Apple CEO Tim Cook said a few days ago that a future iOS release will bring over new Settings menus that will let users check the health of their iPhone batteries, and manage slowdowns. Apple soon followed up with an official announcement that confirms iOS 11.3, just as some of us suspected, will introduce this new battery features. That’s what Apple should have done from the moment it decided to slow down iPhones with chemically aged batteries.
But Apple’s announcement also seems to include some great news for iPhone X and iPhone 8 users. Either that or Apple hasn’t said everything. Again.
Let’s look again at the ‘Batteries and Performance’ section of Apple’s announcement. First, Apple mentions the new battery health feature that Cook referred to in an interview a few days ago (emphasis ours):
iOS 11.3 adds new features to show battery health and recommend if a battery needs to be serviced. These can be found in Settings -> Battery and are available for iPhone 6 and later.
Then it mentions the throttle toggle, also a feature Cook explained in the same interview (again, the emphasis is ours):
Additionally, users can now see if the power management feature that dynamically manages maximum performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns, first introduced in iOS 10.2.1, is on and can choose to turn it off. This feature can be found in Settings -> Battery and is available for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
As you can easily see, the iPhone X and iPhone 8 will get the battery health menu, but not the performance toggle. Does that mean the iPhone 8 and iPhone X won’t be throttled?
It’s too early to get excited about that, and Apple doesn’t explain what will happen when the batteries of the iPhone X and iPhone 8 will age.
For the time being, these phones are two new to actually show any signs of battery aging. Secondly, Apple may have not made up its mind yet.
In late December, Apple issued an apology letter in which it explained the whole iPhone slowdown thing. But it also announced that the program was so “successful” that it’ll extend it to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Here’s that quote:
About a year ago in iOS 10.2.1, we delivered a software update that improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE. With the update, iOS dynamically manages the maximum performance of some system components when needed to prevent a shutdown. While these changes may go unnoticed, in some cases users may experience longer launch times for apps and other reductions in performance.
Customer response to iOS 10.2.1 was positive, as it successfully reduced the occurrence of unexpected shutdowns. We recently extended the same support for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in iOS 11.2.
This seems to suggest that, soon after the iPhone X and iPhone 8 celebrate their one-year anniversary, Apple may decide to add them to the list of throttled devices, via a future iOS 12.2 update.