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iOS 5 Battery Problems: Update Does Not Fix Power Drain For Many iPhone Owners

First Posted: 11/11/11 03:17 PM ET Updated: 11/11/11 03:21 PM ET

Ios 5 Battery Problems Iphone 4s

Here we go again: Apple is still hearing many complaints about battery problems from iPhone owners using iOS 5.0.1, an update to iOS 5 that was supposed to fix the power drain.

Tech sites and Apple forums have been inundated with user complaints about battery problems on all Apple devices running the new software, especially the iPhone 4S, ever since the newest Apple smartphone was released in October.

Apple acknowledged the problems in a brief statement sent out to several technology blogs on November 2:

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.

It did not take a few weeks, however, as Apple released iOS 5.0.1 to users just eight days later; chief among the updates listed was one that "fixes bugs affecting battery life."

If the number of tech sites and blogs writing on persistent battery troubles on the iPhone 4S are any indication, however, reports of iOS 5.0.1 fixing battery problems have been greatly exaggerated.

AllThingsD, MacTrast, The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Boy Genius Report, PCWorld, CNet, 9to5Mac, Ars Technica, Gizmodo and The Next Web have all published trend stories detailing the litany of iPhone owners complaining on the Apple forums about persistent battery life troubles after downloading iOS 5.0.1.

A smattering of the complaints (all sic):


"I did the upgrade yesterday and now had to charge battery three times today (and that's with loads of stuff turned off)!!! Think apple need to sort this soon. Think I will have to dig out one of my old phones to use at work. Not an idea situation."

“Upgraded to 5.0.1 this morning. Still draining at the exact same rate. Unplugged with a full charge 2 1/2 hours ago, and already down to 80 percent with light usage. Just lost 2 percent during a 15 minute shower. I see no difference at all.”
Over the last week or so, I have been keeping up on the batter issue but have not had a problem with my phone. Last night I updated to 5.01. Since unplugging my phone this morning my batter life has declined by 21%. It's been unplugged for 2 hours with moderate use. This must be what people were experiencing.
there is no point having a smartphone if you have to turn everything off... update....phone has just gone from 29% down to......18% in the time that i have been on here and that is without even using it!! If i use it, it goes quicker than a stopwatch!

Apple has issued a statement on continuing battery problems. Via a statement sent to The Huffington Post:

The recent iOS software update addressed many of the battery issues that some customers experienced on their iOS 5 devices. We continue to investigate a few remaining issues.

So, have you downloaded iOS 5.0.1 (here's how to download it, if you haven't)? Are you seeing better battery life? Worse? About the same? Let us know in the comments, or head over to the Apple discussion forums to check out what others are saying.

While Apple continues to probe the ongoing issues, you can take measures into your own hands and give your battery life a boost by checking out our slideshow of power-saving tips (below).

Turn Off "Setting Time Zone"
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Could the battery drain on the iPhone 4S be caused by a bug in Apple's iOS 5 operating system? It sure is a popular theory, though Apple hasn't responded yet.

Basically, this supposed bug is causing the iPhone to repeatedly use your phone's location services in order to find out whether or not you've switched time zones, even if you're just sitting on the couch (which, let's face it, you're usually doing). When I checked my Time Zone settings, my iPhone was indeed currently using my location to ensure that I had not switched time zones in the past 24 hours. Not good, and certainly a potential battery killer, depending on how often this is happening.

To fix this:
1. Touch the "Settings" icon on your home screen (the one with all the gears).
2. Touch the "Location Services" bar.
3. Scroll down to the "System Services" bar at the bottom and click onto that screen.
4. Switch "Setting Time Zone" into the "Off" position. Unless you're doing some cross-country traveling, it's not necessary to be on all the time, especially if a bug is causing it to access your GPS several times throughout the day.

While you're there, you can go ahead and turn off "Location-Based iAds," unless you like those specific, hyper-local advertisements that pop up when using your favorite free apps. You can also certainly do without "Diagnostics & Usage," and unless you drive often AND use the traffic function on your Maps app, you can turn off "Traffic" as well.

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