iOS 6.0.2 Is Killing iPhone 5, iPad Mini Battery Life

iOS 6.0.2 Is Killing iPhone 5, iPad Mini Battery Life

Apple released its iOS 6.0.2 update over-the-air to select devices earlier this week, promising a fix for a frustrating bug that could impact Wi-Fi performance. However, the update comes with a nasty problem of its own. There are reports that it has greatly reduced battery life on the iPhone 5 and the iPad mini — even when the devices go unused for long periods of time.

Adam Engst of TidBITS first noticed “unusual battery drains” with his iPhone 5 and iPad mini, and he notes that several of his colleagues have been experiencing the same thing.

In my case, when Michael Cohen raised the issue on our staff list at 12:30 PM, my iPhone 5 was at 73 percent. That’s a bit low, given that I’d barely used the iPhone, but I don’t know that I started the day with a full charge. However, 90 minutes later, at 2 PM, I was down to 55 percent – an 18 percent drop – without having used the iPhone at all.

Engst suggests that in Apple’s attempt to fix the Wi-Fi bug, it may have made Wi-Fi a little too active, having devices work so hard to connect to Wi-Fi access points that it’s draining their batteries.

Engst and his colleagues aren’t the only ones experiencing this issue, either — search for “iOS 6.0.2 battery” on Twitter and you’ll find a whole host of users reporting the same thing. With that being the case, it might be worth holding off on upgrading to iOS 6.0.2 for the time being if you’re not experiencing the Wi-Fi issues it’s supposed to fix.

Personally, I haven’t noticed this issue on either my iPhone 5 or my iPad mini, but to be honest, I haven’t been looking out for it. Although they don’t seem to be draining any faster than they did prior to upgrading, they’re often plugged into my Mac for different things anyway.

Hopefully, Apple will issue an update to fix this update — or a patch to patch the patch — in due course.

  • BouchardAnthony

    I’ve actually noticed increased battery life. I’m going on 4 hours and 28 minutes at 69% of battery, which makes it seem that I’m going to shatter Apple’s promised 8-hours of usage. I’ve never done that before.

  • barrymcginnis

    I had a big drain after installing Google Maps last week which was fixed by changing a privacy setting. Have not seen any drain with new IOS.

  • Robert X

    Really? I haven’t had any battery issues.

  • BWinski

    I’m a NEW iPhone 5 user (not to Macs OR IOS). I picked mine up right after the unlocked version was made available. SO, I don’t ‘play around’ a lot for hidden stuff because I’m very familiar with the IOS 5-6 interface.. When I first picked up the iPhone 5 it got about 3 full days on a charge. AFTER I updated to IOS 6.0.2 that dropped steadily to 2 days now… So, do we believe Apple will address in 6.1 OR 6.2 ???

  • yellowpaper

    welcome to the world of most iPhone 4S users since iOS 6 update. Same battery drain problem

  • RKT

    I updated to the 6.02 software and I’ve noticed a big difference on how fast the battery drops now

  • Koban4max

    I’m a NEW iPhone 5 user (not to Macs OR IOS). I picked mine up right after the unlocked version was made available. SO, I don’t ‘play around’ a lot for hidden stuff because I’m very familiar with the IOS 5-6 interface.. When I first picked up the iPhone 5 it got about 3 full days on a charge. AFTER I updated to IOS 6.0.2 that dropped steadily to 2 days now… So, do we believe Apple will address in 6.1 OR 6.2 ???

    Apple is not going to fix this problem…as of yet. From the previous version…apple claimed to have fixed the battery problem with previous update….still… It seems that they decide to “move on” from the situation.

  • Eric

    I’m on the 4S, and I noticed the faster battery drain when I updated to 5.1.1. After updating to 6.0, I did notice the battery drain slightly faster still, but not significant enough. However, charge times are much faster imo. So I can deal with the battery drain. But considering more battery drain issues with 6.02, I most likely won’t be updating again any time soon. I don’t have the iOS 6 wifi issue, but what is happening since I updated, is that my wifi normally set to one router in the house, cuts out and connects to another router in a room further away. Never used to do this. I’m always connected to the closest router. In this case, I’m 3 feet from Wifi 2, but 4S keeps disconnecting and reconnecting to Wifi 1, which is upstairs and the other side of the house. I have to keep manually switching back to the wifi 2.

  • technochick

    Rarely is the update the only issue. Folks never mention things like they leave the screen on all the time, they have LTE on in an area with shit quality service, they were having battery issues before the update etc.

    In the latter case, doing a reset all settings is often all you need

  • lambaline

    patchception!!!!

  • lambaline

    patchception!!!!

  • LincPosty

    My wife updated to the 6.0.2 patch and didn’t complain about battery drain. Her initial complaint was about internet speed. Upon checking the settings in her phone, which I had set for her when we got it, the update had changed the WiFi settings from the static configuration it was set too, back to the DHCP configuration the phone had come to us set too. Upon correcting the settings there were no further complaints about connectivity, speed, or battery drain. Looks to me like Apple just fat-fingered this update.

  • kim989

    If you think Norma`s story is unimaginable…, 3 weeks ago my girl friends mom basically also earned $5547 just sitting there twelve hour’s a week at home and the’re buddy’s sister-in-law`s neighbour has done this for 4 months and got more than $5547 part-time at their computer. use the advice from this website… jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

  • technochick

    I had a big drain after installing Google Maps last week which was fixed by changing a privacy setting. Have not seen any drain with new IOS.

    That’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about. The only way to pin it to the update would be to put it on a totally clean phone with a verified good battery, screen off except when you checking battery level etc. otherwise there are too many usage issues to know for certain. Could be iOS, could be a botchy app hitting GPS every second even when it is supposed to have gone into standby, push mail etc.

    But folks don’t think about this and just rush to blame the hardware or IOS for every thing

  • FuckYouImMe420

    Had to downgrade and now all is well. It is obviously iOS’s fault to everyone defending it. My battery was dying in like 3 hours, now it lasts 8 hours like it should.

  • lambaline

    so glad my iPad mini didn’t come with this preinstalled, after reading this I decided that I wouldn’t upgrade, and I haven’t noticed any wifi bug

  • amitkapila

    I didn’t have any issues with iPhone 5 Battery Life till I used navigation on my Google Maps app on Friday Morning. Since then even with GM shut off, I still experience battery drain. Of course the fact that it started after I used GM is not necessarily the reason for the problem. But I had many normal days before Friday (Dec 28). iPad Mini also has iOS 6.0.2 but there are no battery issues there. Have turned off Location services for GM just now – so lets see how that affects battery life.
    I am also experiencing problems connecting to certain WIFI Networks with the iPhone 5. However, on the same network – iPhone 3GS works just fine.
    How can I downgrade ?

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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