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iPhone battery woes persist with Apple's first iOS 5.1 beta

post #1 of 117
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Released earlier this week, Apple's first beta of iOS 5.1 issued to developers reportedly does not address battery problems experienced by some users, as solutions to the complex problem continue to elude.

ABI Research's Michael Morgan spoke with ArsTechnica about the problems that some have reported since the release of iOS 5. In addition to existing iPhone users who updated their handset to iOS 5, the problems have been reported by those who have bought the new iPhone 4S, which comes with iOS 5 preinstalled.

Morgan said that although Apple has apparently not yet been able to solve the battery life issues for all users, an eventual software fix is still the most likely solution. He said that software is the most likely cause of the problems seen by some, not hardware.

"We tore down the 4S and tested some of the major components, including the new A5 processor," Morgan said. "Nothing that we tested was significantly different from the iPhone 4, and power draw was right where we expected it to be."

Of course the version of iOS 5.1 seeded to developers on Monday is only the first beta of the pre-release software, and Apple will continue to make changes to it before its release. The final, public debut of iOS 5.1 could turn out to resolve the battery issues being reported by some iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 users.

But Apple already released iOS 5.0.1 in November, an incremental update that aimed to fix bugs affecting battery life on the iPhone. However, some users said that installing iOS 5.0.1 failed to address the battery life problems they were experiencing.



Apple quickly responded the same week iOS 5.0.1 was launched, and issued a public statement in which it admitted there may be some issues that still need to be addressed. While Apple said iOS 5.0.1 addressed "many" battery bugs, the company said it was still investigating "a few remaining issues."

General battery-related issues, or any "undefined glitch," are a "massive problem" for Apple, Morgan said, noting how difficult it can be to pinpoint a problem in software as complex as Apple's iOS 5.

Morgan said what makes the battery issues so difficult for Apple to completely address is not only the complexity of the software that powers the iPhone, but also the variables involved with how users actually use their device. New features like Notification Center, automatic updates to content in Newsstand, and syncing with iCloud mean people are using their device more, which will naturally drain battery.
post #2 of 117
Does it fix the headphone echo caused by Apple's wacky implementation of noise cancellation? Sure, the person I am talking to hears me just fine, but I don't want my noise isolating headset to pick up every little noise around me and transmit it into my headphones. That kinda defeats the purpose of 'noise isolating'. Just give us the option to turn this 'feature' off!!!
post #3 of 117
I had read about Apple asking a user experiencing battery problems if they would mind installing monitoring software to help diagnose the problem. Does Apple make this software available to the masses so that more users may help in providing usage data?

I have not experienced any problems with my 4S and absolutely love it. I would also happily provide a positive control if I knew such software were readily available.
post #4 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisKnight View Post

Does it fix the headphone echo caused by Apple's wacky implementation of noise cancellation? Sure, the person I am talking to hears me just fine, but I don't want my noise isolating headset to pick up every little noise around me and transmit it into my headphones. That kinda defeats the purpose of 'noise isolating'. Just give us the option to turn this 'feature' off!!!

Noise isolating == noise cancellation ? Understanding : question_mark
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post #5 of 117
And what about Airplay woes - cut outs after a few seconds with the iPhone 4S. From information I have, 5.1 does nothing to fix it.

None of the Apple or tech sites seem to discuss it.

I am certainly not the only one - https://discussions.apple.com/thread...t=165&tstart=0 - pages of people with problems

B&W (Zeppelin Air), and other manufactures say apple is working on a fix. Come on.. it's been weeks now and we cant even use Airplay!

Some Apple support reps when you call them dont even know what Airplay is. Im baffled at the ignorance. I thought Apple support was known to be good! i found myself explaining it wasnt an app but a feature. took 3 people and 40 minutes to finally be directed to a 'senior' person who finally did.
William
iPhone 3G 16 / iPhone 3GS 32 / Waiting for a proper rev of iMac..
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William
iPhone 3G 16 / iPhone 3GS 32 / Waiting for a proper rev of iMac..
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post #6 of 117
No problems with battery or AirPlay here. Love my 4S. Hope they can fix the problems that others are having.
post #7 of 117
I know exactly what you mean! WTF!!!
post #8 of 117
I have noticed a noticeable battery life increase when disabling Siri. When Siri is enabled, a small infrared LED light is always on when your screen is illuminated for the "raise to speak" feature. It's purpose is to notice when you raise your handset to your ear to speak to Siri without any button pressing.

