When Apple admitted that they throttled iPhones with failing batteries to protect them from sudden shutdowns, many people said that it’s proof that Apple has a roadmap for its older products.
But is it really? Apple may not have been too transparent with this practice but at least it extends the usability and reliability of iPhones that are due for a battery replacement anyway.
But since it's now a known fact, Apple has been busy restoring the goodwill it may have lost by providing the much-needed transparency about the practice. The company is even offering a hefty $50 discount for iPhone battery replacements.
And as promised, the company is also making improvements to future versions of iOS to put this performance and battery management system in every iPhone user's hands.
Spotted in the iOS 11.3 beta is a new screen within the battery settings section called Battery Health. Not only will this section tell you the current maximum capacity of your battery, it will also give you a way to disable "Performance Management."
Performance Management is Apple's term for the throttling of an iPhone's processing speed and other features due to degraded battery performance.
In the new Battery Health settings page, there will be a "Peak Performance Capability" section that allows you to disable Performance Management and make your iPhone always run at full speed despite having a battery that can no longer deliver "necessary peak power."
This means your iPhone is at risk of an unexpected shutdown if your battery is no longer functioning adequately.
Kudos to Apple. This is exactly what we were asking for - let iPhone users have a choice between throttled performance or sudden shutdowns.
According to 9to5 Mac, all gadgets on iOS 11.3 will have "Performance Management" disabled by default. Performance Management and the option to disable it will first kick in when an iPhone experiences its first shutdown due to battery issues.
Keep in mind that you can't re-enable Performance Management and throttle your iPhone until it unexpectedly shuts down again. Apple said that Performace Management will be automatically turned on anyway after every unexpected shutdown due to battery issues.
Apple's letter to Senator Thune
This new Battery Health section is certainly a part of Apple's promise to bring transparency on iPhones that are throttled to protect them from unexpected shutdowns caused by failing batteries.
This was actually outlined in a letter Apple sent to Senator John Thune. The letter is in response to an earlier letter sent by the senator in January.
The senator's letter asked if Apple considered offering iPhone battery replacements for free or offer rebates to iPhone owners who had their batteries replaced before the $50 discount took effect. In response, Apple told the senator that they are exploring this possibility.
The senator also asked Apple if it has notified iPhone owners about the "slowdown" feature and whether older iPhones use similar power management strategies.
Apple replied that the iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X use more advanced battery performance management systems that prevent unexpected shutdowns. This means that currently, only the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, 7, and 7 Plus have the processor throttling feature enabled.
To try out the new Battery Health feature now, you need to join the free Apple Beta Software program first, then install the iOS 11.3 beta.
Alternatively, you can just wait for iOS 11.3's general public release.
In other news, do you have this weird iPhone bug?
A growing number of Apple's support forums users are complaining about an issue with their $1,000 iPhone X smartphones. Click here to find out what it is.