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iPhone update leaves users furious due to battery drain issue (news.com.au)
79 points by becewumuy on Nov 28, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 62 comments

I'm experiencing this. Since upgrading to 10, my iPhone 6 has gone from being needing to be charged every 1.5 days to at least 3 times a day minimum. It also runs extremely hot a lot of the time, regardless of how many or what apps are running in the background.

No difference if I completely power off and reboot the phone. Usually within a few minutes of restart, it starts running hot and the battery indicator will almost visibly run down without me doing anything on the phone itself (and with all background apps shut off).

The phone's "Battery Usage" list is useless, as it shows things like Mail being used for 3 minutes, and using 25% of the battery power since last charge. Varying apps are listed as huge battery sucks even when I don't think they are (Calculator anybody?!?) At this very moment, it is saying that Apple Remote took 26% of the battery charge, Messages took 11% and the Home & Lock Screen took 9% since last charge - about 30 minutes ago!

Things that I expect to suck up the battery, like the Moves app, says only 2%.

I've even plugged my phone into my PC and gone into XCode to check the logs to see if anything is standing out, but nothing in the logs point to a particular app or process chewing battery time.

Immensely frustrating. Another dev friend of mine has said that the iOS 10.2 beta has fixed most of his problems, so I may download that from our developer account and see if it works.

EDIT: Just thought I would point out that I have done a full factory reset on the phone and restored from iTunes backup twice now, with no improvement at all.

I also had major battery issues after updating my 6+ a couple weeks ago, but somehow they've resolved now.

I'm not sure why or how things got better. At first I could see the battery power dropping in almost real time. Using safari for a few mins would bring me from 90% to 80%! (Eg - more than 1% drop per minute).

I then disallowed almost all apps permission to refresh in the background. But that didn't really help much.

I also noticed the phone seeming warmer than usual. But I wasn't sure if I was imagining that, being biased by the quickly-depleting battery.

Agreed that the battery usage tool isn't very helpful. I think it just shows which apps were used by % of time in foreground, not by multitasked allocation. Eg, this was dominated by Safari and mail for me.

I also let the phone completely discharge a couple times and recharge fully. Some people say this can help condition the battery, though I'm not sure how much truth to that for these batteries.

But after a few days things just went "back to normal", and I went back to getting a fully day's use of charge. I haven't changed my permissions back, so most apps remain without background execution priveledges. I haven't noticed any limitations to my productivity with this change.

FYI - I basically charge my phone daily, overnight when I go to sleep. I'm usually around 20-30% when I plug it in for the night.

Glad to hear you got yours back to normal. When it first started happening after I upgraded, I read up on it, and a lot of reports said to expect degraded battery for the first few days at least while the email app caught up and reindexed all mailboxes and iCloud did a fresh backup of up of the existing data. I have about 6 email accounts on my iPhone each with gigabytes of data, so I happily put up with the heat and battery issues for a while.

But nearly two months later, the problem continues unabated. The heat is a real worry as it is too uncomfortable to have in my pocket anymore (the metal edges become almost too hot to touch), and I am wary of charging it when I am not nearby to monitor for any problems (oddly - it doesn't seem to heat up so much when charging, but I want to be 100% sure).

This is real. A friend of mine has this issue after updating her 6s. It persists and Apple (Germany) support repeatedly claims there is no problem.


P.S.: On that note: Apple support in Germany is severely lacking, compared to the US.

I had a display issue with my brand new (company support contract covered) MBP's screen in 2014. the left 25% of it went into becoming colorful pixel stripes.

I was on a business trip in CA when it happened. The Apple store in Carlsbad, CA, was happy to replace the screen for free. But it would take two weeks.

As I had to fly back to Berlin, Germany, a week later, I booked an appointment in the Apple flagship store on Ku'damm there instead (2 weeks waiting time!).

I was 5mins late (finding a place to park there is difficult). They told me my appointment had ceased and I needed to book another one. I complained but no avail. So I did book another.

Another two weeks later I finally could show them my screen. They told me I had caused this and I needed to buy a new screen.

Oh yeah, they were arrogant too.

If there's something we still haven't figured out in Europe (vs the US) it's great customer service.

I've recently had a rather bizarre experience: I dropped my iPhone 7+ (covered by AppleCare) and despite a case and screen protector the lower edge of the screen was somewhat scuffed by abrasion with a very rough concrete floor.

