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Apple Explains New Battery Health (Beta) Features in iOS 11.3

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With today’s release iOS 11.3 beta 2, Apple included its Battery Health (Beta) feature, which provides more information for iPhone owners regarding the status of their device’s battery.

An updated support document today also details every aspect of Battery Health features. According to Apple:

For iPhone 6 and later, iOS 11.3 adds new features to show battery health and recommend if a battery needs to be replaced. These can be found in Settings > Battery > Battery Health (Beta).

Additionally, users can see if the performance management feature that dynamically manages maximum performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns is on and can choose to turn it off. This feature is enabled only after an unexpected shutdown first occurs on a device with a battery that has diminished ability to deliver maximum instantaneous power. This feature applies to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus.

(Note: Devices updating to iOS 11.3 will initially have performance management disabled; it will be reenabled if the device subsequently experiences an unexpected shutdown.)

In other words, once your device on iOS 11.3 experiences an unexpected shutdown, then Apple’s ‘performance management feature’, which means throttling your iPhone’s CPU, will kick into effect when you have low battery.

Apple also details what Maximum Capacity means within Battery Health, as it “measures the device battery capacity relative to when it was new.” As users continue to use their phone and batteries age, this number drops. Apple says a normal battery “is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles when operating under normal conditions.”

Screenshot 2018 02 06 11 39 39

Next, Peak Performance Capability will have five different battery statuses based on certain conditions:

  • Performance is normal: “Your battery is currently supporting normal peak performance.”
  • Performance management applied: “This iPhone has experienced an unexpected shutdown because the battery was unable to deliver the necessary peak power. Performance management has been applied to help prevent this from happening again. Disable…”
Notice how the ‘Disable’ option is not exactly flashing right in front of your face, as Apple wants to be able to protect users with this feature. The ‘Disable’ text in blue is what users need to tap to cease CPU throttling:
Screenshot 2018 02 06 11 39 54
  • Battery health unknown: “This iPhone is unable to determine battery health. An Apple Authorized Service Provider can service the battery. More about service options…”
  • Performance management turned off: “This iPhone has experienced an unexpected shutdown because the battery was unable to deliver the necessary peak power. You have manually disabled performance management protections.”
  • Battery health degraded: “Your battery’s health is significantly degraded. An Apple Authorized Service Provider can replace the battery to restore full performance and capacity. More about service options…”

Apple notes iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X have a “more advanced hardware and software design that provides a more accurate estimation of both power needs and the battery’s power capability to maximize overall system performance.”

This means these newer iPhones have a different performance management system, which “more precisely allows iOS to anticipate and avoid an unexpected shutdown.” Apple says because of this, CPU throttling these newer devices “may be less noticeable.” But still, batteries over time will diminish in capacity and peak performance, and will need to be replaced, explains the company.

So there you have it—if you wanted to learn more about Apple’s Battery Health (beta) feature, all the information is available here.

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