FaceTime App

Why Does FaceTime Drain Battery So Quickly? (Answered + Details)

Do you enjoy making FaceTime calls, but noticed that it drains your battery really quickly?

This is normal, but have you ever wondered why it happens?

In this article, I’ll be covering what exactly causes FaceTime to use so much battery, whether or not its safe to use FaceTime while your device is charging, and what you can do to save battery while FaceTiming with others.

Let’s get to it!

Why FaceTime Uses So Much Battery

FaceTime App

So, what causes FaceTime to drain your battery so quickly, where other apps don’t cause nearly as much battery drain?

Really, it comes down to how many components are being used while you are FaceTiming with others.

For example, while you are FaceTiming…

  • Your camera has to be activated in order to capture the video.
  • Your screen is turned on, and is constantly refreshing due to the other person’s video.
  • Your stream has to be uploaded in real-time.
  • The other person’s video / audio stream has to be downloaded in real-time.
  • Your microphone is activated to capture your audio.

As you can see, that’s quite a lot for your device to handle at once!

Even on other video apps like TikTok for example, your device will only be actually downloading for brief periods at a time, and other systems like your camera and microphone aren’t used at all.

When you think about it this way, it makes sense why FaceTime would drain battery so much quicker than other apps on your iPhone or iPad!

Note however that you’re likely to experience the same issues regardless of which video app you use – Skype, Discord and Zoom have the same issue, as video calling is quite demanding for the device.

Is It Safe To FaceTime While Your iPhone / iPad Is Plugged In?

Because FaceTime can drain battery so quickly, it’s likely that you’ll need to plug your device in if you want to maintain battery throughout lengthy calls.

But is this actually safe, or can it cause damage to the battery?

Thankfully, FaceTime is considered safe to use while your phone or tablet is plugged in – as long as you aren’t doing other demanding things while on the call, like rendering video in iMovie or playing heavy games.

This is because charging the battery creates excess heat, and heavy applications also generate a lot of heat, due to how hard they make your device’s chip work.

Excess heat can cause battery damage over the long-term, so it’s something that you’ll want to avoid.

As long as you are just FaceTiming, you should be just fine. However, it’s recommended that you keep your device out of direct sunlight, or do anything else that can cause your device to overheat while charging it.

How To Save Battery While On FaceTime

So far, we’ve covered why FaceTime uses so much battery, and whether or not it’s safe to FaceTime while your device is plugged in.

However, there’s actually a lot you can do to save the battery while FaceTiming it, causing it to drain more slowly.

So, if you are experiencing rapid battery drain (or the battery is dropping even while your device is plugged in), try some of these out!

1. Turn The Screen Brightness Down

One of the biggest factors when it comes to FaceTime’s excessive battery usage is the screen.

FaceTime has your screen constantly refreshing, and the brighter it is, the more battery has to be used to power it.

So, one of the quickest and easiest things you can do to save a lot of battery is to dim the screen a bit.

Even minor decreases in screen brightness can save a lot of battery, often without harming your FaceTime experience very much at all.

So, try it out!

2. FaceTime Over Wi-Fi, If Possible

If you are FaceTiming over cellular data, consider switching over to Wi-Fi instead.

Wi-Fi actually uses less battery than your cellular data does. This is because on your cellular data, your phone has to maintain a connection with a tower that is much father away. This signal usually isn’t as strong either, so your iPhone or iPad has to work even harder in order to maintain the connection.

Since FaceTime is constantly uploading and downloading data, you may save some additional battery by doing your call over Wi-Fi instead.

3. Disable Bluetooth, Cellular Data, And Other Services You Aren’t Using

Finally, consider disabling anything you’re not actually using on your device, such as Bluetooth, cellular data, and even location services / GPS.

Each one of these uses additional battery. While it’s not significant, it does add up – and any savings you can get makes a difference, especially with a battery drainer like Facetime.

If you are connected to a Wi-Fi network, you may consider simply turning on airplane mode. Airplane mode still allows you to use a Wi-Fi connection, so it is a great way to shut off lots of additional services at once.

Alternatively, you may consider turning on low power mode instead, which is also great at saving battery!

Conclusion

Unfortunately, FaceTime is notorious for draining your battery, due to the large number of components required for video calling.

Each of these works continuously with no breaks, and uses a lot of power.

By following the advice mentioned above however, you can decrease the rate in which FaceTime drains your battery, allowing you to make calls for longer periods of time without needing to charge your device.

I hope that you’ve found this article helpful, and that it’s answered all of your questions. If you have any other questions about FaceTime, please ask them using the form below and I’ll be happy to help.

Wishing you the best,

– James McAllister


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