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Apple's iOS 10.1.1 update is causing huge battery life problems for some users

No OS update is ever perfect, but Apple’s iOS 10 initially launched to strong reviews and fewer reports of problems than we’ve seen with some of Apple’s other launches. The recent 10.1.1 update, however, appears to be causing problems. A number of users are reporting drastically reduced battery life and much higher device temperatures.

Part of the problem appears to be related to battery charge monitoring — News.com.au quotes one user as saying: “It jumps from 30 per cent charge to 1 per cent in a few seconds then shuts down. As soon as it reboots after connecting to a charger it show 30 per cent charge. When I unplug it right away it still shows 30 per cent and runs like nothing happened for a good few hours.”

I’ve seen this happen on my own iPhone, particularly as the device has gotten older. It’s not uncommon for my phone to display irregular behavior — dropping extremely quickly at some points, and then reporting a steady charge level at a given value (60% and 29% appear to be particularly favorite sticking points for my own device). My significant other’s device has a similar problem. That said, this isn’t a new issue for either of us, and it doesn’t appear to affect the overall battery life — just the displayed battery level.

Some iOS users who also develop for the platform have tried to isolate the problem, with no success. One Hacker News commenter writes:

[M]y iPhone 6 has gone from being needing to be charged every 1.5 days to at least 3 times a day minimum. It also runs extremely hot a lot of the time, regardless of how many or what apps are running in the background… the phone’s “Battery Usage” list is useless, as it shows things like Mail being used for 3 minutes, and using 25% of the battery power since last charge. Varying apps are listed as huge battery sucks even when I don’t think they are (Calculator anybody?!?) At this very moment, it is saying that Apple Remote took 26% of the battery charge, Messages took 11% and the Home & Lock Screen took 9% since last charge – about 30 minutes ago!

Things that I expect to suck up the battery, like the Moves app, says only 2%.

I’ve even plugged my phone into my PC and gone into XCode to check the logs to see if anything is standing out, but nothing in the logs point to a particular app or process chewing battery time.
Immensely frustrating. Another dev friend of mine has said that the iOS 10.2 beta has fixed most of his problems, so I may download that from our developer account and see if it works… I have done a full factory reset on the phone and restored from iTunes backup twice now, with no improvement at all.

The problems don’t seem limited to any specific iPhone model or feature, and there’s no known cause or solution as of this writing. Apple pushed two versions of iOS 10.1.1 — the first release dropped on October 31 and a second version of the update was released on November 9. Apple hasn’t disclosed any reason for the second push, however, and it only went out to owners who hadn’t previously downloaded 10.1.1. If you’re using 10.1.1 (either flavor) have you noticed any problems?

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