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Users report iOS 6.0.2 update may cause battery drain

updated 06:59 pm EST, Thu December 20, 2012

Could come from increased number of Wi-Fi checks

MacNN and other tech outlets are seeing some user reports that the latest release of iOS, 6.0.2, is causing additional battery drain on at least some devices. Reports of issues first surfaced on Apple's own support forums, and so far seems to be limited to only some of those who were able to upgrade to v6.0.2. Apple's recent iOS and OS X updates have both suffered from scattered reports of battery drain compared to previous versions of the respective OS, though the company generally fixes them over time.

Adam C. Engst and Michael Cohen of TidBITS theorize that the problem may have its root in the increased number of Wi-Fi checks performed by the update to try and solve Wi-Fi connection issues, after performing some basic tests. Engst has recently updated his report that turning Wi-Fi on and off and unchecking "Ask to join networks" may also alleviate the problem for some of those who suffer from it. Overall, however, users generally report that 6.0.2 does indeed fix Wi-Fi connection issues that had been a problem in the earlier releases of iOS 6

On TidBITS' own comments, numerous readers report that they aren't having the issue, while others say they are experiencing it, making the issue hard to pin down. The 6.0.2 update is limited to only the iPhone 5 and the iPad mini, and thus those with older iPhones, or iPod Touches or iPads (even the current models) won't see this specific draining problem. Common causes of unusual battery drain can include background apps that are continuing to function (such as Internet radio), Bluetooth on when not in use, screen brightness not set to automatic and excessive push notifications, which turn the screen on every time a new one comes in.

The reports come on the heels of ongoing lower battery performance in Mountain Lion which are still not fully resolved but are back within normal tolerances since OS X 10.8.2 came out. Earlier versions of Mountain Lion had produced significant battery-drain reports, which Apple later ascribed to a faulty algorithm for calculating remaining battery life. Tests done by Electronista's independent testing lab continue to show that OS X Lion 10.7.3 had the best battery life on a variety of tested recent-model MacBook units, which hasn't yet been topped by Mountain Lion.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: 01-03-08

    sigh...I sure miss the days of Avie Tevanian when Mac OS development was a source of ground-breaking features with quality performance.

  1. subego

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 06-07-01

    As opposed to the days of releasing the two most influential tech products of the decade?

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Originally Posted by pairof9sView Post

    sigh...I sure miss the days of Avie Tevanian when Mac OS development was a source of ground-breaking features with quality performance.




    Hahaha! Oh you mean like OS X 10.0? Or 10.1 for that matter??

    Man, you could hardly have picked a WORSE analogy, and I say that as someone who greatly admires Avie!

    The truth of the matter is that software ... ALL software ... rarely comes out of the gate without LOADS of bugs, many of which are already known to the programmers and many more of which are invisible except in unusual setups/configurations/situations. When software is new, our imaginations are seized by the potential and new paradigm and we gloss over the problems. OS X has reached maturity in its present form just as Mac OS did in version 9 ... there just isn't as much that you can do that completely new and whizz-bang unless you tear the whole thing out and start over. All you can do until you get to that point is polish.

    That's why old Mac hands wax eloquent about OS 7 rather than 8 or 9, and why Windows users still prefer XP over anything since. Assuming Apple decides to start over again with OS XI (they won't call it that, but you know what I mean), I suspect 10.6 (or possibly 10.8 when they get all the kinks out) will be referred to as the "golden age" ... and the new stuff is crap ... :lol:

    The wheel turns, everything old is new again ...

  1. Grendelmon

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 12-26-07

    Originally Posted by chas_mView Post


    The truth of the matter is that software ... ALL software ... rarely comes out of the gate without LOADS of bugs, many of which are already known to the programmers and many more of which are invisible except in unusual setups/configurations/situations. When software is new, our imaginations are seized by the potential and new paradigm and we gloss over the problems.



    As a software developer, I agree with your philosophy but I think your statement itself is ridiculous. We aren't talking about an entire desktop operating system (although my argument could still apply), we're talking about a minimalistic device operating system. When you compare Google and Microsoft to Apple, the former are developing software for a multitude of devices manufactured by other hardware companies. The scope of components is very large, and to create a "one system that works on many" is very difficult, and they have done a pretty good job.

    Now when you look at Apple- the closed ecosystem in which they control the entire scope of the product, from the hardware manufacturing down to the operating system itself, there's very little room for excuses as to why something as fundamental as battery life that was not caught (or addressed) in QA. Especially for a company as large as Apple- while sitting on an ENORMOUS pile of capital, enough to write every U.S. citizen a check for $247.

    While I'm not trying to be too critical about Apple, I think what you're saying is that consumer expectations are too high for new software releases. Yet, if the reports are true- when it comes to a phone's (or tablet or Touch) battery life, that's a very valid expectation and needs to be fixed before it's released.

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