Back in late 2017, Apple revealed that they were slowing down older iPhones in order to protect the battery. They were on the receiving end of a significant amount of backlash, but the introduction of iOS 11.3 introduces an option to disable the iPhone battery slow down feature
The iPhone battery slow down feature wasn’t really much of a feature at all. Rather, it artificially throttled the performance of the phone in order to ensure that the devices didn’t start randomly crashing as they increased in age. iOS 11.3 introduces an option to disable the iPhone battery slow down feature, but is it too little, too late?
Apple has argued that the reason for slowing down older iPhones is justifiable, stating that the technology of the batteries warranted this throttling. With recent generations of phones, starting with the iPhone 6, Apple started using lithium-ion batteries. These technologies, while superior in many ways to alternatives, also necessitated the implementation of an iPhone battery slow down feature in order to protect the device from stability issues as it increased in age. The backlash against Apple regarding their lack of transparency around this issue was immense, and the company has since backtracked and took quick action to fix the problem. While the original fix was to massively discount battery replacements for older iPhones, Apple has since introduced an option to disable the iPhone battery slow down feature with the release of iOS 13.
Those running older phones should notice a significant improvement once it’s turned on – provided they’re willing to risk the crashes that may start happening due to an aging battery. For many, however, a slightly less stable phone is far preferable to one that performs poorly and dies over the course of a few hours.
In order to see if your device is being throttled, you can take a look at the iPhone battery slow down feature introduced in iOS 11.3, and disable the throttling if it’s already turned on.
In order to get the update to iOS 11.3 and gain access to a faster phone, navigate to Settings > General > Software update and bring your phone to the latest firmware version. Apple has stated that the iPhone battery slow down feature will be turned off by default with the introduction of iOS 11.3, and will only be turned on if your iPhone crashes unexpectedly. This should ensure that more people get more life out of their phones, and will be able to hold onto their expensive flagships for longer before having to make the upgrade to the latest generation.
Many have bemoaned the fact that they upgraded due to a slow phone without realizing that Apple was artificially throttling their devices. Apple is on the receiving end of a building class-action lawsuit that may cause significant damages, so hopefully, the ability to turn off the iPhone battery slow down feature introduced in iOS 11.3 is the start of a more consumer-friendly and transparent approach to software development.