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How to manage iOS 11.3’s Battery Health feature

by Brandon Russell | March 29, 2018March 29, 2018 12:30 pm PST

After months of development, Apple on Thursday released iOS 11.3, an update that introduce new Animoji, ARKit improvements, and more. Perhaps the most notable new feature is called Battery Health, which was added in response to the throttling controversy that arose late last year.

We already explained the purpose behind Battery Health. Basically, the feature will assess the level of performance management necessary to avoid unexpected shutdowns, like in an emergency situation. This could happen to older devices with degraded batteries.

As Apple explained at the time, Battery Health is an important feature, but it’s not without its drawbacks. With throttling turned on, users may notice longer app launch times, lower frame rates when scrolling, and more. Luckily, in iOS 11.3 you can turn Battery Health off.

With iOS 11.3 installed, head into Settings and scroll down to Battery. You’ll see a new setting called Battery Health (beta). Click on that and you’ll see an explanation for what the feature is designed to do.

“Phone batteries, like all rechargeable batteries, are consumable components that become less effective as they age,” reads Battery Health’s explanation.

There are two sections in Battery Health: Maximum Capacity and Peak Performance Capability. The first section measures a battery’s capacity relative to when it was new. So, if you have an older device, you may see a lower percentage.

The second section shows users if their battery is operating as it should. Folks who own the iPhone 8 or iPhone X will likely see that their battery supports normal peak performance. But anyone who owns anything older than that might see something different.

If in the event your phone experiences an unexpected shutdown, Battery Health will automatically throttle your device’s performance. You can, however, turn throttling off, though you risk performance stability if you go that route. Only the iPhone 6 and up will experience situations of throttling, Apple said.

According to Apple, you can’t turn performance management features back on once they’re turned off. However, the feature will automatically turn back on if an unexpected shutdown occurs. If your battery is significantly degraded, you’ll see a message that recommends you get your battery replaced at an Apple Authorized Service Provider.

After Apple said it would allow users to turn performance throttling off, Tim Cook advised against doing so. But that’s your call. You can read much more about Apple’s stance on performance throttling at its support page.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell likes to rollerblade while listening to ACDC.

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