Ever since the release of iOS 5 alongside the iPhone 4S, Apple has been struggling to bring the battery life up to par. At first the belief was that perhaps the issue was hardware related, rather than the software that it shipped with. Soon though, it was clear that owners of the iPhone 4 and other hardware were also suffering from less than stellar battery life. Problems indeed.
Apple set about bringing new releases of iOS to the masses after admitting that there was actually an issue, and that iOS 5.0 and subsequent point releases were not as good at conserving the juice as they should have been. Apple has been trying to play catch-up ever since.
The latest release, iOS 5.1.1, was not actually, publicly at least, put out there in order to improve battery life performance across the iPhone and iPad line. It seems that it may have managed it by accident, though, depending on who you talk to.
A quick flick through my Twitter stream reveals the iOS 5.1.1 update has had a wide ranging effect on people’s hardware and its ability to last longer on a single charge. Some have reported that the improvement is rather dramatic, especially on Apple’s latest release, the new iPad. Others have reported that the opposite is indeed the case, and that 5.1.1 has caused a degradation in battery performance. Yet others say it is no different.
While all this points to battery life being exactly what we knew it was, and that is unpredictable, I can only really report on my own experience. That experience has been nothing short of amazing.
Since updating toiOS 5.1.1, I have found that my iPhone 4S can last well over a day on a single charge, with fairly heavy usage. I also have two Exchange accounts pushing email, calendar appointments and contacts as well as all the usual Twitter, Google+ and Facebook push notifications going on.
I also have Beejive IM running for all my Gtalk and MSN needs, but more surprisingly, I have had Skype running, too. If you check out the screenshot attached, you will see why I think it is so impressive.
Unfortunately, none of this really means a great deal. If you are getting great battery life, then you should probably feel rather lucky. If it is particularly bad, then a full restore may be in order just on the off-chance that something has gone awry somewhere along the line. If you are somewhere in-between, then you should just be happy that your iPhone lasts as long as it does, because chasing those extra hours by turning things off will never really be worth the hassle of losing out on functionality.
If you’ve got an iPad, then you’re probably rarely having to find that little white plug anyway!