iOS 7.1.1 brings with it better iPhone battery life

iOS 7.1.1 brings with it better iPhone battery life

Summary: Along with a raft of bug fixes and general improvements, Apple's iOS 7.1.1 also seems to bring with it better battery life for the iPhone.

TOPICS: Mobility, Apple, Hardware

I keep an eye on iPhone and iPad battery life following all iOS updates and I have to say that the iOS 7.1 update wasn't kind to the power pack. I saw the battery life of my iPhone – and several other test devices – go from "great" to "poor" overnight.

Do I have numbers to back up my assertion? You bet I do!

iOS battery life
(Image: CNET/CBS Interactive)

I've collected a fair bit of data for my workhorse iPhone 5. Pre iOS 7.0, six hours of use would take my fully charged iPhone down to 74 percent.

Note: I always measure from 100 percent because I can't guarantee that the discharge curve is linear, and this figure is an average over many six-hour runs to give me an "average" use figure.

Following the upgrade to iOS 7.0 I saw battery life drop a little, but it came back to normal quickly and so I put that down to battery calibration. Some iOS updates seem to wipe the battery calibration data and it takes a few recharge/discharge cycles for things to get back to normal.

However, following iOS 7.1, I started seeing the battery drop to around 48 percent per six hours of use, which was a significant and very noticeable level of degradation.

Put that another way, on a long day – many of my days are long – I would need to recharge my iPhone to make it through the day. You could actually watch the battery counter drop, and on more than one occasion I saw it drop several percentage points in one go.

Even with my toolbox of iOS battery life tweaks I could only get a few extra percentage points out of the battery. After isolating the Facebook app as one of the biggest guzzlers of charge, I got it so I was dropping to about 61 percent per six hours of average use.

Better, but far from stellar.

Then came iOS 7.1.1. Following this update I've noticed that things have improved dramatically, and now battery life is only falling to around 76 percent per six hours of average use, which is better than what I was getting pre iOS 7.0.

Can't grumble with that.

Note that this is data collected by my handset (other handsets show a similar pattern) and is based on my apps and my usage of them. Your mileage will undoubtedly vary.

Topics: Mobility, Apple, Hardware

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  • Agreed

    I noticed the same thing on my iPad (Air). Battery life has improved quite a bit, actually.
  • Not just 7.x

    My iPhone 4 w/iOS 6.x did the same exact battery drain issue at the same time it started happening to the 7.x devices. I don't think it was an iOS 7.x issue... maybe NSA downloading all of our personal and business info until Apple figured out how to patch iOS?
    • Really?

      I doubt it very much.
      • Heh

        That's exactly what we would expect the NSA to say.
    • Rus

      No, it actually were caused by Russian spies.
  • It seems to be smaller too.

    After completing the update and restoring my data and apps I have about 2GB more free space. Some of that likely came from the clean up that occurred with the full wipe and reinstall, but I'll take take it.
  • YES!

    I upgraded yesterday afternoon. I was playing a couple of games last night and I noticed that my battery level wasn't dropping nearly as much as in the recent past.

    I'm wondering whether it's actual battery life or simply better calibration of the battery level.
  • Still trying to get update

    Today I tried manually getting update and it came back to prompt me to try again later. I was having the same issues with my Apple TV getting a update. As far as battery life, I think in generally Apple fiddles with the battery calibration a lot. I do think they try and make sure you charge the battery before it gets too low. I am not even sure accuracy issues in battery life don't occur between batteries. You could buy several iPhones same model, same day and I'll bet they all have slightly different life spans. I know my daughter can't get through the day with her 5C but mine will easily go a day, mostly because I only have a few apps updating like mail, news app and weather. My daughter has a list of social networks, constant messaging and that also involves turning on screen and using energy. So I just think the more you use it, the more it drains. I am not sure a lot with the OS is really doing much with battery life. Unless it would be a glitch.
  • Particularly noticeable following routes

    Using the 5S phone to follow routes in Apple maps now seems to use very little battery.

    I thing they've been optimising the sleep, wakeup and screen dimming with the App running, and this may only work for the 5S, but the effects are very impressive.
    Henry 3 Dogg
  • Battery life is dramatically worse after iOS 7.1.1 on iPad

    I've never had any problem with battery life with any iOS on my iPad. Since updating to 7.1.1 however, I noticed a massive drain on battery life.... almost a 50% drain overnight (from 100% to 55%) while not being used and today while being used, a dramatically fast drain in battery life every few minutes.