So as mentioned in this canonical question and answer thread on iOS 9 features, “Low Power Mode” is a good thing. This is what iOS 9’s blurb on “Low Power Mode” explains it does when activated:

Low Power Mode temporarily reduces power consumption until you can fully charge your iPhone. When this is on, mail fetch, background app refresh, automatic downloads and some visual effects are reduced or turned off.

Okay, I get the gist of this. I understand the broad concepts. But is this really all that happens in “Low Power Mode?” For example, what are the exact visual effects which are “reduced or turned off?” Are there any more specific details from Apple on exactly what “Low Power Mode” does?

1 Answer 1


Apple hasn't really discussed specifically what Low Power Mode actually does. Its main underdocumented feature is that it underclocks the processor, reducing performance to increase battery life, but there's a few other tweaks it makes to the system as noted underneath the switch.

As shown in these screenshots, Low Power Mode reduces the performance by ~30%.

Source: http://www.macrumors.com/2015/06/25/ios-9-low-power-mode-benchmarks/

Apple lists the following as features modified by Low Power Mode:

  • Email fetch
  • Hey Siri
  • Background app refresh
  • Automatic downloads
  • Wi-Fi associations
  • Some visual effects

Source: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT205234

More details are provided in the developer documentation (Energy Efficiency Guide for iOS Apps):

  • Reduce CPU and GPU performance
  • Pause discretionary and background activities, including networking
  • Reduce screen brightness
  • Reduce the timeout for auto-locking the device
  • Disable Mail fetch
  • Disable motion effects
  • Disable animated wallpapers

Source: https://developer.apple.com/library/prerelease/ios/documentation/Performance/Conceptual/EnergyGuide-iOS/LowPowerMode.html

Apple encourages developers to take advantage of this feature by implementing a lower power state in their apps. This means that this feature may increase battery life through support in third-party apps.

Your app should take additional steps to help the system save energy when Low Power Mode is active. For example, your app could reduce the use of animations, lower frame rates, stop location updates, disable syncs and backups, and so on.


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