The iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max sport a new system that will help reduce performance throttling and random shutdowns as their batteries age. While Apple has been fairly quiet about the new feature, it did detail what it does and how it works in a new support document. Here’s what you should know.
Performance Management System
In a nutshell, the new system relies on a mix of software and hardware mechanisms to ensure that iPhones continue to “provide the best possible performance as battery aging occurs over time.”
Apple says the hybrid system is automatic and always-on, meaning that it won’t require any input from a user. It’s also “more advanced” than past power management systems, using dynamic monitoring to manage performance and power needs in real time.
Of course, battery degradation is unavoidable. Apple notes that even with the new system, severely aged batteries could lead to “noticeable, possibly temporary, effects” on performance. That may include slower app load times, backlight dimming and lower volume.
Past Battery Controversy & Management
Apple’s attempts to strike a balance between performance and power management has drawn criticism in the past. One such system, introduced in iOS 10.2.1, was behind the “Batterygate” controversy.
That power management system throttled iPhone performance to reduce the number of random shutdowns on chemically aged batteries. As you might expect, some critics said it was a way for Apple to force users to buy new iPhones.
Apple, for its part, said that it would never “do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.”
The iOS 10.2.1 performance management system was objectively a good measure, but Apple didn’t properly inform users about what it did.
Apple has also implemented a new Optimized Battery Charging feature in iOS 13, which uses machine learning to analyze your charging habits. In theory, it should reduce how long your device stays at “unhealthy” charge levels, which could slow down how quickly the battery ages and degrades.
What This Means for Users
Like with Apple’s other battery-health features, the new iPhone 11 and Phone 11 Pro system will allow those devices to run at peak performance for longer.
Battery aging is completely unavoidable with our current level of technology, but Apple has made it clear over the past couple of years that it’s doing anything it can to mitigate that.
The iPhone 11 lineup also features larger batteries and better power efficiency than past devices. With all of this, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro batteries should last longer and feature better performance as their batteries age.
Battery replacements cost $69 for the latest iPhones if out of warranty. They’re free under AppleCare+.