Have you noticed your older iPhone is slower than it used to be?
Apple has revealed that they're slowing down older phones - but it's not what you think.
The batteries used in modern smartphones have a limited shelf-life. Typically, after a year or so, they start to be able to keep less and less charge (meaning your phone won't last as long). Constant use, charging and recharging, all wear it down – something Apple refers to as 'Chemical ageing'.
Another side effect of a 'chemically aged' battery is that sometimes it can’t give your phone the power it needs to get things done. When that happens, your phone might start crashing or turning itself off. Think of it a bit like an old car – it'll still get you from A to B, but try to get from 0-60 in few seconds, and you’ll probably break something.
Apple's update tries to stop your phone turning itself off
So, if you open something that needs a quick burst of power, and the battery can't give it, your phone will likely just switch itself off. It won’t happen all the time though – you’ll mostly notice it when your phone is down to 20-30% charge or being used in a cold environment.
Apple wasn’t happy about their users experiencing unexpected shutdowns on their phones, so about a year ago they released an update to their iOS software that changes the way power is managed on the phone.
That update means that there won't be any unexpected shutdowns on the phone.
On the other hand, that change also means that apps you use, and other power-heavy functions, will be slower than they used to. You might see things like:
You should only see this problem on phones that have been used for a year or more, and it's most likely to affect these models:
Apple hasn't confirmed if the problem will affect the newer iPhone 8, 8 Plus or iPhone X, and because of the feedback they've had, there's a good chance they might change things for those devices.
To check if your phone is affected, head to Settings > Battery > Battery Health (Beta).
In here you will see your battery's 'Maximum capacity'. This starts at 100% when you first get your phone, and slowly goes time as you use and charge it.
If your phone Maximum capacity has got below 80%, you might see a message saying that your phpne has experienced unexpected shutdowns, and so has had 'Performance management' applied to make sure it doesn't happen again.
If you have one of the affected models, and you’re experiencing the issues, you have a couple of options: get a new battery, or wait for an update from Apple.
As the problem is caused by an old battery, the simple solution is to get the battery replaced. You can get an iPhone battery replacement at any Carphone Warehouse for £29.99. If you’re unsure whether you need one, come in-store and our experts will complete a free check-up of your phone. You can use our Store Locator to find your nearest store here.
Apple usually charges £79 for a battery replacement, but as a way of apologising for some of the communication around the problem, they're reducing that cost to £25. You can book in for a repair with Apple here – however, you might be waiting a little while for batteries for the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and 6s Plus due to limited supplies. The lower price will be available until December 2018.
With a fresh battery, you'll see the performance of your phone go back to normal, and you shouldn't have any of the problems we've mentioned.
If you don’t want to get a new battery, Apple has released a software update will give you the option of turning off these power management features. This will mean you get the full performance of your phone back, but you'll also be at risk of having the phone unexpectedly shut down.
If your phone is using Performance management and you'd like to turn it off, head to Settings > Battery > Battery Health (Beta).
In here, you'll see a small blue Disable button. Tap this, and then tap Disable on the pop-up. Remeber though that with this disabled, you phone may shut down randomly when you battery gets low.
Hopefully now you know what your options are. If you're still in two minds though, contact one of our experts from Team Knowhow if you need us.