Technology

iOS 12.3 Battery Test: Are Older iOS Versions Better For Battery Life?

ios battery test ios 12.3
PhotoMIX-Company / Pixabay

Every time Apple pushes out a new version of iOS, one thing that receives a lot of attention is the battery life. Apparently, many users have found that their iPhone’s battery just doesn’t last as long as it did on previous versions. However, all we’ve had for quite some time has been anecdotal evidence—until now. A YouTuber conducted battery life tests on iOS 12.3 Beta 1, iOS 12.2, iOS 11.4.1 and iOS 10.3.3 to find out if all those anecdotal reports are accurate or if it only seems like the battery doesn’t last as long.

We should point out that iOS 12.2 is the current version most iOS devices are running.

Battery test conducted on iOS 12.3 and three other versions

iAppleBytes has been become known for conducting battery tests on various devices and operating systems. In fact, he decided to run a battery test on those four versions of iOS because so many viewers comment on his YouTube videos saying that older versions of Apple’s mobile operating system were easier on their iPhone’s battery. His video on the battery test is embedded below.

Whenever you’re conducting any sort of test, it’s important to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges, so ran the test on four iPhone 6s units which have all had their batteries replaced. The goal was to ensure that the batteries in all four units could store the same amount of power.

After replacing the batteries, he ran the standard Geekbench battery test on all four phones. The final step in the battery test involved running a 15-hour YouTube video on each phone side by side until they all died.

iOS battery test goes beyond anecdotal evidence

iAppleBytes’ battery test ended up with mixed results, which demonstrates that iPhones’ battery life doesn’t necessarily worsen with each new version of the OS. However, it does show that some iOS versions do indeed reduce the battery life of iPhones, so those who reported poorer battery life with newer versions aren’t entirely off base.

According to the test, the iPhone 6s running iOS 12.3 Beta 1 lasted about 10 hours, which was the least of all four iPhones. We should emphasize that this was a beta version because Apple could tweak it to improve the battery life before the public release. The iPhones running iOS 12.2 and iOS 11.4.1 each lasted approximately 10-and-a-half hours, although iOS 12.2 did last about seven minutes longer than 11.4.1.

The iOS battery test found 10.3.3 to be the winner easily. It lasted about 11 hours and 41 minutes, so it offered much better battery life than the newest versions of Apple’s mobile OS.

Planned obsolescence?

The results of the iOS battery test do demonstrate that different iOS versions do indeed offer different amounts of battery life, which some will undoubtedly use as “proof” that older versions are indeed better. Apple caught a lot of flak—and rightfully so—for adding an iOS “feature” that slowed down some iPhone models when their batteries reached a certain age.

There was so much proof that newer iOS versions were slowing older models that Apple ended up admitting to doing it and offering a battery replacement program. Even though the company disabled the “feature” in iOS 11.3 by default, it will be a long time before it sheds its reputation as a company that builds planned obsolescence into its devices to convince users to upgrade to newer models more often.

The results of the iOS battery test don’t necessarily prove that this behavior continues, but they don’t disprove it either. We will just have to wait and see the results from a test on iOS 12.3 when it’s released publicly. If Apple doesn’t improve the battery life from where Beta 1 currently stands, we would expect this controversy to be dragged into the spotlight again.