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iPhone/iPad batteries, charging, etc.

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We've discussed this before in MacInTouch. Li-ion batteries are not like NiCd and NiMH. What uses up Li-ion battery life is running on battery.
That being the case, letting it go to zero a couple times (as I unfortunately did, albeit not on purpose) is more likely to have been the culprit here.
 



Apple's new external battery case for my iPhone Xs Max is run down first, keeping the internal battery fully charged. So, perhaps this option will be the sacrificial anode for battery death during the two-year warranty.
 


FWIW, my daily driver iPhone 6 has 700 charging cycles and has been run down a few dozen times to the point that it turned off. iOS says the battery health is still 100%.
 


I think (no real evidence to back it up) that older-made Li batteries last longer because they were made better - Japanese versus Chinese. I still have my 1st-gen iPad that shows no wear at all on the battery. I also have a bunch of older Nikon D70/D100/D200/D300 batteries that have no wear on them, but newer versions don't last worth a damn.
 


I think (no real evidence to back it up) that older-made Li batteries last longer because they were made better - Japanese versus Chinese. I still have my 1st-gen iPad that shows no wear at all on the battery. I also have a bunch of older Nikon d70/d100/d200/d300 batteries that have no wear on them, but newer versions don't last worth a damn.
My 1st-gen iPhone from 2007 still holds a charge for over four hours. Can't use it as a phone anymore, but as a Scrabble-word-checker, it's great.
 


I think (no real evidence to back it up) that older-made Li batteries last longer because they were made better - Japanese versus Chinese. I still have my 1st-gen iPad that shows no wear at all on the battery. I also have a bunch of older Nikon D70/D100/D200/D300 batteries that have no wear on them, but newer versions don't last worth a damn.
This might be an issue, but I think some of it is the fact that manufacturers are using smaller and smaller batteries, if every generation, they use chips that are more power efficient. But instead of bundling those chips with the old/larger batteries (to provide really long run-times), they switch to smaller batteries (that produce the same run-time as the old systems).

I suspect (but don't know enough physics to prove) that by reducing the size/mass of the batteries, the lifespan is also reduced, even if the amp-hour power capacity is the same (or even larger) than before.

It may also be the case that the same advances in Li-Ion battery tech that allow them to pack more power into smaller/lighter batteries also reduce the battery's lifespan.
My 1st-gen iPhone from 2007 still holds a charge for over four hours. Can't use it as a phone anymore, but as a Scrabble-word-checker, it's great.
The cellular radio is one of the biggest power drains in a phone. If it's no longer being used as a phone, then I assume you've disabled the cellular radio (choosing airplane mode, maybe also removing the SIM card), which will definitely allow the battery to last longer for the remaining capabilities (apps, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.).
 




About 2 years ago, I replaced the battery in my iPhone 6S with a new one from iFixIt. The upgrade was painless, but I lost the seal to keep water out of the phone. (Not a big deal, since I'm not in the habit of dropping my gadgets.)

These days, I see odd behavior. I have all background refreshes turned off. I take the phone off charge and carry it whereever I happen to go and use it for this or that while nothing is plugged in, and I usually don't have more than 4 apps loaded, I always terminate them quickly after I use them. (I know, I don't have to, but it's habit again.)

What I see recently: Suddenly the battery level drops very rapidly, from 99% to 88% in something like 20 seconds. When I close the open apps, it stops draining the battery and after restarting the same app, it no longer drains the battery like that (and it's not always the same app, it's one of the 10 or so I usually use).

So far, I have not been able to figure out how and why. But that's ok. A new phone is not in the cards — this one just works fine, and I have no intention to get a new one just because they are there (I'm not subscribing to the intended obsolescence model).
 


About 2 years ago, I replaced the battery in my iPhone 6S with a new one from iFixIt.
... What I see recently: Suddenly the battery level drops very rapidly, from 99% to 88% in something like 20 seconds. When I close the open apps, it stops draining the battery and after restarting the same app, it no longer drains the battery like that (and it's not always the same app, it's one of the 10 or so I usually use).
Sounds like you need a new battery. If you've been using this one for two years, then it shouldn't be all that surprising either.

If you're still comfortable doing the work yourself, go get another from iFixit and install it.
 


I've been having trouble lately with my iPhone not being recognized by my Mac Mini and having to constantly select "trust" for it. This seemed to happen after the iOS 12.4 update. Many times it says this device may not be supported and won't charge the iPhone. This is getting ridiculous.

iPhone: 8+: iOS 12.4
Mac Mini (mid 2011): mcOS 10.13.6
iTunes: 12.6.5.3

Anyone else having this same issue?
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I've been having trouble lately with my iPhone not being recognized by my Mac Mini and having to constantly select "trust" for it. This seemed to happen after the iOS 12.4 update. Many times it says this device may not be supported and won't charge the iPhone.
This sounds very much like a problem with the connecting cable. Do you have another you could try? Another possibility is something in the iPhone's Lightning connection port (e.g. lint).
 


This sounds very much like a problem with the connecting cable. Do you have another you could try? Another possibility is something in the iPhone's Lightning connection port (e.g. lint).
I'll give your suggestions a try. Another cable didn't register at all, so I'll see if there is some gunk in the lightning port. I can't see anything visually, but it is pretty hard to tell. I'll have to try to find some time later, as I am traveling for work the next few days.
 


It takes very little pocket lint to keep the connector from fully seating. I have cleaned them out using a flat, wooden toothpick (to carefully loosen it up) and very gentle puffs of compressed air. Amazed sometimes how much was in there.
 


