Tuesday, April 7, 2015

iPhone 6+ battery woes and the internet is wrong

A little break in my testing to see if I can become a Windows user after 12 years being a Mac user and for the whole time being almost Windows free, meaning, I never turned on a windows machine I did not want to, and mostly to play games, though I did keep up.

More on that later.

On the iPhone, you can go into Settings -> Usage -> Battery Usage and you see how long you have used your phone and how long it has been idle. Normal case is probably 4-5 hours usage and 13-15 hours idle.

Now for the last few months I have been almost equal, that is my phone usage has been almost the same as the idle use. So on the iPhone 6+ with its extensive extra battery size, I was almost out of juice when I went to bed, if this had been the case with iPhone 5s, I would have been out of juice 3-4 o'clock.

What did this mean ? This meant my phone was being used constantly even though I wasn't using it. Being an experienced computer user, I went in to investigate, but forgot to take screenshots, damn. I quickly saw that the battery shamer, where you have a list of apps and how much battery they were using was wrong. It listed Facebook as the main culprit with sometimes 50-60% battery usage.

When I plugged in the phone and launched Xcode and Instruments, I could see that Springboard and Backboard had high cpu usage, especially Backboard. But why ?

Now I entered a weeks worth of search engine searching. I went everywhere and back. I followed every advice. I removed quite a lot of apps, turned off location, background and other settings, and things seemed to become worse.

Then I thought to myself, hey, I have been using this image on the phone since I purchased my iPhone 3 back when it came out, and just updated it. So in iTunes, I decided to set up my device as new device. Completely clean, I thought. I only installed Overcast, no other 3rd party app, no twitter, no facebook. Did this solve my issue ? Nope. My phone was out of battery by supper and running on fumes unless I received a few emails, it would die.

Even turning on Airplane mode did nothing. Sometimes the battery would drop 1% every 10 seconds, which means you watched your phone drain. There was only iCloud and Overcast (5-6 podcast I monitor).

I turned off iCloud, which meant I had a feature phone with a podcast app, not even music or books were synced. NOTHING.

I reset the phone a few times to factory settings, did restore, did setup a new device, even set it up with my wife's settings, no luck.

I sent the phone in for a repair. This would not be the first iPhone I had with a faulty battery, those things happen. But that time when my iPhone 5 (not s) had a faulty battery, it was different. It just jumped from 80% battery down to 10% just like that, nothing in between, and the 10% did not last at all. Now my iPhone 6+ just drained right in front of me.

I got it back from repair saying there was nothing wrong with the hardware.

I wasn't happy. I was even so unhappy with this, I think my "moving to windows" started around that time, and that is being unhappy.

Well, at least I knew this wasn't the hardware, and that is something. I knew this wasn't Safari or Facebook as I did not turn those apps on once in my day test.

Then I decided to test one thing, as a last resort, and if it did not work, I would go out and purchase Windows Lumia 930 phone. Those were the stakes. During the repair period, I used my iPhone 5, not the 5s as that is my wife's phone now. To my complete surprise, the 5 worked fantastically well. The battery worked all day and then some, it was quick, and in short, it was excellent, but too small. I have gotten used to iPhone 6+.

The final straw was logging into my apple developer account and fetching a new iPhone image completely. I manually forced the image onto my phone, setup my phone as a new device, and just like that, around supper time, my phone has 60-70% battery left, sometimes even more.