For those with battery issues, I would suggest disabling Siri for a day or two and see if it helps.
post #9 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoPowers View Post

I have noticed a noticeable battery life increase when disabling Siri. When Siri is enabled, a small infrared LED light is always on when your screen is illuminated for the "raise to speak" feature. It's purpose is to notice when you raise your handset to your ear to speak to Siri without any button pressing.

For those with battery issues, I would suggest disabling Siri for a day or two and see if it helps.

How is that different from the hardware that turns off the display when you're on a call and raise it to your ear. That's been around for years...
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post #10 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyberzombie View Post

How is that different from the hardware that turns off the display when you're on a call and raise it to your ear. That's been around for years...

The infrared light is only on when a call is initiated and in progress. Siri makes the light stay on anytime the phone is in use.
post #11 of 117
Without experiencing or knowing much about the problem, my first guess would be that it is likely affecting the same group of people who were affected by "Antennagate", i.e. a group of people who experience poor network coverage. As far as I know, when in a poor coverage area, more power is consumed attempting to find a strong signal. With features like Notification Center's geofencing and current-location-using weather, the phone is more frequently in need of a data connection. Perhaps something else about iOS 5 exascberates the problem.

For the majority of people in strong cell coverage, no problem exists. For a minority, it means terrible battery life. If this is true, a slight fix may be to turn off Location Services for Notification Center. While not experiencing terrible battery life, disabling this feature rewarded me with better and more consistent battery life.

Just a theory.
post #12 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyberzombie View Post

How is that different from the hardware that turns off the display when you're on a call and raise it to your ear. That's been around for years...

On the 4S, it's the exact same IR light. The difference is it's on permanently (for Siri) instead of just when you're on a call (other phones).

Claiming that this is the reason for battery trouble, however, is one of the silliest things I've ever heard.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

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post #13 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoPowers View Post

I have noticed a noticeable battery life increase when disabling Siri. When Siri is enabled, a small infrared LED light is always on when your screen is illuminated for the "raise to speak" feature. It's purpose is to notice when you raise your handset to your ear to speak to Siri without any button pressing.

For those with battery issues, I would suggest disabling Siri for a day or two and see if it helps.

I'm guessing this affects battery life to a degree, just as many new features do.

However, this is likely not the primary culprit, as this would suggest that all 4S's are affected evenly, which they are not.

Since the majority are experiencing battery life on par or slightly below the iPhone 4 running iOS 4 (to be expected with newer location features) with only a minority grossly affected, some other variable must be at work. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but I've heard of several iPhone. 4 users running iOS 5 experiencing newfound battery problems. These people don't have Siri.
post #14 of 117
The few users who are complaining about battery life can simply go to an Apple store and get a replacement for the iPhone under warranty.

Nearly everyone else is NOT having battery problems on the iPhone.

Thus, this must be a HARDWARE defect in a few iPhones.

The solution is to simply get a new iPhone under warranty.
post #15 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

On the 4S, it's the exact same IR light. The difference is it's on permanently (for Siri) instead of just when you're on a call (other phones).

Claiming that this is the reason for battery trouble, however, is one of the silliest things I've ever heard.

If this is one of the silliest things you've EVER heard then you need to live a less sheltered life! Or cut back on the hyperbole. The guy was just making a suggestion.
post #16 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by bulk001 View Post

If this is one of the silliest things you've EVER heard then you need to live a less sheltered life! Or cut back on the hyperbole.

I don't do much laughing. And come off it with the hyperbole nonsense.

Quote:
The guy was just making a suggestion.

No. He wasn't.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

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post #17 of 117
I am running the Beta and get 18 hours standby with 8 hours heavy Data/Talk/Enet/Games/Location/

What more do you WANT from APPLE!!!!!!
post #18 of 117
I hope that Apple can work something out. I have an iPhone 4s and battery life is atrocious. I can have a fully charged iPhone, take it off the charger, and it will drop 1% within a few minutes just sitting there on the table doing nothing.

