The biggest tech news of 2018 falls into two categories. Batteries and Apple’s Batterygate fiasco. And recently discovered CPU vulnerabilities which may only be solved by getting a new device. Let’s focus on what’s behind Door #1.
Batterygate is a thing. No, it’s not much of a thing for most iPhone owners, but Apple is making it easier for iPhone 6 owners to extend their devices a year or two. The rest of us just need to wait for another iOS update so we can opt in or opt out of whatever fix Apple has in store. Here’s a look at a couple of battery app tools worthy of consideration.
Mac And iPhone
The first app on my list called YaBattery which mostly extends Apple’s built-in battery life indicator so you have more information to determine the battery’s health.
What you see is what you get, including information about the time remaining on the battery’s charge, original capacity, how many charging cycles, and much more.
Not bad for a couple of bucks, right?
What about iPhone? Well, just as it is with the Mac, iPhone and iPad users have many options to check on the battery, but one that caught my eye is a Mac app that digs into the iPhone’s battery information. Just plug the iPhone into the Mac and open coconutBattery to see both the Mac’s battery information and similar information from the connected iPhone.
Here’s the Mac information.
Here’s what you get when coconutBattery checks the connected iPhone’s battery.
There is a notable difference in the data displayed between YaBattery and coconutBattery. Search for battery life checker on the iOS App Store and you’ll see dozens of similar applications; some free, some a few dollars– but all do about the same thing; view a minimal amount of battery information, disclose which applications use the most battery juice (which Apple’s own Battery shaming settings do already), but don’t tell you if your battery needs to be replaced.
Check out CPU DasherX, a nifty iPhone utility that displays more information about the iPhone’s CPU usage.
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes explains what’s going on and what to do.
Compare the number that the app pulls up with what your iPhone’s CPU speed should be (you can get this information by doing a quick search online — I find Wikipedia to be a good resource), and if the numbers match up, your iPhone isn’t being throttled (as is the case with my old iPhone 6 Plus). But if the CPU frequency that the app shows you is half what it should be, then your iPhone is experiencing a throttling issue, and replacing the battery would restore performance.
That’s a bit convoluted just to check on whether or not your iPhone is being throttled because of battery depletion. Sean Bradley has another perspective.
In the end, batteries wear out and need to be replaced. Kudos to Apple for providing a $29 option for iPhone 6, but what about iPhone 5s or the more recent iPhone 6s and 6s Plus line? Mac notebook batteries used to be user replaceable but even that has gone to the Genius Bar.
To get the most from your iPhone or Mac’s battery, get a tool to monitor usage, charges, and power.