iPhone, iPad battery draining faster on iOS 7.1? You're not alone

iPhone, iPad battery draining faster on iOS 7.1? You're not alone

Summary: Users have taken to Twitter and forums to complain that Apple's latest iPhone and iPad software update, iOS 7.1, is draining their device's battery faster than it should be.

TOPICS: Apple, iOS, iPhone, iPad
(Image: CNET/CBS Interactive)

iPhone and iPad users running the latest software version, iOS 7.1, is considerably draining battery life, according to some users.

The iterative software update, released on Monday, boasts a number of new features, including accessibility tweaks and user interface design changes, along with a number of security fixes.

According to the latest research, iOS 7.1 is already on 21 percent of all iPhones and iPads — making it one of the fastest uptake of a new mobile operating system version in recent history.

But despite internal extensive testing and five iterative beta versions issued to Apple developers, the battery life on some devices appears to be dropping far more than it did on iOS 7.

Ars Technica tested the battery life across a number of devices, including the iPhone 5s, and iPad models, and discovered that battery life was in nearly all cases slightly lower in iOS 7.1 than the latest version of its predecessor, iOS 7.0.6, which landed in mid-February with an SSL connection bug fix.

But that doesn't account for some of the complaints by some Apple customers.

From Apple's own discussion forums, one user said, "overnight charge decreased from 100 percent to 30 percent." Meanwhile, others have seen similar drops in battery life. Another user said: "My battery drains to 50 percent within an hour or so after intense use on the lowest level of brightness, and I seem to lose about 5-7 percent when on standby for 5 hours or so."

Others said they had 24 hours of moderate to heavy use, but now get half that. Some saw even more dramatic drops in their battery life. One forum member said, "I just charged the battery to 60 percent an hour ago... but now is 36 percent."

And there are more and more reports from the Apple forums.

Twitter users have also been quite vocal on reported problems:

All in all, while reports of battery drain do not appear to be isolated, there isn't a clear pattern yet emerging — if there is one — of which devices are affected and why. It's worth noting that not everyone is having issues, with some reporting that battery life has improved considerably 

Topics: Apple, iOS, iPhone, iPad

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  • Again?

    Is it every other release Apple make this gaff?
    • It not a gaff. This gets reported after every iOS update - as you just did

      However, what NEVER gets reported is that after background update processes are finished, battery charge duration rates return to normal - and sometimes they even improve.

      Reading about these battery issues (even I noticed and reported on this phenomenon with a ZDNet comment after an iOS 6 update awhile back), reminds me that some things never change.
      • Where do you find out things return to normal?

        I've seen this hit several people I know after various updates and none saw batteries return to normal.

        Maybe it doesn't get reported, because it doesn't return to normal for everyone as you suspect it does?
        • If it works, then what's to complain about?

          One possible reason is that maybe people don't bother to announce that their electronic devices are working as expected -- whether straight out of the box or after a repair?

          Well, I sometimes do after a repair, but my Mac mechanic has been fixing my computers since I was turning out advertisements (including 4 color separated newspaper ads), software manuals, etc) on a Mac + back in '86. So, yeah, I'll get on my local Mac users group and other similar sites and talk about the repair.
          Jim Kirk
        • I took a few days to respond to your post, Emacho

          because I wanted to try an experiment first. I wonder if anyone was curious enough to review subsequent tweets from the persons Zack highlighted in this blog.

          I know I was curious so I waited until Sunday evening (after my March Madness Bracket was filled out) before doing some 'gum shoe' detective online research.

          Of all the persons listed, none seem to comment on a continuing iPhone battery charge duration problem after applying the update. In fact, one of Zack's tweeters actually opines to a friend that the iPhone is his recommendation for a smartphone. (A curious recommendation if that person was still experiencing a major battery problem.)

