iOS 16 has a lot of bugs, and Apple has already rushed out two updates to tackle some of the most serious ones. But now, widespread reports of severe battery drain suggest iPhone owners still running iOS 15 should stay there.
The problem has been hiding in plain sight. In my iOS 16 Upgrade Guide, I flagged multiple reports of battery drain, but the process of reindexing after updates makes this challenging to verify. One week later, however, complaints are still flooding in, and evidence is mounting that Apple has a big problem on its hands.
Perhaps the most eye-opening illustration of this came on Sunday, when popular Apple site 9to5Mac published the results of a poll into iOS 16 battery life. From over 14,000 replies, 63% of respondents reported that battery life is worse with iOS 16, with just 20% stating it is “the same as before.”
“My iPhone 12’s battery life has literally cut in half after I installed iOS16. I fully charge twice a day, totally unproductive. Apple has definitely to do something about that.” – source
“Like many others, the battery on my iPhone 13 Pro has all of a sudden become shocking – I updated to iOS 16.0 on release day. Where my battery would last me a full day (06:30-22:00) and I’d still have 20%+ remaining, I’m now having to charge the battery mid-way through the day whilst my usage levels remain the same.” – source
“iPhone 12 Pro here. Battery at 87%. After the update it took a couple of days for battery use to settle down (AI working its way through photos and files etc.). Previously my battery lasted all day every day without fail. Typically with more than 10% left by bedtime. Almost daily my phone is now running out by around 6pm. I estimate battery usage has increased by around 30%. Even getting a new battery won’t give me a whole day of use. There is absolutely an issue here that Apple need to fix.” – source
The cause of this has yet to be determined. iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max owners have already identified high battery drain from their always-on displays, but the feature is exclusive to these models.
I have reached out to Apple for a response to these reports and will update this post if/when I receive a reply. Historically, Apple has rarely acknowledged instances of high battery drain, though it made an exception in iOS 15.4.1 by explicitly confirming a fix after complaints grew following the release of iOS 15.4.
Either way, anyone still running iOS 15 should stay away from iOS 16 until this is resolved