I could also just be browsing the internet at home via Wi-Fi (that's all, just checking a few sites) and see my battery drop from 80% to 70% in about 15 minutes or so. It's very frustrating to say the least.

And yes, I do have Bluetooth enabled. I have Bluetooth in my car and I like the ability to just leave my phone in my pocket and go instead of having to go through multiple to steps to enable/disable Bluetooth when I'm entering/exiting the car so I just leave it enabled all the time.

That being said, my iPhone 4 exhibited NONE of the battery problems that my iPhone 4S has and I have the same usage patterns. I would run my iPhone 4 down to about 50% after a day's work. With the iPhone 4S, I'm down to 20% and sometimes 10% by the end of the day.
post #19 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by jameskatt2 View Post

Nearly everyone else is NOT having battery problems on the iPhone.

Thus, this must be a HARDWARE defect in a few iPhones.

The solution is to simply get a new iPhone under warranty.

That's faulty logic. What if most people don't have the problem because it only appears with specific combinations of settings, networks, etc.? I'm pretty sure its not as simple as just swapping out a few phones - and so is Apple, given that it's been working on software fixes.

That said, the fact that the 4S recently achieved a 96% satisfaction rating makes me think that the battery problem affects a much smaller proportion of users than the media has been suggesting. That's the thing about extremely popular products. When you get thousands of people complaining, it's hard to sell if 50% of the user base is affected or just a very vocal 0.5%.
post #20 of 117
The betas usually have their own set of problems. a newer beta does not solve bugs in the previous release version. This beta still have problems that existed in the 5.0 beta.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brutus009 View Post

I had read about Apple asking a user experiencing battery problems if they would mind installing monitoring software to help diagnose the problem. Does Apple make this software available to the masses so that more users may help in providing usage data?

I have not experienced any problems with my 4S and absolutely love it. I would also happily provide a positive control if I knew such software were readily available.

I filed for bug report and they've sent me the file. Few days after I have submitted the log they got back to me saying that this is a known issue. Apple knows exactly what is causing this issue but they are most likely working on other issues as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

On the 4S, it's the exact same IR light. The difference is it's on permanently (for Siri) instead of just when you're on a call (other phones).

Claiming that this is the reason for battery trouble, however, is one of the silliest things I've ever heard.

The Siri IR light is not permanently on. It is only on when the display is on. This is why you need to turn the display on (not necessarily unlock the iPhone) to get raise to speak to work.
post #21 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by brutus009 View Post

I had read about Apple asking a user experiencing battery problems if they would mind installing monitoring software to help diagnose the problem. Does Apple make this software available to the masses so that more users may help in providing usage data?

No, they don't. You either have to be a developer or a regular user and have your case escalated to engineering to have it given to you.

On a sidenote, I do think I have crappy battery life. But I also know that iOS 5 is much complex than ever and as more and more features are enabled, it will make people use it differently. I also believe that some rogue apps may be causing issues as well. While there is an approval process for apps, sometimes things slip by.

This battery fiasco will only get worse in the future as Apple is obsessed with thin devices and that leaves less space for battery. Naturally they aren't going to make brick sized phones, but battery size is important here. For me, and I will always state this, iOS 5.0 beta 5 was the most superior version of iOS for me. Battery life was far superior than it is now. Who knows what made it work.
post #22 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

I'm guessing this affects battery life to a degree, just as many new features do.

However, this is likely not the primary culprit, as this would suggest that all 4S's are affected evenly, which they are not.

Since the majority are experiencing battery life on par or slightly below the iPhone 4 running iOS 4 (to be expected with newer location features) with only a minority grossly affected, some other variable must be at work. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but I've heard of several iPhone. 4 users running iOS 5 experiencing newfound battery problems. These people don't have Siri.