I contacted Apple Italy (I live here, bought it here) and was perfectly candid about what happened and the fact that I recognised it was my fault but wanted the screen replaced (at my cost) anyway. The waiting time was quite long.

So long in fact I mentally calculated it would make more sense to book an appointment with Apple in New York and had it fixed there whilst on a business trip.

So I went to the store in NY at the appointed time, very candidly explained what had happened and that it was my fault, fully expecting to be charged — and instead they fixed it for free in less than 20 minutes.

I was stunned.

This has been my experience in two of their stores in London. One of them even decided not to cover a defective product for free 1.5y after I've bought it in an EU country which gave me 2y warranty. I had to fly to that country to have it immediately replaced, for free. This one was really awkward since they have it on the system, they know when and where I bought it and under which terms and still decided not to help me. In my experience it's by far the worst customer support I ever had.

I'm experiencing something really similar to what your friend has described. The moment the outside temperature is below 20ºC and my battery is around 30-40% chances are it will die immediately. This started months ago with the update to iOS 10. I tried some of the final public betas of iOS 10.

After several trips to a service point, eventually Apple told me that this is not a hardware issue but a software one and to expect an iOS update that will resolve the issue. No estimates as to when that would be. I asked if it's ok to try the public betas to see if the fix was in and an Apple support rep said it's fine. Unfortunately the latest public beta doesn't fix this. As of now I just assume that my battery indication is off by 40% and I treat my phone as if the battery is empty when I'm out and I see it drop below 50%.

My experience with Apple customer service in UK was nothing but stellar. I've had multiple parts and products replaced on the spot in the Apple Store, no questions asked. So "Europe" is maybe not exactly correct.

It's Germany, believe me, my friend. Customer service in Berlin, especially. People working here in customer service seem to not have basic CS training and they are simply not polite. The most important thing to them seems to be to ensure that it's not their fault that you have a problem and that your problem is yours. I call it "don't give a st mentality". Really sad. It's one of the things which makes me want to leave this country.

On the other hand, Google's customer service is great in Europe (and the warranty lasts 2 years instead of 1 everywhere else).

I never understood how people are happy to pay premium prices and possibly an AppleCare when you still have to book appointments weeks in advance and go to a store in person.

Warranty is 2 years minimum in all of EU. If anybody says otherwise (plenty of sales and customer support people will try to convince you it's 1 year) show them this: http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/consumers/shopping/guar...

To quote - "Under EU rules you always have the right to a minimum 2-year guarantee at no cost.

This 2-year guarantee is your minimum right. National rules in your country may give you extra protection: however, any deviation from EU rules must always be in the consumer's best interest."

This is also on Apple's customer support pages when you check if you're still in warranty. It says that local rules apply when you're out of Apple's limited 1 year warranty.

People keep misunderstanding what this 2-year warranty is. It's not a blanket 2-year warranty where if your product develops a fault the manufacturer has to fix it - it's a warranty against manufacturing defects and manufacturing defects only. And the onus of showing that something is a manufacturing defect is on the customer, sadly. So if you bought a macbook, and 1.5 years into the ownership the screen dies, apple is under no obligation to fix it, unless you can prove that it died because of a manufacturing defect.

To directly quote from the article you posted:

"But, after 6 months in most EU countries you need to prove that the defect already existed on receipt of the goods, for example, by showing that it is due to the poor quality of the materials used."

True. When it comes to parts that don't usually die on their own without visual problems (like a cracked screen) this is not such a big problem. Usually it comes down to convincing whoever is behind that desk and being firm and calm about it. That's my experience at least.

That is what I meant, poor phrasing, I edited.

AppleCare used to be vastly superior (at least in here in Australia) - you could walk in without an appointment, and service was while-you-wait. I needed some repairs to a 2007 MacBook, they offered to repair it within a couple of hours, send me an SMS when it was ready, and offer a voucher for a coffee at a nearby cafe while I waited. And if they couldn't repair it same/next day, to swap it with a replacement machine. That's the kind of service I was paying the Apple tax for, to minimize my downtime.

But it's nothing like that now. Apple is back to 1 - 2 week wait on repairs, just like the third-party repair stores before the Apple Store existed here. Much of the point of AppleCare for me - same day repairs in any major city around the world - is gone now.

