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Thursday November 3, 2011 9:37 am
Apple confirms, and promises to fix, iOS 5 battery drain big
"A small number of customers have reported lower than expected battery life on iOS 5 devices," Apple said in a statement provided to AllThingsD. "We have found a few bugs that are affecting battery life and we will release a software update to address those in a few weeks."
An Apple spokeswoman confirmed with us that a fix was in the works.
Apple has released iOS 5.0.1 to developers, which includes six updates:
- fixes bugs affecting battery life
- adds multitasking gestures for original iPad
- resolves bugs with documents in the cloud
- improves voice recognition for Australian users using dictation
- contains security improvements
- introduces a new way for developers to specify files that should remain on device, even in low storage situations
Reports of decreased iPhone battery life cropped up late last month in the wake of the iPhone 4S and iOS 5 releases. One user told the Guardian that he experienced a 10 percent drop every hour, and Apple engineers reportedly started contacting iPhone 4S owners about the "known issue" with its battery.
Over the weekend, Oliver Haslam of iDownloadBlog suggested that the problem might be related to the time zone function in iOS 5. The updated OS apparently pings GPS constantly to get a read on a user's location and time zone, which quickly drains the battery. In an effort to conserve battery some users turned off this function (Settings > Location Services > System Services > Setting Time Zone) while others simply turned off Location Services entirely.
We ran our own tests with a Verizon iPhone 4 running iOS 4, an AT&T iPhone 4 running iOS 5, and a Sprint iPhone, but did not see any huge differences between the three devices. The AT&T iPhone 4 died first after six hours, 55 minutes. The iPhone 4S lasted another 32 minutes, and the Verizon iPhone 4 died two minutes later.
Sprint users, meanwhile, have been complaining about slow speeds on the carrier's version of the iPhone.
Will the battery issue be the iPhone 4S's "antennagate"? Last year, iPhone 4 users complained about connectivity issues when gripping the phone in a certain way. Initially, then-CEO Steve Jobs told users to simply hold it another way, but Apple eventually held a press conference during which Jobs said Apple would provide iPhone 4 buyers with a free bumper, which alleviated the problem. The iPhone 4S is designed with a pair of antennas that should eliminate concerns about a "death grip."
Earlier this year, Apple was also involved in a location-tracking controversy, which was also solved by a software update.
This article, written by Chloe Albanesius, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.
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