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iPhone Battery Health: How to use iOS 11.3's new settings

Apple's new Battery Health settings are included in the iOS 11.3 update. It can disable performance throttling on an iPhone.
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By Jake Smith on
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1 of 9 File photo / CBS Interactive

iPhone battery health: How to check

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Apple is rolling out new tools for iPhone users to monitor the health of their smartphone's battery with iOS 11.3. The move follows criticism over Apple's revelation it slows down older iPhones to prolong battery life without telling customers. The iOS 11.3 update for the public, which brings these new tools, includes battery health info and the ability to disable battery performance throttling.

Here's how Apple's performance management works...

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Backlash

Apple has faced backlash for "the misunderstanding" surrounding how it handles performance for iPhones with older batteries. As a result, Apple began offering discounted battery replacements for $29 (down from $79) to anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced. Battery monitoring features within iOS is another way Apple said it will appease its customers.

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3 of 9 CNET/CBS Interactive

Performance management

Apple's performance management feature slows down older iPhones with deteriorating batteries. With iOS 11.3, performance management only enables after an unexpected shutdown occurs on an iPhone with a diminishing battery. It applies to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus.

Apple explains:

iOS 11.3 improves this performance management feature by periodically assessing the level of performance management necessary to avoid unexpected shutdowns. If the battery health is able to support the observed peak power requirements, the amount of performance management will be lowered. If an unexpected shutdown occurs again, then performance management will increase. This assessment is ongoing, allowing more adaptive performance management.

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4 of 9 Apple

Battery health

For iPhone 6 and later, iOS 11.3 adds battery health and recommends if a battery needs to be replaced. It can be found in Settings > Battery > Battery Health (Beta).

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5 of 9 Image: Sarah Tew/CNET

Replacement

If the battery of your iPhone has deteriorated, Apple's new battery health feature will warn you. A message will display:

Your battery's health is significantly degraded. An Apple Authorized Service Provider can replace the battery to restore full performance and capacity.

Apple provides service options to replace the battery. The iPhone's one-year warranty includes service coverage for a defective battery.

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6 of 9 Jake Smith/ZDNet

Maximum capacity

Apple will show the iPhone's battery capacity relative to when you bought it new.

Apple explains:

Batteries will start at 100 percent when first activated and will have lower capacity as the battery chemically ages which may result in fewer hours of usage between charges.

Apple says a normal battery will retain up to 80 percent of its original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles under normal conditions.

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Peak performance

When your iPhone's battery is operating normal, it will display the message: "Your battery is currently supporting normal peak performance."

When performance management features are enabled on your iPhone, it will display: "This iPhone has experienced an unexpected shutdown because the battery was unable to deliver the necessary peak power. Performance management has been applied to help prevent this from happening again."

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Disable

Apple gives iOS 11.3 users the ability to turn off performance management. If you disable it, Apple will show the message:

This iPhone has experienced an unexpected shutdown because the battery was unable to deliver the necessary peak power. You have manually disabled performance management protections.

If another unexpected shutdown occurs, performance management features will be re-enabled.

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9 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

Newer iPhones

Apple says in a support document newer iPhones, including the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X may see less noticeable impacts of performance management. Apple wrote that newer models "use a more advanced hardware and software design that provides a more accurate estimation of both power needs and the battery's power capability to maximize overall system performance."

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