This would be my situation. IP4/CDMA. I installed IOS5 via OTA and ever since I have been having god awful battery problems. I have location services on but with only 2 apps are turned on to use it. I have deleted my email from it as well. I pull it off my charger at 5:15 AM and will be down to 30 to 40% by noon. Before upgrading to IOS5 I could easily get 2 days min out of it.

So what do I do? Just sit back and wait for them so come up with a fix? In the mean time I have 90% of the phones most valuable features turned off. I'm not upset by any means, just very dissapointed.
post #23 of 117
For those blaming it on Siri, since the i4 doesn't have it.....why does that have poor battery life for people too?
post #24 of 117
If the battery problem happens to 4 too as reported, this must be caused by iOS 5. Because there was no such battery problem before for 4. My iPhone 4, however, improved battery life after I installed iOS 5.
post #25 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

Without experiencing or knowing much about the problem, my first guess would be that it is likely affecting the same group of people who were affected by "Antennagate", i.e. a group of people who experience poor network coverage. As far as I know, when in a poor coverage area, more power is consumed attempting to find a strong signal. With features like Notification Center's geofencing and current-location-using weather, the phone is more frequently in need of a data connection. Perhaps something else about iOS 5 exascberates the problem.

For the majority of people in strong cell coverage, no problem exists. For a minority, it means terrible battery life. If this is true, a slight fix may be to turn off Location Services for Notification Center. While not experiencing terrible battery life, disabling this feature rewarded me with better and more consistent battery life.

Just a theory.

Yes, totally agree, and that people just like to complain because they think that Apple is perfect and can do no wrong. Also people are stupid, using their phones as laptops will seriously suck battery current.
post #26 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by jameskatt2 View Post

The few users who are complaining about battery life can simply go to an Apple store and get a replacement for the iPhone under warranty.

Nearly everyone else is NOT having battery problems on the iPhone.

Thus, this must be a HARDWARE defect in a few iPhones.

The solution is to simply get a new iPhone under warranty.

Or, it may not be a defect at all. We all know battery life varies greatly based on usage. Once I applied the iOS 5 update, I noticed a dramatic increase in my battery life (which was already better than my 2+ year old 3GS was getting). I actually had never noticed the time zone issue the software fixed on any order of significance until the most recent Daylight Savings Time transition. That night, I did not charge my phone because it had nearly 80% battery, and when I woke up 6 hours later it had drained entirely. That was the most severe case. Other times, I would "think" my battery should be lasting longer, but had no real empirical evidence to back it up. Post-update, my battery life is much improved, and blows away what I was getting with my last phone. Moderate to heavy use in a day drops me down to maybe 40-50% before I go to bed.

Which is the problem with the "some people" reports. "Some people" experience just about any problem you can imagine, for any product that's out there. And "some people" like me experience met or exceeded expectations. Unless there is some evidence that there is a common usage factor among these people, it's not really much of a story.
post #27 of 117
Any improvements to the music player app in 5.1, particularly on iPad?
post #28 of 117
I have 5.1 installed and can tell you from testing that the battery issue is being addressed myself and another developer have seen an average of a 20% to 30% better battery life.
post #29 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

Any improvements to the music player app in 5.1, particularly on iPad?

What improvements do you desire?

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #30 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by brutus009 View Post

I had read about Apple asking a user experiencing battery problems if they would mind installing monitoring software to help diagnose the problem. Does Apple make this software available to the masses so that more users may help in providing usage data?

I have not experienced any problems with my 4S and absolutely love it. I would also happily provide a positive control if I knew such software were readily available.

Perhaps they need to put Carrier IQ back into iOS? (j/k)
post #31 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by jameskatt2 View Post

The few users who are complaining about battery life can simply go to an Apple store and get a replacement for the iPhone under warranty.

Nearly everyone else is NOT having battery problems on the iPhone.

Thus, this must be a HARDWARE defect in a few iPhones.

The solution is to simply get a new iPhone under warranty.

