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 promised to restore the goodwill it may have lost by providing the much-needed transparency about the practice.
Now, with the release of iOS 11.3, the company is putting this performance and battery management system in every iPhone user's hands.
A new feature in iOS 11.3 is a 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.
To see this new setting, go to your iPhone's Settings >> Battery >> then tap on Battery Health (Beta).
Here you'll see your battery's "Maximum Capacity." Since a battery's ability to hold a charge decreases through time, this provides an estimate of how much of the original capacity your iPhone can still hold.
Newer iPhones should have full capacities of 100 percent. Older iPhones will have lower capacities and they won't last as long between charges.
Studies show that lithium-ion batteries can have a 15-22 percent reduction in capacity in a year and this means that after two years of regular use, your phone may only hold about half of its capacity if you're not careful.
If your iPhone's maximum capacity is dipping below 80 percent, consider replacing it for optimum performance.
In the new Battery Health settings page, there is also a new "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.
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.
Additionally, if your battery's maximum capacity has already dipped below 80 percent (and you can still disable performance throttling), there's a greater chance that your iPhone will unexpectedly shut down. Your iPhone will also display a message saying that "battery's health is significantly degraded" and advises you to "replace the battery to restore full performance and capacity."