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iPhone users report serious battery drain after updating to iOS 14.6

Published Jun 1st, 2021 11:35AM EDT
iOS 14.6 battery drain
Image: Apple

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It’s been about a week since Apple rolled out iOS 14.6 to the general public, and while the update includes some exciting new features and changes for the iPhone, but it might also be the source of a new problem. As spotted by MacRumors, dozens of users on the Apple support forums are complaining about increased battery drain after installing the latest iOS update.

While some users noted that it can take a few days before a major update finishes “settling in” on an iPhone, leading to issues with battery life, the reports continued to pour in over the weekend and into this week. It’s becoming clear that something more substantial is at play here.

Apple hasn’t issued an official response regarding the issue, so we can’t be sure what is causing iOS 14.6 to deplete an iPhone’s battery so much quicker than previous updates, but some iPhone owners on the support forums claim that the upgraded Apple Podcasts app is the main culprit. Several users in this thread found that the Podcasts app was responsible for the most battery usage in the Settings menu, even when they weren’t using the app. Deleting the default Podcasts app seemed to make a difference for some users, but not for others, so your mileage may vary.

“It just happened to my iPhone 12 Pro Max,” said one user on MacRumors’ forums. “I was browsing Safari and I felt the device heating up next to the rear cameras and the battery began to drain.”

Corroborating all these reports is a recent video from iAppleBytes in which seven of the latest iPhone models are put through the Geekbench battery test in order to see how they perform. As you will see at the end of the video, the battery scores for iOS 14.6 are among the lowest of any recent update:

Here’s what iAppleBytes had to say about the results of the battery tests:

This video was shot 3 days after iOS 14.6 was installed, so it had time to settle in. I have seen many comments that it takes about a week for battery performance to optimize itself after an iOS update. I have always been skeptical of this statement as I have never personally had bad battery life right after I update. If I restore and download backup from iCloud well then that is another story. So I decided to run the battery test 4 days after I updated them. In those 3 days they were just idling with power connected. So let’s run the battery test again, and see if we will get some different results this time around.

iOS 14.5 included a battery health recalibration feature that targeted iPhone 11 models that displayed inaccurate battery health readings in the Settings menu. According to Apple, this had no effect on the battery itself, but simply updated the readings to reflect the true battery health.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.