If there is a problem all of us experience at one time or another, it’s battery life. Maybe there is a battery life revolution going on right before our eyes but we’re just not looking closely enough to see the improvements.
After all, back in 2007, the original iPhone’s battery lasted about a day for most of us, and that’s been the case for each new iPhone since then. What’s different is what we expect iPhones to do. We have and use more iPhone applications than ever yet battery life remains about a day.
About this time every year we read articles about how bad battery life is on the latest iPhone or the latest major upgrade, in this case, iOS 11. Is iPhone battery life worse now? Will it get better? When will batteries last a week or a month on a charge?
The reality is this. Battery life remains about the same despite our increased device usage and more applications. That tells me that battery technology has improved, and Apple’s focus on CPU and screen designs that use less power have paid off– but only to the point where an iPhone’s charge lasts about a day.
My iPhone 7 Plus– with a much larger battery than iPhone X– could get through a nearly 16-hour day with about 25-percent charge remaining. Not so, iPhone X which drained by early evening.
What’s going on?
Obviously, Apple has something going on under the hood of new phones and new iOS versions that we’re not privy to and I base that assumption on how iPhone X’s battery life improved once I upgraded to iOS 11.1. Now, even under frequent use, iPhone X gets through a day. Barely; where iPhone 7 Plus had plenty to spare.
I see the battery life problem show up more on iPhone 6s and 7 than on 6s Plus and 7 Plus which probably is reflective of nothing more than battery size. But I have friends with older iPhones who lament battery life regardless of the size or model and that tells me that a battery charge does not hold steady year after year. There are plenty of variables here, but a full charge dispenses faster on older phones.
I’m on the iPhone Upgrade Program so I don’t notice the annual battery degradation but I know many iPhone users who experience.
There appears to be a delicate balance between how much more we use iPhones vs. battery technology vs. Apple’s improvements in iOS and hardware. All combine to give us about the same battery life on each new iPhone every year. A few times in the past I used Mophie’s Juice Packs which double battery power and life but there is no iPhone X version available. Yet.
Every few months we read or watch news about a battery technology breakthrough that could bring us 10 times more power in a smaller, less flammable package, but we’re still waiting.
As it stands now, I go through all the battery saving tips I can find, get brutal about notifications, alerts, and apps that spawn background functions. The Battery shaming selection in Settings helps to identify power hungry culprits but these are all extra steps to squeeze more time from a charge, which, in the end, still amounts at best to around a day.