I had this exact issue on my iPhone 6s back in July/August, prior to the release of iOS 10. Upgrading to iOS 10 didn’t help.

I took my phone into an Authorised Service Provider, who ran a diagnostic and said there was nothing wrong, but that the symptoms I described matched up with a software issue that had been acknowledged by Apple. Apple’s documentation on the issue, they said, indicates that resetting the phone to factory defaults will resolve the issue, but if you then restore a backup affected by the issue, the problem returns. The Authorised Service Provider advised me my best bet was to either wait for Apple to fix the issue, or take my phone into an Apple Store.

After waiting a few more weeks, I took my phone into an Apple Store. The Apple Genius that helped me confirmed the Authorised Service Provider’s take: that the issue was an acknowledged software bug. The Genius commented that he was surprised it hadn’t been fixed yet, because Apple had acknowledged the bug quite some time ago.

The Genius offered to replace my phone under warranty, noting that it might not fix the issue, but that was all he could do for me. I accepted the replacement, and thankfully the issue has not recurred with the new phone, even though I restored my backup from my old phone to it.

My spouse, whose phone was bought at the same time, was also affected by this issue, and was also able to obtain a replacement from our local Genius Bar. The problem has not recurred for her new phone either.

I suspect this is a hardware (firmware) issue, I've had it, along with numerous other people and a replacement followed by an iCloud backup has always fixed the problem.

It's not normal battery drain, nothing could cause the battery to jump from 30% to 0% instantly. It wouldn't explain the percentage jumps when plugging back in, or how usage in the cold causes shutoff when under 50%.

I fear Apple knows there is a defect in millions of 6/6s devices and they are hoping they can ride it out though natural phone attrition.

I have same problem with iPhone 7 and iOS 10.1.1

Just started yesterday. My phone gets hot (not Samsung fire hot, but pretty warm) when the battery level is plunging, which suggests that something is actually chewing up wattage. At least in my case.

I have no doubt there are battery issues that can be software (I remember IMAP issues back in the iOS4 days), but I think there is clearly a distinction between software bug battery drain issues (hot phone, slow consistent drop in charge) and this sudden shut down issue, battery percentage jumping by 10%/20% up and down when connected to a charger.

I've had this problem with a 5 for years now, as has a friend. Especially in the cold, the phone will shut off very quickly. I thought it was just due to the inevitable wearing out of the battery.

I've experienced this too on my iPhone 6s Plus (sudden shutdown at ~20% battery, immediate recovery upon being plugged in), but now I'm confused; apparently there is a related hardware issue that Apple knows about and is offering replacements for:


I've experienced power-down issues but only since 10.1. I no longer see a serial number list in the article (likely was between the dates mentioned).

The strange thing is that my partner has seen the same issue on an iPhone 5 since 10.1.

Took mine in yesterday and have scheduled a replacement part. My phone was in the batch mentioned in the article (bought release day). A friend of mine had the same issue and had his battery replaced by a third party but didn't solve the issue. He's just got his scheduled for a replacement too. He tried a factory restore but it didn't fix the issue (mentioned upthread).

Same exact issue here. Bigger mistake on my part -- upgrading before a long international business trip. To make it worse, Uber has also released a series of updates recently on iOS (four updates in four weeks?) -- made traveling very complex because of application instability.

Lesson Learned: put off system/app upgrades until after travel, stick with the tried and true.

I'm used to this for work (e.g., always perform upgrade on Friday afternoon after close-of-business) but it is a new phenomenon to apply my work practices to my personal phone!

iPhone 6 here. Have experienced exactly this issue since upgrading to iOS 10 (and 10.1)

The battery will drain extremely fast (typically lasts about half a day, with light usage), and will randomly and suddenly die when reporting 20, 30, or even 50 percent remaining.

The unpredictability of when the phone will completely die makes this problem particularly frustrating.

Connecting a charger cable results in it immediately reporting 20/30/50 percent battery again.

Have already had a Genius bar appointment to resolve. The 'Geniuses' ran the usual battery diagnostics, and said the battery was close to their 80% threshold, but were adamant a full restore would resolve the issue. They were rude and dismissive, and point-blank refused to replace the battery, or handset.

I did a software restore, and lo and behold, still have the issue.

