Newest iOS Update Shortens Battery Life, iPhone Users Allege

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Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) latest software update, iOS 7.1 for the iPhone and iPad, fixes bugs of the previous version but introduces a new problem that some iPhone users allege shortens battery life.

Like many smartphones, the iPhone’s battery life is normally dependent on if the user has any open apps, if they’re using Wi-Fi or data to access the Internet, and signal. The software that keeps the iPhone running also drains the battery. Users claim that the latest update is causing their iPhones to die at a quicker rate than previous updates to the software. Users are flocking to social media outlets like Twitter and to Apple’s support forms to complain about the shortened battery life.

It is unknown what percentage of iPhone users who downloaded iOS 7.1 are experiencing this battery life issue. Some users are already asking if Apple has released a patch or other software update to fix the problem.

“I am wondering if there are any repair downloads to regain my battery life after installing the latest download my battery life is half of what it was any help would be great!” wrote Leomsr in Apple’s support forum for iPhones.

The perceived shortened battery life is more than just customer complaints. Technology news information website Ars Technica tested battery life on the iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, and iPhone 5s, comparing the time it took the phone to die while surfing the Internet, using Wi-Fi using iOS 7.1 to the previous update of iOS 7.06.

The results found the update had shortened battery life by insignificant margins for the iPhone 4S and 5S. The iPhone 5’s battery lasted sixteen minutes longer with the new iOS. The site also noted that the initial upgrade to iOS 7.0 from the previous version had caused much a larger drop in battery life.

Battery life is a common issue for smartphone users across all brands. These mini-computers masquerading as phones can lose power quickly. Many users carry their chargers to prevent their phones from dying during the day, plugging their phones in at work, in the car, or even in a coffee shop.

About 40 percent of iPhone users have downloaded iOS 7.1 as of Tuesday, according to analytics firm Mixpanel. Many of the people complaining about battery life and other issues since the update have received recommendations to restore their phones from a backup and to try downloading the update from iTunes with the iPhone connected to a computer, instead of downloading it on the iPhone.

The update was released to fix some stability issues from previous versions of the software. It also includes design tweaks to several visual components of the iPhone software, including fonts, layouts and some color changes. As of press time, approximately 88 percent of iPhone users have adopted at iOS 7.0 or higher. Since the initial iOS 7.0 update, Apple has released versions that have included various bug fixes and new features. IOS 7.1 includes several new features including CarPlay for iPhone 5 and various apps. Just remember to have a charger handy.

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