iOS 12.1 brings performance management to newer iPhones

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iPhone X charging
You can now disable throttling on the iPhone X.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s new iOS 12.1 update, which rolled out to everyone on Tuesday, brings its performance management feature to the 2017 iPhone lineup.

The feature will prevent handsets from unexpectedly shutting down as their batteries age, but it could impact performance later on.

Apple introduced the performance management feature to iOS earlier this year in response to complaints about it slowing down older devices. The company admitted that it used throttling to prevent handsets with older batteries from shutting down unexpectedly.

Users can now choose to disable that feature for maximum performance if they wish. The feature was initially made available on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone SE, and iPhone — but can now be found on the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, too.

Managing iPhone performance

You probably won’t need to worry about using performance management on any of last year’s handsets just yet; their batteries should still be healthy enough to enable the fastest possible performance on your device. However, it might come in handy if you notice slowdown later.

Apple’s most recent handsets shouldn’t suffer from throttling like earlier models have, though.

The company explained last December that the iPhone 8 and later use “a more advanced hardware and software design that provides a more accurate estimation of both power needs and the battery’s power capability to maximize overall system performance.”

“This allows a different performance management system that more precisely allows iOS to anticipate and avoid an unexpected shutdown. As a result, the impacts of performance management may be less noticeable on iPhone 8 and later.”

Disabling performance management

You may still need a battery replacement for these devices if you plan to hold onto them for a long time — no lithium-ion battery can retain its full capacity forever. But if you upgrade your iPhone every year or two, you shouldn’t ever have to worry about it.

To disable performance management on an iPhone, simply head into the Settings app, tap Battery and then choose Battery Health.