At the tail-end of 2017, Apple confirmed that it introduced a feature in iOS 10.2.1 earlier in the year that throttled iOS in an effort to stop random shutdowns in older iPhones with aging batteries.
Unfortunately for Apple, the fact the company didn’t disclose that information has led to a major fiasco for the company, ultimately leading it to launch a $29 battery replacement program, consider rebates for customers who paid full price for an iPhone battery, and include an update to iOS 11.3 that would include more information regarding the overall health of the iPhone’s battery.
That feature wasn’t included with the first beta of iOS 11.3, but, as noted by MacRumors today following the seed of the second developer beta, the feature is now included in the pre-release software.
The new feature is called “Battery Health”, and it is located within the Battery section in the Settings app. The new section will show the user the maximum capacity of the iPhone battery, and it will also include information to tell the iPhone owner whether or not it is handling at peak performance capacity.
Apple previously promised that iPhone owners would be able to turn off the throttling feature that is baked into iOS, but, as noted in the original report, that feature is not present on the iPhone X. It is more than likely not present on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, either. Apple actually recently addressed this, too, saying that “hardware updates” in newer iPhones had addressed battery issues. As such, it is possible this feature is only available on older iPhone models.
It has since been confirmed by Apple that the toggle will appear in this section when a phone’s battery has degraded to a necessary state. So if the battery reaches a point where it needs to be replaced, the user will be able to toggle the feature based on their own usage patterns, and until they can determine if they want to replace the battery or not.
Since the second beta of iOS 11.3 was seeded, Apple has published a support document to outline its efforts with throttling iOS in an effort to sustain battery life and stop unexpected shutdowns in older iPhones with aging batteries.
Here are some of the key elements from the new support document:
“For iPhone 6 and later, iOS 11.3 adds new features to show battery health and recommend if a battery needs to be replaced. These can be found in Settings > Battery > Battery Health (Beta).
Additionally, users can see if the performance management feature that dynamically manages maximum performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns is on and can choose to turn it off. This feature is enabled only after an unexpected shutdown first occurs on a device with a battery that has diminished ability to deliver maximum instantaneous power. This feature applies to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus.
(Note: Devices updating to iOS 11.3 will initially have performance management disabled; it will be reenabled if the device subsequently experiences an unexpected shutdown.)”
The Battery Health feature is just one fix for a lingering issue for Apple, and the company will likely be adding information to the feature ahead of the public launch of iOS 11.3 sometime in the near future.
The Battery Health feature isn’t offering a lot of information, at least not yet, but what it does offer is a good start. It will be interesting to see if Apple adds more information to the mix, or if this is all iOS users can expect to find.