Apple battery update not working for everyone

November 11, 2011

Apple released an updated version of its latest operating system Thursday, promising to fix the battery problems users had reported with iOS 5 — but apparently it’s no magic potion.

While some users sent in early reports saying that the update was, to quote one Wired reader, “nothing short of amazing,” Apple forums were still flooded with complaints that the update did absolutely nothing to stop the battery leaks.

“Still draining at the exact same rate,” wrote one of the users.

Not everyone who uses an iOS 5 device has experienced the overly quick battery drain. The review phone that Verizon lent me has been fine, and Consumer Reports found no issues after specifically testing the battery. But those whose phones are losing their juice haven’t pulled any punches in calling Apple out for the problem. Many are beginning to question whether the battery problem is a hardware issue similar to the iPhone 4 “antennagate.”

Users have shared all kinds of tips and tricks for extending the life of their iPhone 4S batteries, such as dimming the backlight, turning off GPS, resetting the phone, removing unnecessary apps. One of the best — and simplest — solutions I’ve seen came from CNET’s David Carnoy ,who shared his conversation with an Apple Genius who recommended that he turn off his phone at least once a week, noting that one wouldn’t leave a car idling all the time.

The rate at which the Apple forum users are reporting battery loss sounds like more than something they can fix themselves using such simple tips. We’ll have to see if users see better performance once they’ve gotten past their initial reactions.

Related stories:

Apple updates iOS 5, says it fixed battery drain

Apple admits iOS 5 bugs can drain battery

Apple characteristically silent on battery issues

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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