Apple confirms battery drain issue with iOS 5 and promises a fix within weeks

3 November 2011 by
Several users has reported about poor battery performance for the new iOS 5 in general and iPhone 4S in particular. As usual, Apple has refused to comment on the issue but this week they promised to release an iOS 5 update soon

iPhone 4S iOS 5 update fixes battery issue

It has been all over the web lately. Poor battery life with iOS 5. It seems like it has been difficult to track down the source for the poor battery performance because it has be hitting users at random. Apple now reports that there are several sources for the problem, and that they will be fixed in future software update.

Apple issued a statement to AllThingsD where they said

A small number of customers have reported lower than expected battery life on iOS 5 devices. We have found a few bugs that are affecting battery life and we will release a software update to address those in a few weeks.

What Apple probably means is that thousands of their customers has found the bug, but Apple has found the bug sources.

The iOS 5.0.1 is now available for developers and the bugs affecting battery life is one of the improvements and fixes in this release:

  • Fixes bugs affecting battery life
  • Adds multitasking gestures for original iPad
  • Resolves bugs with Documents in the Cloud
  • Improves voice recognition for Australian users using dictation
  • Contains security improvements

Apple will have the iOS fix available to iOS 5 users in a few weeks.

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masseur12 years, 6 months ago
I plan to download this tonight and will report back in a day or two.
adsada12 years, 6 months ago
I'm sorry but this is a joke. Apple are minted atm, and they've had over a year to make the iPhone and iOS 5. Surely they could of invested some of that billions in making sure iOS 5 was decent before public realise? Some of the battery life stories I've read are shocking considering this is such an expensive device and people are paying a lot for it.
masseur12 years, 6 months ago
well, we had a very lengthy beta test (7 betas in fact) over around 3 months or so.
there were battery issues reported there and we saw improvements with each beta.
I'm a developer and there comes a time during any software development when you have to release the code otherwise you could test it to death for years and still find bugs.
Considering how much functionality changed in iOS 5 it is a remarkably stable platform and if the worst is that people have to charge there phones more regularly while those issues are addressed then I'm a happy person.
I still get more than a days battery life out of my 4S and since I sync and charge each morning and night anyway to get the latest podcasts etc, I never run out of power.
NO software is perfect when its released... and thats a fact!
adsada12 years, 6 months ago
True, but the fact they've managed to solve these issues in an 'upcoming update' would suggest that the issues causing the battery drain weren't that hard to solve (they've managed to fix the problems less then a month after it was realised) so I don't understand why they couldn't have solved these issues before realising the final version. I heard one story where he went to bed with the phone half charged and the alarm failed to wake him in the morning because the battery had drained overnight - that is ridiculous imo
Good to see they've given multitasking back to iPad 1 users though, because that was also a bad move on their part.
masseur12 years, 6 months ago
first, anecdotal stories such as this battery drain overnight don't hold much water without substantiating evidence.
As a developer, I would spend minimal time considering such a claim unless I had alot more facts such as what else was running on the phone (e.g. some apps are known to be faulty and not turn off location service when not needed for example) etc etc. Also I would want a substantial % of the user base to be experiencing the same issue of an overnight drain when the phone is supposedly doing nothing. Mine is beside my bed with the alarm set each and every night and it has not failed to wake me up and morning battery % is usually around 92%

Many bugs in software are only found once the user base becomes much wider and more everyday usage scenarios are encountered.

We don't actually know exactly what it is that Apple are fixing so its hard to judge whether it should have been found before release, though its easy for dissenters to make such judgement of course.

Good to see they've given multitasking back to iPad 1 users though, because that was also a bad move on their part.

they've given ipad 1 multitasking gestures that were introduced in iOS 5 for the ipad 2. They never took away multitasking itself!

adsada12 years, 6 months ago
Yeah fair points I suppose, with the help of millions of users providing feedback they can solve the issue quicker
@ at iPad issue, ah I see well that's still good news for those users
razec12 years, 6 months ago
At least Apple admitted that they make mistakes now that Jobs is gone, but what if he's alive? will they say you're using your phone wrong? With respect to the late Mr Jobs i didn't want to sound rude but that's what i saw last year with iphone 4's antennagate
anonymuser12 years, 6 months ago
Last year we also saw Jobs call a press conference and personally hold his hand up to the antenna issues, and invite everyone affected to a free bumper or full refund, which was actually a pretty open and progressive stance for a big corporation to take over a relatively minor problem (it's not like it had that much impact on iPhone 4 sales). People seem keen to forget that part when recounting the whole "you're holding it wrong" debacle.
I've got the 4S and of course the battery could be better but it's perfectly useable, as mass says it'll do me a day which is all I expected or needed from my last iPhone - I fully expect the next few updates to improve battery life but that's all just part of owning a brand new smartphone. I've certainly had a LOT worse from other manufacturers, including SE.
masseur12 years, 6 months ago
based on comments in the DEV forum I decided not to upgrade to 5.0.1 yet.
Maybe over the w/e if comments improve...
anonymuser12 years, 6 months ago
From what I'm hearing the standby's been improved but not the usage drain, whic is probably the more noticeable issue for me. But that's the first seed, perhaps they're just deliberately treating the two separately and usage will improve once they know they fixed things in standby.
masseur12 years, 6 months ago
I'm glad I waited. 5.0.1 beta 2 is a definite improvement looking at usage and % battery since I loaded it last night.

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