The OS has been widely adopted as users flock to upgrade for the new features. As of press time, about 23 percent of all Apple devices are now running iOS 11. That’s a great adoption rate for Apple — but for some iPhone owners, cycling up to the new OS hasn’t been an entirely smooth process.
Some of these new users have reported glitches, as is expected with a massive migration to brand new software — but there is one complaint that’s much more widespread than just a few isolated cases, if countless angry tweets are any evidence: iOS 11 may cause an unexpected drain on battery life.
iOS 11 Battery Life by Device:
iPhone 7/7+: Up to 5 hours
iPhone 6s/6s+: Up to 3 hours
iPhone SE: OMFG how can you use such a tiny phone?
— not Jony Ive (@JonyIveParody) September 19, 2017
We’ve experienced the issue here at Mashable, too, as fully-charged iPhone 7’s running the new OS have eaten through power at a noticeably quicker pace than on the previous versions of Apple’s OS.
But iOS 11’s power drain woes aren’t just confined to Twitter gripes. Mobile security firm Wandera took a look at the battery performance of 50,000 “moderate to heavy iPhone and iPad users” running both iOS 10 and 11 to compare battery performance in the three days following the new software’s rollout.
The results weren’t pretty. Devices on iOS 11 burned through power at much faster rates than those running iOS 10, taking an estimated 96 minutes of use to drain a full battery compared to 240 minutes for iOS 10.
Before damning Apple for throttling your phone’s overall usefulness to give you screen recording, however, there are some important caveats to consider. Wandera was only able to analyze phones running its software, so the findings might not be representative of the general population — case in point, only 2.98 percent of the devices investigated were actually running iOS 11. We also don’t know if the iPhones and iPads were being used for, which could provide some more context as to why the battery life was so short.
There could be other reasons for the power discrepancy, too, so we put a call out to developers with experience working within Apple’s system. All respondents said our collective battery gripes are par for the course with any OS update.
Standard. Every new OS release has power consumption issues, historically. Variation on device type plus new required resources, the cause.
— James Pikover (@jamezrp) September 25, 2017
Pikover also told me via DM that there could be other factors contributing to the battery drain, but he hasn’t found anything in the OS that gives him cause for concern.
Other developers who have worked with iOS 11 since its beta was released back in June reported that their experience with early versions of the software didn’t include any egregious battery issues.
Files stored on devices are often re-categorized for every new OS install, which may account for some of the battery issues. Many apps have not yet been optimized for iOS 11 either. Developers are updating them quickly, though, but that too has an effect, since downloading and installing them uses more power, too. Battery consumption will likely return to less drastic levels once the system is firmly in place and the initial newness wears off.
Apple declined to comment on the matter. Our advice: Give your brand new OS a chance to iron out the kinks, but if battery problems persist, there may be more at play than the usual iOS iteration troubles. In that case, you may need to wait for the 11.1 update before things get better.