iOS 17 reduces the battery life of an array of older models. The result: Users of the iPhone XR, iPhone 13, etc., running the latest operating system version need to charge up their handsets more often.
It is not normal for a new iOS version to universally reduce battery life. But a fix may be on the way.
iOS 17 is a drag on battery life
Lithium-ion batteries inevitably wear out. Each one comes with a limited number of times it can be charged and discharged. Over time, the amount of power a battery can store slowly decreases, reducing battery life.
But installing a new iOS version should not bring a sudden drop. In fact, iOS 16 significantly improved the battery lives of many older handsets.
That’s not the case with iOS 17. Not at all.
Tests done by iAppleBytes on a range of iPhone models found that every one of them saw a decrease in battery life between iOS 16.7 and iOS 17. And the two follow-up “bug fix” versions of iOS 17 did not solve the problem, though there have been slight improvements.
A fix is (hopefully) on the way
A separate issue may improve the battery life of all iPhones. Users of the new iPhone 15 models complain that the devices get hot. Apple recently acknowledged the problem. In a statement, a spokesperson said, “We have also found a bug in iOS 17 that is impacting some users and will be addressed in a software update.”
The same fix potentially could take care of older handsets’ battery problem. Heat is a symptom of power being wasted. And wasted power reduces battery life. If the iOS 17 bug that Apple is fixing affects more than the iPhone 15 series, then previous devices could see longer times between needing to recharge once the next bug fix arrives.