          Why don't you do some research on these persons yourself? I must warn you that you will scan quite a few exceptionally banal tweets doing this but at least a few of your questions will be answered.
          • One key correction to this post

            I should have stated that no single person that Zack cited in his blog that tweeted an iPhone battery charge duration problem have posted a continuing problem with this iPhone condition today. One could almost assume that their problem 'went away' - as that particular problem invariably does.
          • did anyone actually say their problem went away?

            it is just as easy to assume someone would have tweeted about their problem being resolved, right?

            that is the thing about assumptions, there is no way to know if it is right.

            I'm not on twitter, so you have to do your own detective work on this.
          • You are not on Twitter?!

            Actually, I only joined last year. It's not a bad source for information. However, I have found that most tweets show evidence that their authors are practicing their private stand-up comedy routines. It's provides a great opportunity to sharpen one's skills in the art of delivering the snarky comment. :-)

            Anyway, the absense of any follow-up comments from the authors of those tweets does lend support for the belief that their iOS battery charge duration problems have been resolved. Think about it, after almost every single recent iOS update, this phenomenon gets reported for a day and then nothing else is mentioned about it until the next update. Yet sales of iPhones (and other iOS devices) are increasing and upgrade sales to the most current iOS device continue as well. I would think that if I had a bad experience with this type of problem, I would seriously avoid buying another iOS device. And my reason for doing so would be amplified by countless others. Yet, that scenario is not what is observed and after a few days has past, the owner of an updated iOS device returns to using his iOS device as if nothing has happenned. Or else it would be reported - assured.
          • So how do you know when...

            these "updates" are finished? It has been over a week since ours contracted this issue. Also, kenosha77a, what update were you referring to when you stated "none seem to comment on a continuing iPhone battery charge duration problem after applying the update"?
      • Still not taking the chance

        I've read the same thing on battery drain without the returning to normal part, so I'm definitely holding off updating the wife's iPhone, as it has poor battery life to begin with (age).

        We'll see what happens with the iPad first, since that has great battery life.
        • I updated three iPads and did not see adverse battery drainage rates

          I understand my experience statements are just anecdotal postings, Will, but I updated an iPad 2 from iOS 6, an iPad 3 (retina) from iOS 7 and an iPad Mini (retina) with positive results. (BTW, as I posted earlier, my iPad 2 remained at iOS 6 level because of reported "less than optimal" upgrades to iOS 7 so I understand your hesitancy - especially regarding your wife's iPhone.

          BTW, I upgraded my iPhone 5 to this version without incident so I'm batting 4 for 4 with this upgrade.

          Best of luck to you, and, for what it's worth, no one has ever been disappointed by playing it cautious and waiting a few weeks.
  • Power being drained?

    Apple will drain you pockets too. Nokia Lumia phones with Windows Phone are still better.
    • The topic is?

      iPhone, iPad battery draining faster on iOS 7.1
    • Bwaaahh haaaa haaaaa...

      No. Seriously, no.
    • Better for what? A hockey puck?

      Windows Phones have mostly been resoundly rejected.
      • Um, no

        Their market share is growing. And there is no such word as "resoundly" - you could say "soundly" or (what you probably meant) "resoundingly".
    • Windows Phones?

      Wow, they make phones too? Just as popular as Windows 8? Seriously, the Windows Phone works for many people. To me a smartphone without apps, is not so smart and the OS is good in some ways, and less so in other ways. Will stay with Android and consider iPhone some day. WP9 may be better - who knows.

      NOW back to battery life. I have an iPad and it seems to not be draining faster -- at least nothing noticeable. Will keep an eye on battery life and get back, if something is not right. So far it seems fine.
  • Nothing that is happened to me at all

    I had to go out of town on a trip yesterday. Didn't have my charger. Everything held out just like normal, so I can't say I've seen it.
    • Same here

      The battery is not any draining faster after upgrading. I prefer to have background app refresh disabled.

      It seems that Safari STILL crashes a lot on 64-bit devices, though. I was hoping iOS 7.1 would fix that...
  • 7.1 turns on bluetooth

    I noticed that the bluetooth radio was turned on by default overriding my previous setting. Having an additional radio going all of the time could contribute to the battery drain. It could also become both a security and privacy problem as well.

    Dan K