Earlier in the year, Apple received a lot of backlash on the internet, when it was made public that the company was intentionally slowing down older iPhones, especially when a new model comes out. Users complained that their devices got slower after software upgrades. Apple released a statement in response to the allegation, apologizing to the mass of angry customers and stating reasons for their rather dodgy action.
According to the statement released on the company’s website, Apple admitted to slowing down old iPhones through a feature delivered in the iOS 10.2.1 update that was meant to improve power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE (now added to iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in iOS 11.2). The update allowed the operating system to dynamically manage the maximum performance of some system components when needed to prevent a shutdown. This results in longer launch times for apps and other reductions in performance. This was mostly important for phones, whose batteries were now old and weak. Apple said the iPhone returns to normal performance, when the chemically aged battery is replaced with a new one.
To resolve the issue, Apple promised to reduce the price of iPhone replacement batteries from $79 to $29 for iPhone users worldwide, and also hinted that they would push a software update this year, which would grant users insight into the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance.
As promises go, the company is set to release a major update for their mobile platform codenamed iOS 11.3 (currently in beta), which would now let users of older iPhone models (iPhone 7 Plus and below) to choose, whether or not, they want the OS-level battery and performance optimization that could remarkably slow down their device.
iOS 11.3 adds features that will now show battery health and recommend if a battery needs to be serviced. These can be found in Settings -> Battery and are available for iPhone 6 and later.
Apple has also added a toggle for the power management feature that dynamically manages maximum performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns. The option is available in iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus; and you can now turn it off to return your device to peak performance. However, Apple recommends you leave it on to prevent an abrupt shutdown of your device, especially if your battery is worn.
iOS 11.3 also adds new Animoji characters to the pack, and brings music videos to Apple Music. Other changes include ARKit updates, Business Chat – an app that lets you communicate with a business directly from the Messaging app (without sharing your contact details), and a Health Records section in the Health app.