As more Americans are getting vaccinated for COVID-19, concerns over exposure are greatly reduced for those of you two weeks after your final jab. One thing you may forget about in the excitement over your newfound freedom is that the optional COVID-19 Exposure Notification feature that was introduced in May of last year with iOS 13.5 may not be worth the extra battery it consumes. Typically, I’ve seen iPhones use between 5% and 20% of their battery power daily for this. It probably wasn’t a huge concern when you were spending much of your time at home near your charger, but as you spend more time traveling or out and about, that extra battery usage may not be worth it considering how effective the vaccines are. You can check your battery usage in the Settings app > Battery.
Whether you want to disable it is a personal decision, so please don’t take this as medical advice. I just want to make sure that you are aware of your options.
To disable Exposure Notification (or to see if you have it enabled in the first place) go to the Settings app on your iPhone > Exposure Notifications. Tap “Turn Off Exposure Notifications” if you want to disable the feature.
You can always enable the feature again in the future if you’ll be in a particularly exposed setting, if a vaccine-resistant strain is a concern, or if your battery life doesn’t concern you.