I got an iPhone 7 basically on launch day and had terrible battery issues up until last week, when I decided I had had enough and went into the Apple store and got quite animated until they finally agreed to swap the handset for a new one. Since then I've had no problems. Things I tried multiple times in different ways:

Reset all settings

Run battery to flat and then charge to 100%

Restore entirely from backup

Look at running processes with Instruments (normally MediaAnalysisD was pinning the CPU even when in standby)

Switching basically everything off (background refresh, mobile data, etc.)

Nothing made any difference at all.

The battery was draining at roughly 1% every 8 minutes, even when it was in flight safe mode. In use, I would be at 20% battery by the end of the day, whereas my old 6 would normally be at 60-70%.

There is definitely something going on that Apple can't work out, even when they run diagnostics on the handset.

Their solution in store was for me to format the phone and run it with nothing installed, etc. for a couple of days. I basically expressed clearly how this wasn't an option for me after having paid so much money for a device that I'm reliant on for business communications and eventually they gave in and swapped the device, since then it's been a night and day difference. I get to the end of a day on 75%.

I was experiencing this earlier in the year but it didn't go away after factory resets and a downgrade to iOS 9.2. Which made me suspect iCloud Photos (with "originals in iCloud" setting) since taking photos would reliably trigger "warm phone", especially in low connectivity areas. A suspicion which was heightened when the same phone in my Mother's hands (no iCloud Photos) was perfectly well behaved battery-wise.

Yes! Ever since this latest 10.1.1 update running the smallest app with cause this new "overheating issue" on the iPhone 6+, battery drains to 70% within 30-40 minutes. NEVER happened prior to this update. I'm barely getting 5 hours life out of this phone now, % is showing random numbers as well..it may even turn off and reset after it hits 45%! AND the battery is pretty new - replaced in late September after it started to bulge...$$ out of my own pocket to take care of that issue (Had to be replaced ASAP fearing it blowing up) Stopping in the Apple store this weekend was a complete waste of time, it was beyond packed due to the timing of the wonderful Holiday Season [sarcasm]. No one there could help me.

iPhone 6 user here. Same issue for me, battery seems to drain much faster now and levels can suddenly drop from 10-20 to 0.

ÉDIT: as I was typing the comment, the level actually dropped from 22 to 1!! About to go dark :)

I have generally not had this issue. Most of my battery drain issues seem to be related to the awfully bloated Facebook app and then Photos in the background doing its thing. The battery life issue happened for maybe 2 days after 10.x was released. But the girlfriend's iPhone 6s has dropped from 20% to 5% pretty fast, though. Only difference is that hers is on Verizon and I'm on AT&T. Hers was also identified by the Genius Bar as being eligible for a battery replacement.

I had battery issues since upgrading to iOS 10.1 - turned out the phone was constantly using GPS.

How I fixed it: Settings > Privacy > Location Services, and review which apps are constantly using GPS.

I'm experiencing the same battery drain in my 5. I plugged into pc to save photos and another update was detected. I was going to backup so I could do a Firmware reset as Apple Store tech suggested. I can't tell if battery improved yet but the other problem from 10 update seems to have corrected, reduced sensitivity to touch. Touch sensitivity is improved noticeably. Hope battery is too.

This is probably due to the new face recognition stuff which runs in the background in iOS 10 and Sierra. I think I had similar issues for the first couple days as it does an initial run through your library, but I haven't had any issues since. Same with Sierra.

This would line up with other's comments on it magically fixing itself after a few days.

Nope: "For both iOS and macOS, the new Photos scans quietly for objects and scenes, but because facial recognition is more computationally (and thus battery) intensive, both OSes let you know that face-interpretation only occurs when iOS devices and Mac laptops are plugged in and have sufficient charge. In iOS, it can happen in the background while the device is plugged in."


Which apps use facial recognition? And is there a way to turn it off?



Do not store photos on the iOS device.

Wait, if you store your photos locally there's no way to disable facial recognition on them?

That is what I am led to believe. Once you take a photo on the iOS 10 device it will attempt to perform face recognition.

What I am not sure of is whether iOS will attempt face recognition on photos transferred to it from another source.

The facial recognition runs only while connected to power.

These sort of issues are becoming more and more a reason to switch to more open alternatives, where you have at least sufficient access to the system and a fighting chance to mess with some tools to debug and perhaps solve the issue yourself.

