Keeping the user informed: Apple to update iOS with detailed battery stats and diagnostics
Apple's latest #gate scandal has definitely ticked people off, and rightfully so. After a collection of users and an independent developer of a benchmarking app did a series of testing and experiments, it became apparent that older iPhones are slowed down intentionally. Only then did Apple come out and confirm that the company does it, but said there's a good reason for it — the performance throttling occurred when an iPhone's battery was old and unable to hold as much charge as it should. Slowing down the phone ensured a stable operation with no random shutdowns, reboots, or battery percentage jumps.
That's all fine and dandy, but there's still the issue that Apple did not inform customers of this throttling. People were buying new phones to get away from the slow operation when they could've remedied the issue by just replacing the battery in their old iPhone — a much cheaper fix. This is also the main grievance in more than a few class action lawsuits that have now been filed against Apple.
So, to prove that they are listening to the community, the guys at Cupertino have now promised that an iOS update, due next month, will bring us detailed battery stats and information.
This is actually a big deal — Apple doesn't really talk a lot about the hardware in its phones. It never says how much RAM they have, it doesn't talk about battery capacity and such mumbo-jumbo. The company is a firm believer that the user shouldn't concern themselves with numbers and stats as long as the device is working fast, smooth, and as expected.
The battery stats are also not really available to app developers. Yeah, there are tons of battery health apps out there, but you should take all of them with a pinch of salt as it is unknown how they acquire their data — they could just be feeding you random numbers alongside their ads.
It's worth noting that Apple does currently have a warning message in place, which will let you know if it's time you replace your battery. But it's unknown how far down the line it pops up — allegedly it will only show up when your cell is in a really, really bad shape — and is definitely not informative enough to let users know that this affects phone performance, not just on time.
With the way Apple's apology was worded, we expect a much more detailed stats page in the Battery sub-menu now. Perhaps one that grades battery health from bad to good alongside with a message, which clearly states whether your iPhone's performance is currently being throttled. That'd clear up a lot of confusion and really give us an insight on how long these puppies can last before they need to be serviced.
It's good to see that Apple has realized that some information on what's happening behind the curtains could actually improve customer satisfaction. Now, we can't wait to see how it implements the battery monitor.