It is not a hardware defect. It is a software bug mainly affecting those people who restored from a previous iOS backup. Some were able to fix the problem by restoring and setting the iPhone as a new device. For me this is not a solution. I don't want to go through reconfiguring 50+ apps on my iPhone.
post #32 of 117
My battery problems began after installing iOS 5 on my iPhone 4. The battery drain was substantial, even in sleep mode I would wake the phone and the battery would drain by more than 10% in less than 15 minutes! No activity!
One solution that worked was simply turning off 3G. But in my line of work that defies the purpose of owning this phone. As a field technician I'm constantly tethered to the phone's 3G network. On 4.3.5 this posed no problem. But now that I'm completely immersed with iCloud, downgrading just isn't an option. I'm currently running 5.0.1.
Any other temporary suggestions?
post #33 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by bagofwater View Post

Or, it may not be a defect at all. We all know battery life varies greatly based on usage. Once I applied the iOS 5 update, I noticed a dramatic increase in my battery life (which was already better than my 2+ year old 3GS was getting). I actually had never noticed the time zone issue the software fixed on any order of significance until the most recent Daylight Savings Time transition. That night, I did not charge my phone because it had nearly 80% battery, and when I woke up 6 hours later it had drained entirely. That was the most severe case. Other times, I would "think" my battery should be lasting longer, but had no real empirical evidence to back it up. Post-update, my battery life is much improved, and blows away what I was getting with my last phone. Moderate to heavy use in a day drops me down to maybe 40-50% before I go to bed.

Which is the problem with the "some people" reports. "Some people" experience just about any problem you can imagine, for any product that's out there. And "some people" like me experience met or exceeded expectations. Unless there is some evidence that there is a common usage factor among these people, it's not really much of a story.

My iPhone battery charge goes from 100% to 0% in 36 hours of standby (no usage whatsoever). That is not even close to normal.
post #34 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacShack View Post

Noise isolating == noise cancellation ? Understanding : question_mark

Noise Isolating heaphones use silicon baffles to block out noise. They go directly in the ear canal, and are far better at blocking out white noise than active cancellation. With my Etymotic HF3 headset I can listen to my music on its lowest volume setting even when I am riding a BART train or working in a noisy colo. Overall, lower volume is better for my hearing in the long run.

I have been using Etymotic headphones for about three years, and have always loved them. As of iOS 5, on the iPhone 4/4S, the iPhone's built in noise cancellation completely negates the usefulness of noise isolating headphones because as an artifact of the process the audio picked up by the headset mic is replayed in the headphones. Stupid.
post #35 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by jameskatt2 View Post

The few users who are complaining about battery life can simply go to an Apple store and get a replacement for the iPhone under warranty.

Nearly everyone else is NOT having battery problems on the iPhone.

Thus, this must be a HARDWARE defect in a few iPhones.

The solution is to simply get a new iPhone under warranty.

Not even close to being true. Some reports indicate that the people who are having problems often have every feature under the sun turned on. Of course it's going to use battery power more if you have location services checking your location ever 5 seconds and so on.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #36 of 117
My iPhone 4 doesn't have battery problems. But the camera has been buggy with constant re-focusing while I'm trying to take pictures. The phone is also laggier than when it was on iOS 4.
post #37 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacShack View Post

Noise isolating == noise cancellation ? Understanding : question_mark

No, the iPhone has noise isolation, where the second mic picks up any unwanted noise and filters out any frequencies that aren't desired. The bug he is referring to deals with the feedback from that noise isolation through the headphone jack, and by extension, into his noise-cancelling headphones. The person on the other end of the phone hears nothing but his voice, but he hears all the unwanted noise that is being fed back. I don't know if it is a software issue or a hardware issue, though. It could be a faulty analog-to-digital converter, it could be a weak capacitor, or it could just be a bug in the OS that needs patched. That's hard to tell. If I were the OP, I would certainly swap out my phone to try and eliminate any hardware problems.
post #38 of 117
My battery woes went away as soon as I turned off Facebook push notifications.
post #39 of 117
I wonder if the people having issues also use yahoo email. I've pinpointed one iphone's battery problem to yahoo email being stalled often. Deleting it and using gmail fixed the problem.

Being in a poor network coverage area will definitely affect battery life. The phone is constantly trying to switch antennas and or 3g/2g networks.
post #40 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisKnight View Post

Just give us the option to turn this 'feature' off!!!

lol you really think apple will give you options?
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