the “off” position. News apps, for example (NZ Herald, Guardian, Independent etc) may as well only refresh when you open them – why have them chugging away loading headlines you may not necessarily read as you have no time? They will refresh when you load the apps up anyway.
Tap Settings>General>Background App Refresh, then scroll down the list of apps. If you see anything that you don’t want refreshing itself in the background, or even apps you’ve forgotten you even installed, go ahead and flip the appropriate switch to ‘off’.

3/ See which background-refreshing apps are drawing the most battery power — Apps that refresh themselves in the background can put a strain on your iPhone’s or iPad’s battery. Tap Settings>Battery, then scroll down to the Battery Usage section. Tap the Last 24 Hours tab for a snapshot of your recent battery usage, or Last 7 Days for a longer-term look at your device’s battery use.
Tap the little clock icon next to the two tabs for details on how long your various iOS features and apps have been whirring away in the background.
timepowDon’t forget to tap the little clock icon next to the two tabs (shown left) for details on how long your various iOS features and apps have been on the screen — and more interestingly, how long your apps have been whirring away in the background.
If you see any apps spending a surprising amount of time running in the background, consider cutting off their privileges on the Background Refresh settings screen.

4/ Turn off background activity for all your third-party iPhone and iPad apps — If you’d rather not worry about whether your iOS apps are playing fast and loose with the background-refresh feature, you can always shut off the ability altogether. Just flip the switch to shut off iOS’s Background App Refresh feature altogether.
Tap Settings>General>Background App Refresh, then switch the main “Background App Refresh” to the “Off” position. If you’ve already customised which apps can refresh themselves and which can’t, don’t worry: toggling the top Background App Refresh switch does not erase your previous settings. Note that turning off iOS’s background-refresh feature won’t keep iOS’s core apps — namely, Apple Mail — from checking for updates in the background. For that, you’ll need to enable another setting…

5/ Keep Mail from checking for messages in the background — Even though it doesn’t appear in the background-refresh list, the iOS Mail app burns up a fair amount of power and data as it periodically checks for messages. But there are a couple of ways to curb or halt Mail’s background activity — a temporary way and a more permanent one.
The latest version of iOS adds an aptly named feature that puts your iPhone or iPad in a low-power mode when your device’s battery meter dips into the red. Low Power Mode will temporarily stop the Mail app from checking for new messages. With Low Power Mode switched on, your iOS device turns off many of its visual bells and whistles; for example, home-screen icons no longer seem to float above your wallpaper, and your screen will dim more quickly than it usually does.
Low Power Mode will also temporarily stop the Mail app from checking for new messages. You’ll still be able to check for new mail manually, but Mail won’t automatically check your accounts.
To turn on Low Power Mode (which must be done manually), tap General>Battery, then flip on Low Power Mode switch.
To permanently change how often Mail checks for messages, tap Settings>Mail, Contacts, Calendars Fetch New Data, scroll down to the Fetch section, then pick an option. The less often Mail checks for new messages, the more battery power you’ll save. Turning off Push data for Mail makes a difference, too, but your email messages won’t arrive constantly, of course.