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Apple has a workaround for iPhones with a battery percentage indicator that won't update

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Apple has a workaround for iPhones with a battery percentage indicator that won't update
You might have noticed a disconnect between the battery percentage indicator on your Apple iPhone 6s or Apple iPhone 6s Plus, and the actual battery life you've been getting. But the good news is that Apple has noticed this issue, too. On Apple's support website, the tech titan says that the battery percentage indicator could stop working on units that have had the time changed manually. The problem could also rear its ugly head on models that have been carried through different time zones by a traveler.

With the battery percentage indicator failing to update, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus owners could think that they have more battery life on their handsets than they really have. You can imagine what the fallout would be in a situation like that. Apple does offer a workaround. Restart your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Date & Time and make sure that the setting for Set time automatically is turned on.

If you try the workaround and the problem happens again, Apple says that you should contact Apple support. Meanwhile, the company is investigating the cause of this issue and hopes to soon have a solution (which would probably be offered in a future software update).

source: Apple via AppleInsider

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posted on 16 Jan 2016, 23:00

1. jeroome86 (Posts: 2105; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)

Is this a bug that needs to be squished?

posted on 16 Jan 2016, 23:05 8

2. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4783; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)

I'm having trouble understanding why the battery percentage should be tied to the clock.

posted on 16 Jan 2016, 23:14 2

3. fanboyismfanboy (Posts: 6; Member since: 18 Dec 2015)

Same here?

To ensure chronological accuracy of the electromechanical battery readout?
To manipulate the battery percentage during certain usage scenarios?
To retrieve accurate battery usage data and send it back to headquarters?
To record the battery low readout notification timing and use it in future firmware updates or iphones?
To allow applications to tie battery consumption to user activity chronologically?

Can a seasoned developer with experience in iOS power management programming chime in? Or Should someone consult/press Apple for a statement on how this affects user privacy?

posted on 16 Jan 2016, 23:50 2

4. WPX00 (Posts: 462; Member since: 15 Aug 2015)

I think it's simply a matter of reporting the battery life usage to the user - how long an app was running or using the screen.

posted on 17 Jan 2016, 08:45

20. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4783; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)

That's fine, but in that case it should only be reading the battery level and using that along with the clock to determine the answer. In other words, it's access to the battery level should be read only, it shouldn't be able to affect the battery percentage. The battery percentage readout should be a matter of reading the current battery capacity vs it's capacity fully charged to show how much battery is left.

posted on 17 Jan 2016, 08:42

19. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4783; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)

All good points, but any battery reporting should be separate and the clock app should be able to access it's stats for things like time off charger, etc. The battery percentage shouldn't rely on the clock to function correctly, it should be a straight battery level meter, period. Anything else, that requires the clock app to use battery percentage and time to give you info, should be able to read the battery level, but read only, not affect the percentage.

And like someone else said, shouldn't there be an internal clock that runs independent of network time? Most all the electronics I ever serviced had that function in addition to a network sync, which worked as a backup in the event of the loss of the network, you still had clock functions. Our syncronous clocks synced with a network once an hour for the minute hand, and twice a day for the hour hand. But they still could keep pretty accurate time for a few days to a month before you'd see some difference between clocks.

posted on 17 Jan 2016, 06:03

16. ph00ny (Posts: 1508; Member since: 26 May 2011)

It is odd that the device isn't actually using a time counter instead it needs network time

posted on 17 Jan 2016, 08:50

21. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4783; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)

I know right? Any electronics I've ever dealt with that had clock functions included and internal clock in the event you lose network connection. I can't believe the iPhone doesn't have it, but for some reason they're somehow tying battery level to clock time and basing it off network time rather than a simple internal clock. Regardless battery percentage should be a matter of current battery capacity vs total capacity of the battery. Any info regarding time off charger, etc, should have read only access to the battery stats, not be able to affect them.

posted on 17 Jan 2016, 11:50

26. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 14501; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

Well the CPU would be too...right? Maybe it's certainly things are allowed and. It allowed to happen pee clock cycle.

Seems like it's working like a PC. Like when your CMOS Clock would stop working because the battery is dead. And how booting into the OS would cause apps on timers to expire early until you put the date back?

Maybe the battery is designed to report is lose in power only so many times per click cyvcle.

Examples...let's say it noon and noon triggers a report from the battery to the OS, that right now it has 50% power left. Instead of waiting power constantly telling the OS it's lose power for every single percent like a clock counting down, it may only report after so many clock cycles, so that the next report it may have lost another 5%.

Consider today's CPU optimizes rwquest. The battery percentage bar likely has a low priority sonic doesn't waste more battery doing uneccesary report which would use more power.