I've been having trouble lately with my iPhone not being recognized by my Mac Mini and having to constantly select "trust" for it. This seemed to happen after the iOS 12.4 update. Many times it says this device may not be supported and won't charge the iPhone.
This sounds very much like a problem with the connecting cable. Do you have another you could try? Another possibility is something in the iPhone's Lightning connection port (e.g. lint).
I have had the same problem if I connect my iPhone 6s by wire to my Mac while iTunes is running. If iTunes is running, 100% of the time there is a query — do I want to trust this Mac? If iTunes is not running, then connect-by-wire works fine.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Well, maybe this update will finally restore my battery to good health. A little background: This is a 2017 iPhone SE with 128 GB. I bought it in February 2019...
That seemed worth a try on my iPhone SE, also suffering with poor battery life after updating to iOS 13 (then all its subsequent updates).

I installed it and took a look at my top battery usage apps yet again. Hmmm...

Settings > Battery > Last 5 Days

App Store
Background Activity
33%
Phone
Low Signal
33%
Mail
Background Activity
14%

Interestingly, "Low Signal" first appeared only after the iOS update today... It was not listed previously (and I've checked frequently over the last 5 days),***

And App Store activity is the top battery drain at 33% over 5 days, when I hardly ever use the App Store and always quit out of it? What's with that? (iOS updates? But Auto Update is turned Off.)

*** To be clear, I have seen the "Low Signal" indicator in the past, but only in rural locations with non-existent cellular coverage. In this case, over the 5-day period, it was a typical suburban location. The only change I can think of is that I happened to watch a sports match on an iPad, which was atypical. I don't know if that, or where I was sitting, affected the cellular signal strength.
 


Interestingly, "Low Signal" first appeared only after the iOS update today...
Now that's like a feature I can use. I live in a mountainous area with checkerboard cell coverage (and a very weak signal at home). If I forget to turn on "airplane mode" when I get home, the battery will drain overnight.
 


When you quit an app, do you double click the home button to clear it? I have also cleared Safari visited pages... I only learned this because someone asked me about it.... With the same activity, I lose about 11 to 20%. With no extended use or long activity, I usually get around 48 hours per charge.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
When you quit an app, do you double click the home button to clear it?
When there is a home button, yes, double-click and swipe up to quit the app. It's more awkward on newer iPhones that lack Home buttons and substitute trickier gestures for the same purpose. (Some elderly users I support can't understand this process, even when there's a Home button, which leads to various confusions.)
I have also cleared Safari visited pages...
I only recently discovered that you can swipe Safari pages left to remove them – after invoking the overview mode by manipulating the screen until the double-square appears then tapping that. (I hadn't realized that this was an alternative to tapping the tiny "X" icon in the upper-left corner of the mini-pages in this mode.)

#appleui
 



I discovered that even a fairly thin case could prevent wireless charging from working, so that's one reason to use a case like yours (although I prefer more protection against drops).
I have an iPhone 11 Pro Max in an Otterbox Defender case (about as thick as you can get) and I have no wireless charging problems using an Anker Wireless Charger, PowerWave 7.5 Pad with Internal Cooling Fan.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I have an iPhone 11 Pro Max in an Otterbox Defender case (about as thick as you can get) and I have no wireless charging problems using an Anker Wireless Charger, PowerWave 7.5 Pad with Internal Cooling Fan.
Interesting... I bought a different Anker charger that worked with an.iPhone X sans case but didn't with a fairly slim case, so I returned the charger to Amazon.
 


I discovered that even a fairly thin case could prevent wireless charging from working, so that's one reason to use a case like yours (although I prefer more protection against drops).
I’ve been using a Mous Clarity case with my iPhone 11 Pro Max since my iPhone 6 Plus failed, and it’s charged wirelessly with the case on both the RAVPower Wireless Charging Stand (RP-PC069) and an Anker PowerWave Pad without any problems. (I did have to reboot the iPhone once, when it would not charge wirelessly, to restore wireless charging, but I cannot blame it on the case.)

The drop tests they show on the Mous web site are pretty impressive.

The case has slightly raised edges, so that when you place it on a flat surface, the front and back do not contact it, a feature I look for, since my iPad screen got scratched in an accident because its case did not have that feature.

Anyway, those are combinations that I can tell you work well together and still protect the phone pretty well.No affiliation with any of those companies other than as a customer.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
An odd thing seems to have improved my battery life in iOS 13, and I'd love to know if it helps others: simply updating a whole bunch of apps that have updates pending in the App Store...
 




For the past few days the battery indicator on my iPhone 6s always displays 100%, even after hours of use. There are a number of suggestions on-line as to how to fix this, and I have tried them all, including changing the date settings, force-rebooting the phone, etc. Coconut Battery also indicates that the battery is fully charged.

(I should note here that this phone is on its third battery. The battery that came with the phone lasted less than two years. The second, from Apple's battery replacement program, lasted less than a year. The current battery is from a third party and has been working well for about a year. It generally lasts all day. But I am not a heavy user.)

Last night the phone suddenly showed the battery discharged display. I connected it to a charger but soon after, it went through a cycle of crash, reboot, log in, repeat. I force-rebooted it again, and when it rebooted, it seemed stable and showed 79% – the first time in a couple of days that it has showed less than 100%.

But then I glanced at my Apple Watch, which had that clock-like progress indicator. Back to the phone, which says that my new Apple Watch is almost finished syncing. (Bummer, because I was baking bread and had set a timer on the watch. Now I had no idea when the bread would be done.) When the syncing finished (about 30 minutes), my phone said, "Welcome to Apple Watch", and the watch said "Timer Done" (too late; I'd already removed the bread from the oven).

I left the phone off the charger all night, and this morning it shows 100%, which can't be right.

Is this likely a hardware problem and, if so, is it worth fixing or do I need a new phone?
 


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