Update to iOS 11 and Watch Your Battery Drain Before Your Eyes

I was hoping iOS 11 would correct some of the battery issues I’ve been having with my two-year-old iPhone 6S. Instead, it made things worse. Much worse.

A typical situation: When I left the house for spin with Bull Terrier #1 at the dog park, my phone showed a charge of 100%. WiFi and Bluetooth were on (I put on an audiobook and was using my AirPods)  but all other non-essential background functions were switched off and no apps were working in the background.

By the time we made it to the dog park–a walk of about 10 minutes–the phone showed that the battery had dropped to 89%. After 40 minutes of checking email and web browsing as the Bull Terrier schmoozed the crowd, I was down to 64%.

If you’ve noticed the same thing, it’s not our imaginations. The new iOS is draining battery life at an insane rate. Decay rate is up to 60% greater. The same issues have been reported with iPads.

The situation is so dire that I almost pulled the trigger on an iPhone 8 on Saturday. But I balked after talking to a salesperson who told me she had a 6S and was going to wait to see what the iPhone X looked and felt like.

Meanwhile, time to break out the Mobi.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

5 thoughts on “Update to iOS 11 and Watch Your Battery Drain Before Your Eyes

  • September 25, 2017 at 9:04 am

    I’ve been seeing this too (iPhone 6). But I’m hopeful that its at least partially some of the photo/video conversion process. IOS 11 uses a higher compression file format and I think it wants to convert everything, which will have significant CPU usage for a while. My other suspicion is that Facebook is still up to nefarious background operation…

  • September 25, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Apparently this drain may only be temporary while the phone goes through its indexing process? How long has it been since you updated Alan? Is it still giving you issues? (I’ve got the iPhone 6 and haven’t updated yet.)

  • September 25, 2017 at 11:26 am

    I have a 6 Plus, upgraded to 11 as soon as it was available, and have seen no increase in battery consumption. Most users (yourself included) who are seeing this almost certainly have battery issues which were pre-existing prior to the upgrade. My 6+ is only 5 mos old (it was a replacement refurb), so the battery is still relatively new, and I’m religious about keeping mine charged between 20 and 80%.

    I had a similar issue to what you’ve been seeing with my 5’s battery 3 yrs ago, and it was replaced for free outside of warranty because the diagnostic at the Genius Bar identified that it was ‘dying’ well before I brought it in.

  • September 25, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    My iPhone 6 is two years old and the battery has been terrible for a long time now. I’m not yet sure it’s worse since I upgraded to OS11 a few days ago, but it certainly isn’t better. I’m due for an upgrade and thanks to your show may be holding out for the X as well!


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