Battery charges: Apple’s always doing it wrong

They told people and gave them options, proving they're the worst ever.


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Apple has added more iPhones to the list of those that can be subject to battery performance management, proving once and for all that the company is the worst thing since unsliced bread.

(“When will someone invent the knife and rid us of these unbearably uneven pieces of bread?!” our ancestors wailed.)

Writing for the Forbes contributor network and cold monkey fusion research facility, Ewan Spence tells us “Apple Adds Performance Management To Throttle iPhone X Battery.” (Tip o’ the antlers to 5cat.)

Once more, Apple has decided on what is best for everyone with an iPhone as it sneakily adds code in the latest release of iOS 12 to slow down the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X smartphones in a bid to extend the battery life of the handsets.

Yes, we should leave it up to users to decide whether they want to extend the battery life of their handsets or burn through it like [celebrity name] through [noun reflecting a cheap shot at said celebrity’s substance abuse, sexual addiction or unhealthy habit of guzzling bleu cheese dressing].

Which, actually, is what Apple is doing since the release notes for iOS 12.1 state that the company is “including the option to disable this feature if an unexpected shutdown occurs”.

Spence admits “The theory behind the throttling is relatively sound.” but still seems to think this is a Hitler sandwich on Mussolini bread with Generalissimo Francisco Franco dressing.

Unlike the first rollout of a ‘performance management feature’ in 2016, Apple has at least noted that it exists…

Apple actually did note the first rollout of performance management existed back in 2016, but didn’t explain it.

With iOS 10.2.1, Apple made improvements to reduce occurrences of unexpected shutdowns that a small number of users were experiencing with their iPhone.

Apple should have added “We turned down the thingy on your whatzits so you might… notice… it… slowing… dowwwwwwnnnnn… INSTEADOFABRUPTLYSTOPPING!”

Personally The Macalope lives by that adage that it’s not the fall that kills you, it’s the sudden stop at the end, but that’s just him.

But for the vast majority of users the iOS update will be applied without reading through notes on Apple's website, the update will be seen as ‘the right thing to do’ as regards security patches and software changes…

Is Spence advocating users not apply operating system updates or do so only when they feel like it? Because if that’s your attitude, then The Macalope has a smartphone operating system for you.

…and many will experience their iPhone slowing down and ‘getting old’ and not understand why.

Yes, it’s terrible they will never know why. Assuming they don’t read the alert message that pops up after the device experiences an unexpected shutdown informing the user that performance management has been applied.

But who reads alert messages? Why can’t Apple fax you when performance management is applied? Or drive slowly through your neighborhood in a rumbling hunk of mid-70s Detroit iron and lob a note tied to a brick through your window?

…and there is an awkward to find setting to disable the throttling process kicking in.

Apple’s settings have gotten complex enough that it’s often hard to find things, but you don’t exactly need a Ph.D. in Operating System Engineering to follow Settings > Battery > Battery Health. (If you somehow manage to find it and your battery is low on capacity, remember that Apple's reduced price of $29 to replace batteries on the iPhone 6, 7 and 8 lasts through the end of 2018. After that prices go up to $49 for those models.)

For a company that promotes itself as putting the user first…

Users love a withering barrage of notifications and a setting app that has all the possible settings on the same level, even if your thumb falls off as you scroll for all of eternity trying to find what you’re looking for. (Note that you can also just search on “battery” from the home screen and iOS will show the Settings page for it as a result, assuming you have an advanced degree in probability theory.)

…Apple sure has a habit of hiding away the decisions it makes…

Apple certainly made a mistake in not initially advising iPhone users about the performance management, but since then it’s offered both explanations and options. Of course, some people will never be happy. And, for these people, the sign on the door of the Forbes contributor network and outrage theme park reads “Apply within”.

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