Recently the news was all over the globe was that Apple’s iPhone is slowing down. Also Apple admitted and apologised for slowing down older iPhones with ageing batteries. As your smartphone grows old it’s battery degrades with time and can’t cope with the high demands of the iPhone’s processor. To prevent unexpected shutdowns that sometimes occur when processors don’t get enough power, and so the company dialled down the speeds of iPhone processors in units with those batteries.
Many critics argue that Apple should have been more transparent about the practice. As when the old iPhone become slow the usual course of action is to buy a new phone but if the owner knew that it was slow because of aging battery it would opt to replace the battery which is cheaper instead of buying a costly new iPhone.
If you are one of the iPhone owners who feel the your device is slowing down then here’s how to check.
Benchmark your iPhone: Download the Geekbench 4 app from the App Store and benchmark your iPhone. Each CPU workload models a real-world task or application. If your iPhone has noticeably lower scores compared to the averages, it could be due to Apple’s power management feature artificially kicking in.
Use coconutBattery: Download, install, and open coconutBattery for Mac, connect your iPhone to your Mac with a Lightning to USB cable, and click on the iOS Device tab in the app. Here, you can view your iPhone’s battery capacity, which if low suggests your device may be slowed down only when necessary.
Wait for battery-related iOS update: Early in 2018, Apple has promised to release an iOS update with new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance. This will likely be the easiest solution.
There are many apps at app store that tells you the speed and internal activities of your smartphone. One such app is Lirum Info Lite app available free at iTunes store.
So first download an app that tells you the speed of your iPhone’s main chip.
In the Lirum Info Lite app, check the speed of your iPhone’s main chip speed.
From the Lirum app’s home screen, tap the options button on the top left (three horizontal lines) > tap “This Device” > tap “CPU” > and check the “CPU Actual Clock” against the “CPU Maximum Clock”.
If both numbers are the same, then your iPhone is not slow at all.
The chip speeds for the iPhone 6 and newer
Apple rolled out its performance throttling measures for the iPhone 6 and newer models to prevent unexpected shutdowns. Here are the original “clock speeds” or the measure of speed for a processor chip for the iPhone 6 onwards:
- iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: 1.4GHz
- iPhone 6S and 6S Plus: 1.84GHz
- iPhone SE: 1.84GHz
- iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: 2.34GHz
Note that your older iPhone may not be slow if you’re running an older version of iOS.
For the iPhone 6, 6s, and SE, Apple’s performance slowing feature was introduced in iOS 10.2.1. If you have one of those iPhones but an older version of iOS, your performance won’t be slow.
For the iPhone 7 generation, Apple’s limit to slow feature was introduced in iOS 11.2. If you have an iPhone 7 generation model with an earlier version of iOS, then your performance won’t be slow.
Even if your older iPhone isn’t being slowing down it could still be worth getting a battery replacement by Apple.
If your older iPhone’s main chip is still running at the speed it should, you’d still do well to take advantage of Apple’s discounted $US29 battery replacement program. The discount program will only last a year, at which point the cost of replacing an iPhone battery out of warranty will return to the original $US79 price.
Chances are that the battery capacity in your older iPhone model has degraded over the months and years that you’ve owned it, and you can get improved battery life with the new $US29 battery replacement offered by Apple $39 in Australia.
Check iPhone Battery life at an Apple store
The best way to check on your older iPhone’s battery life is to get it checked at an Apple store.
Unfortunately, battery apps simply aren’t reliable in reporting the health of your older iPhone’s battery. They might give you a general idea that your battery has degraded since the day you bought it.The best way to find out the health of your iPhone’s battery is to take it to an Apple store. Set up an appointment and an Apple technician will run your iPhone through the company’s series of tests.
Apple recommends that you get a battery replacement when your iPhone’s battery can only retain 80 per cent of its original capacity. With Apple’s new discounted $US29 battery replacement program in mind, it’s advised to get it replaced even at 90 per cent capacity.
You can get in touch with Apple Support remotely over the phone or even Twitter to find out whether you need a battery replacement, but they won’t tell you specific details about your iPhone’s battery health. The company’s support teams will only tell you whether your battery is “fine” or not.
In its statement regarding the performance throttling controversy, Apple said it will also issue an iOS software update early this year “with new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance”.
About iPhone Batteries
iPhones, is also an electronic device and is powered by lithium-ion batteries, which have a limited lifespan. As said above when the battery in your iPhone ages, its ability to hold a charge slowly diminishes. A chemically aging battery can also have increased impedance, reducing its ability to provide a sudden burst of power when demanded by other components in an iPhone, such as the CPU and GPU. A battery’s impedance will also temporarily increase when it has a low charge and/or in cold temperatures.
A battery with a high enough impedance may be unable to provide power quickly enough to the iPhone when needed, and Apple safeguards components against the drop in voltage by shutting down the device. Apple recognized that iPhones unexpectedly shutting down on users is not a good experience, and starting with iOS 10.2.1, it quietly implemented a power management feature to prevent these shutdowns.
The Apple’s power management feature
Apple says it looks at a combination of an iPhone’s internal temperature, battery percentage, and battery impedance, and only if a certain criteria is met, iOS will dynamically manage the maximum performance of some system components, such as the CPU and GPU, in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns.
Apple said the power management feature applies to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE models running iOS 10.2.1 or any newer software version. The feature was also expanded to iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models running iOS 11.2 or any newer software version.
Any older iPhone models are currently not affected, including the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPhone 4, iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 3G, and the original iPhone, even though some of those models have also experienced shutdowns. The latest iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X are also currently not affected.
Apple is not permanently or persistently slowing down older iPhones. Even if your iPhone is affected, the performance limitations only happen intermittently, when the device is completing demanding tasks.
If your iPhone is slow then stay tuned here to read the 15 ways to speed up your slow iOS smartphone.