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Apple’s upcoming iOS 11.2.5 may just become one of the most important iOS updates in recent history — and we’re not even sure what it’ll contain quite yet.
At least, that’s the theory proposed by Forbes contributor Gordon Kelley, who spends a good portion of his time covering various iOS and Apple bugs and flaws. According to Kelley, iOS 11.2.5, which is currently in the beta testing phase of its development, will be an incredibly important release purely because of its timing.
Last week, Apple officially confirmed that it has been throttling performance on older iPhones as their batteries degrade. On the one hand, this intentional slowdown keeps older iPhones from unexpectedly shutting down or overheating. On the other hand, Apple wasn’t transparent about the measures it took to account for aging batteries.
Apple was hit by a slew of class action lawsuits in the wake of that news. In an effort to appease its consumers and regain trust, Apple apologized and announced that it would begin offering $29 battery replacements. Today, the company clarified that it will replace batteries regardless of the diagnostic tests it had used as a measure of battery health.
The discounted battery replacements are a good start, and the company will hopefully continue to offer them into 2019 (past the current timeline). That’s going to become especially true as iPhone X devices age and get throttled. Yes, even Apple’s latest and greatest will be impacted by a range of performance slowdowns — which Apple has listed in a support document.
- Longer app launch times
- Lower frame rates while scrolling
- Backlight dimming (which can be overridden in Control Center)
- Lower speaker volume by up to -3dB
- Gradual frame rate reductions in some apps
- During the most extreme case, the camera flash will be disabled as visible in the camera UI
- Apps refreshing in background may require reloading upon launch.
Despite the slowdowns and the resulting controversy, Apple has a prime opportunity to introduce real, meaningful change in iOS 11.2.5. We’re just not sure at this point, what that change could be. But we do have an idea of what it should be.
The company has hinted that it would introduce more detailed battery health diagnostic tools within iOS going forward. Whether or not that tool or suite of tools will be introduced in iOS 11.2.5 remains to be seen, but it’s looking likely.
iOS 11.2.5 is four version numbers ahead of Apple’s latest update (iOS 11.2.1), which could hint that it will combine a range of under-the-hood updates with battery features. Additionally, the fact that Apple began offering its discounted battery swaps a month early hints at the company’s scrambling to restore consumer trust.
Kelley even recommends the addition of a toggle that would prioritize an iPhone’s performance or battery life. Of course, the practicality of that solution — with the risk of random shutdowns and even components catching fire — may not warrant its inclusion.
In short, there’s guarantee that Apple will include its promised battery features in iOS 11.2.5. But with the recent controversy, it’s undoubtedly a smart move for Apple to consider it.