Android world isn't that much better.

For example, the Sony M5 has a very unpredictable glitch - it did have a "workaround" (unlike this iPhone bug) but which significantly degraded usability - it was to to resort to 3G WCMDA network, 2G GSM GPRS/EDGE. I'm glad I didn't get it (free off contract)


Has anyone seen this issue on an iPhone SE? Mine's been bugging me to update to iOS 10 for a while now, and I was planning to do so in the next week or two, but now I'm not so sure that's a good idea...

Well, I have felt like my battery has drained a lot more quickly, but until today thought it might just be my imagination. Will be monitoring my SE a lot closer. Personally, I'd recommend against updating until 10.2 is out for a week or two.

Looks like batteries are the most difficult to manage for phone manufacturers but I don't understand why. Mobile chipsets are thousand time more advanced technology but they work much more stable..

It's much harder for a processor to catch fire even in abject failure because processors don't contain fuel cells like batteries do. Battery tech is inherently more dangerous because of the larger electrical and chemical forces at play.

Batteries are not predictable, they degrade based on the chemistry stored within it, they lose charges based on usage, temperature, and so on. You may have a great battery life in the warm climate but go where it is cold, your battery life takes a hit, it's the same device but the battery reacts to the temp much faster (which degrades it) and you're charging it more often, which degrades it even further.

SoC chips are far more predictable because they don't degrade as much as batteries do, they're more "solid"/"fixed". That's not to say they don't have issues, companies do have yield issues and defects but they're caught at the very beginning, not later. That's unlike batteries because their issues are often caught later after they're out of the factories, it's why Samsung was surprised. They wouldn't be stupid to sell bad batteries to destroy all of the momentum they had going.

Apple tends to have more technology in their batteries to ensure they don't overheat, charge consistently and so on but that doesn't actually resolve all of the chemistry issues.

When you have an unpredictable part, you're bound to have unpredictable issues with software.

In this case, it's not the battery that's giving Apple issues, it's the combination of software and battery. Apple is just at the point where everything is so complex that it is virtually impossible to fix them quickly and to get it right the first time. However, Apple can and needs to step up and offer free battery replacements, stop with these BS programs they have for iPhone 6/6S now.

Less prone to usage degradation and environmental conditions.

Lovely website. Auto playing junk on mobile, and spyware like pop ups! Awesome stuff! Guess I'll just guess what the article said from the comments here.

Warning - auto-playing video on that page, with sound.

Just one extra datum, there gas been normal battery use on my iPhone 7 since the update, though I don't think it has ever dropped as low as 30%, despite a fair bit of Bluetooth headphone use.

iOS 10 issue I've had, haven't heard of many others with it? When you answer incoming calls if it hasn't been rebooted in a few days -- the call timer ticks but no audio happens. Press the keypad/speaker/etc buttons a few times and the phone locks up and requires a hard-reboot. Hangup button seems to work if you do it within a few seconds, otherwise the phone locks up.

Anyone else have this happen? (Carrier: EE in the UK)

I've been having these issues in the past week or so. I thought it was just my battery that was dying!

Observed this yesterday the first time on my iPhone 6. From 20% to 1% in 5 min. When plugged in up to 25%.

iPhone 5 user here with iOS 10.1.1 . I haven't noticed the issue, just the understandable decay of my 4 year-old battery that lasts less than it used to be.

Me too, iPhone 5 / iOS 10.1.1. No discernible issue.

This bring backs memories from my Nexus days...

Who knows, maybe Apple has decided to include Google Play Services in ios 10.1 ;)

Nah, that would provide too much freedom to ios users. :^)

And too much freedom to malware authors.

Because it allows you to install apps outside the official market? Using the same analogy would you consider OSX full of malware?

Given how apple treats ios users, I'm genuinely surprised they haven't turned osx into much of the same kind of walled garden - especially after this whole macbook pro debacle, what with apple showing how much they care about their professional clientele.

Believe me, they tried. There was a minor riot among developers and many decided to stay out of the App Store

(not for any ideals mind you, but because of limitations of the store sandbox)

This is the same treatment my iPhone 4 got after few updates. I suppose it's a standard way for Apple to deprecate old hardware. Those phones won't sell themselves!

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