We all remember ‘Antennagate’ following the launch of the iPhone 4 last year, and now it looks like Apple has got a ‘Batterygate’ to deal with for their new iPhone 4S as more and more users are reporting battery life issues with their brand new handsets.
Ever since the iPhone 4S was first launched there has been an increasing number of users airing their battery issues on the Apple forums. The iPhone 4S technical specifications indicate that battery performance should be in line with that of the iPhone 4, despite it running a more powerful dual core processor amongst other things, with the exception of a reduced stand-by time, down from 300 hours for the iPhone 4 to 200 hours for the iPhone 4S. Based on the reports however, users are experiencing battery life times a lot lower than that. However, the issue might not be a bad batch of batteries, but instead issues arising from iOS 5 services, and more specifically location services.
Just like with ‘Antennagate’ there has been no official communication from Apple on this possible issue, hence the reference to ‘Batterygate’. The Guardian however have reported that some iPhone 4S owners that have posted about the issue on Apple forums have been contacted by Apple, asking them to help find out what the issue could be by installing a monitoring program. According to one UK user who has been contacted, it sounds like Apple is nowhere near pinpointing the exact issue yet, but there are a few suspects high on the list.
One of the primary suspects seems to be a bug in the location services in iOS 5. Location services are known to be a drain on battery life, but not at the level reported so far, which has led to the suspicion of a bug in the service related to “Setting time zone” a service that uses your location to see if you have changed timezone. Many are reporting that this service seems to be running almost constantly, which seems very unnecessary. Location services uses a combination of WiFi network names, mobile mast data, and GPS sensor input to pinpoint your location.
Whether you are experiencing battery life issues or not, going through the location services and switching off what is not needed is always a good idea. You can do that by going to Settings –> Location Services where you will see all the applications that are currently using (or not using) location based services. Just switch off the ones you don’t want running. At the bottom of the screen you will also find the link to ‘System Service’ where you will find the other system resources that use location based services.
The new notification service is another possible culprit, although it should be an issue that would affect not only iPhone 4S owners, but anyone with iOS 5 installed. Quick fix if you think notification services are causing a battery drain is to go into Settings –> Notifications and start turning off notifications on apps that don’t need to notify you all the time. Who knows, you might win back some lost time from notification overload as well (yes, i’m talking Facebook and Twitter).
Mashable is reporting that some users have been able to sort out the battery issues by running a clean restore from iTunes on their phone, or by reinstalling their contacts.
If you have experience battery life issues and found a fix for it, please share with our other readers by leaving a comment below.