Maybe it's an aggressive power management issue.

posted on 18 Jan 2016, 04:22

32. james2841 (Posts: 167; Member since: 10 Dec 2014)


posted on 17 Jan 2016, 16:57 1

27. lyndon420 (Posts: 5000; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)

And people pay more for apple products because....?

posted on 18 Jan 2016, 04:13

30. james2841 (Posts: 167; Member since: 10 Dec 2014)

They could not resist tying Coulomb counter data into the network clock, instead of the quartz internal clock that always runs (the quartz crystal is how it gets it CPU clock).

posted on 17 Jan 2016, 00:14 1

5. haneef4u (Posts: 36; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)

I know Apple has been messing this around since my iPhone 4S. I sensed this long time ago. Seeing is not always believing.

posted on 17 Jan 2016, 00:22 5

6. RoboticEngi (Posts: 1055; Member since: 03 Dec 2014)

Well it's a cheap way of getting their users great battery life. And it wouldn't be the first time they messed up some of their reporting functions. Like with the 4, where people complained about bad antenna signal strength and they just recalculated what the bar should show.....The apple circus is just one big illusion....

posted on 17 Jan 2016, 00:28 5

7. AlikMalix (unregistered)

Wait, You guys always say, apple never admits fault... Apple admitted a problem, showed a "most likely" solution... and stated it's working to fix it... And you STILL find a way to troll?

posted on 18 Jan 2016, 11:25

38. matistight (Posts: 566; Member since: 13 May 2009)

We troll because it is a stupid excuse. It's like saying I put a stereo in your car, and now your tire is flat, but they're both related, and to fix your tire, I will have to mess with the stereo and that should fix the flat tire issue. We troll because it makes no sense onto how they're related.

posted on 18 Jan 2016, 14:41

40. AlikMalix (unregistered)

You can troll all you want. I'm not a programmer but even I know that software clashes with other software. My car has most of its infotainment on a fiber-loop - it's faster computing, but if one of the modules fail or acting out - it affects the others. Same can be for clock and battery display - but if you look under battery setting it will also show which apps used how much battery which means something is being timed at some point. It's very likely for a clock to affect battery display.

Furthermore it's not the battery real life being affected, but the battery percentage readout - which is a software issue - which just like other things software related on iOS will most likely get a fix within the next two or three updates (realistically speaking). And please don't act like android devices did not have battery indicator readout problems - which I've seen myself.

posted on 17 Jan 2016, 01:50

8. Wiencon (Posts: 2022; Member since: 06 Aug 2014)

Maybe they could frickin already fix that magical shutdown when battery is low. It shows 7% and turns off. Why? Couldn't they just change a bit of code to show real percentage 0-1% so I would know that it would turn itself off? And then you have to wait until it charges to those 7% again before you can use your goddamn phone, this is pathetic. I have this on iPad Air with iOS9 and 4S with 6.1
Somehow Macbook works with 0% of battery

posted on 17 Jan 2016, 02:59

11. ullokey (Posts: 88; Member since: 28 Jul 2015)

Running down the battery down to 0 or 1% is not a good idea and can damage the battery.
3-4% is ideal. I believe that iOS displays it as 7% (when being actually a lot less) to keep you happy.

posted on 17 Jan 2016, 03:50

12. Wiencon (Posts: 2022; Member since: 06 Aug 2014)

So they could set it that it would display 0% when in reality it had 4% it would be great, I would know when my phone is going to turn itself off, not while I'm typing important message

posted on 18 Jan 2016, 11:28

39. matistight (Posts: 566; Member since: 13 May 2009)

If it's that important 1)call them. Or 2) plug in your phone! It's not apples fault that you drained the battery all day and then you send an important message KNOWING you have less than 10% left. That's like having roughly 1-2 gallons of gas and going eh, I'll be fine, I'll get gas tomorrow

posted on 17 Jan 2016, 04:06 3

14. Macready (Posts: 1493; Member since: 08 Dec 2014)

Almost every other manufacturer keeps a margin when the device shows 0%, to protect the battery, as has been common usage with many electronic devices for years. Meaning, when it displays 0%, there's stil about 10 % to 15% left, because batteries also deplete slowly when not used.

If Apple doesn't have that extra hidden margin, then you're really left with less battery capacity and all these comparisons need to take this into account too.

posted on 18 Jan 2016, 04:23 1

33. james2841 (Posts: 167; Member since: 10 Dec 2014)


posted on 17 Jan 2016, 01:58 3

9. Planterz (Posts: 2110; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


"It just works".


posted on 17 Jan 2016, 02:30 1

10. Leo_MC (Posts: 2677; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)

I have always used automatically time zone and I have never had any issues.

posted on 17 Jan 2016, 04:00 3

13. AkoSiKuting (banned) (Posts: 88; Member since: 09 Dec 2015)

Android is no where better when it comes to battery indicators as well :)

posted on 17 Jan 2016, 05:07 4

15. MrElectrifyer (banned) (Posts: 3960; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)


posted on 17 Jan 2016, 21:05

29. iushnt (Posts: 2259; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)

Considering the price difference with so called perfect device and so called cheap device

posted on 18 Jan 2016, 06:04 1

36. Jimrod (Posts: 1447; Member since: 22 Sep 2014)

Who calls it "perfect"? I've never heard anyone say this. Feel free to quote references outside of Apple marketing... Or are you just making it up like most trolls?

posted on 18 Jan 2016, 06:33

37. keekai05 (Posts: 116; Member since: 31 Mar 2015)

Burn iushnt baby burn woot!

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