As it was for about 10-million other Apple customers, I bought my iPhone 6 Plus sight unseen. Why? I like to live dangerously. Apple’s new products usually are good enough that there’s little ‘buyer’s remorse’ by ordering from the first manufacturing run, and there’s a social camaraderie while standing in line a few hours. Besides, zealous Kool-Aid drinking cult member and all that.
I picked up my iPhone 6 Plus on Friday, showed it off to a co-worker, so we went to a couple of Apple Stores on Saturday to check out the new models. And, again on Sunday. Why two days? It took that long to find an iPhone 6 Plus displayed on the Apple Store product tables that did not have a drained battery.
That’s right. In each case, Saturday and Sunday, the iPhone 6 Plus models on display in the Stores had their respective batteries completely or nearly drained. The best we could do was the 5th Avenue Apple Store at mid-day Sunday, and even then the battery was already down to less than 20-percent.
There are two take aways from that experience (as well as the first 24-hours of using my iPhone 6 Plus).
First of all, that means the iPhone 6 Plus models on display in the Apple Store were constantly being used by prospective customers and didn’t have a chance to recharge during the course of the day. When we could get to an iPhone 6 Plus on display that did not have a customer holding it in hand, it was because the battery was so drained the screen was blank.
Secondly, iPhone 6 and iOS 8 have a lot more going on behind the scenes so there is a need to watch which applications are doing what, when, and how often. Add up all the alerts, location checking, notifications, extensions, and widgets that are new to iOS and battery life is impacted– and not in a good way.
Simply put, iOS 8 needs more monitoring; more riding herd on the apps that phone home, or generate notifications, and anything else to do with using the CPU, cell phone, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth.
Without paying close attention to which applications are battery wasters, the iPhone 6 and iOS 8 could get the reputation of being battery hogs. Fortunately, iOS 8 also provides a way to know which apps are using the battery the most. It’s called ‘battery shaming.’
Open Settings in iOS 8, open General, open Usage, then open Battery Usage. In a moment you’ll get a list of which apps use the most of your iPhone’s battery; in the past 24-hours, and over a longer period of time.
For me, Mail is seldom used but always on in the background and uses, so far, about 15-percent of the iPhone’s battery. Safari, which I use more frequently, is at 20-percent. My Pedometer app, which is always running, only 1-percent. Your mileage may vary, of course.
Every new iPhone model ups the power requirements and capability, and iPhone 6 Plus, even with a much larger battery, is likely to provide a day, or at best, two days of battery life, with average usage. That’s the problem. What’s average usage?
On another note, the iPhone 6 Plus screen is to die for; absolutely gorgeous color, with photos and movies unlike anything I’ve seen from such a small device.