Recent iOS updates have a nasty side effect

Recent iOS updates have a nasty side effect
Remember when Samsung made fun of the limited battery life on the Apple iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c? An ad produced by Samsung showed a large number of iPhone users at an airport scrambling to find an outlet and bestowed upon them the term "Wallhuggers." Back in those days, both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c carried batteries with capacities slightly more than 1500mAh. But that all changed last year when Apple made improving battery life a major focus of the 2019 models. The iPhone 11, says Apple, delivers a battery life that is up to one hour longer than the iPhone XR model that it replaced. The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max provide as much as four and five hours of additional battery life respectively, compared to the models that they replaced.

Latest iOS updates lead to faster iPhone battery draining

This newfound awareness of battery life by Apple is expected to continue this year as one rumor calls for the iPhone 12 Pro Max to come equipped with a 4400mAh battery, a 10.9% hike from the 3969mAh battery that powers the iPhone 11 Pro Max. But some of that additional battery life will be used to help the phone connect to 5G networks and possibly power a 120Hz refresh rate for the displays on the "Pro" models. There is still a possibility that the 2020 iPhone 12 Pro models will ship with a 90Hz refresh rate or the traditional 60Hz rate.

What brings up all of this battery talk is a bug that has caused iPhone batteries to drain faster. According to several iPhone users writing on Apple's "Discussion" website (via ZDNet), faster battery draining has been an issue since the iOS 13.5 update. But the most recent update to iOS 13.5.1 has also set off another wave of iPhone users complaining about the lower battery life of their phone.

One user wrote "Since updating to 13.5, I have seen considerable battery drain. I have an iPhone XS Max. Has anyone else seen a difference?" Another states that "after the update to iOS 13.5, Siri uses the battery in the background and after keeping the phone in the charger all night the battery starts the day at only 20%. Yet another iPhone user notes, "I've seen a significant drain on the battery since iOS 13.5 was updated. There are numerous posts on other threads. I have an XS. I think it might be the Bluetooth is searching for a contact tracing app that doesn't exist yet or that Apple is doing something new tracking iPhones that drains the battery." And what can be worse than a married couple experiencing battery drain together? "My spouse and I are experiencing quicker battery drain since upgrading to IOS 13.5. Any solution available" writes one couple.

The complaints continued after the iOS 13.5.1 update which was disseminated on June 1st. One theory is that the problem is occurring thanks to apps running in the background. Take a look at the photo we've included with this article. Note how The Weather Channel ran on-screen for one minute and in the background for 3 hours and 49 minutes. The New York Post app similarly was on screen for eight minutes but stayed in the background for 2 hours and 40 minutes. The Huffington Post app was a huge battery killer; the 6 minutes of screen time it had was swamped by background use of 19 hours and 52 minutes. Not all background activity is bad, but when you see huge numbers like the ones we mentioned, or a Screen Off time that is over an hour (the iPhone 11 Pro Max we are discussing had a Screen Off time of 12 hours and 11 minutes over a 24-hour period) something might not be kosher.

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If you want to stop certain apps from working in the background, go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and toggle off those apps that you would prefer not work while off screen. And hopefully, Apple will fix the energy-consuming bug in the upcoming iOS 13.6 update.

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