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The latest Apple furor has emerged, as Apple admitted to slowing down iPhones with failing batteries. This article explains why slowing down the iPhone is beneficial for the end user.
It seems, every year, there is a new Apple scandal. Unable to find any serious flaws with the iPhone X, much of the anti-Apple tech media has found a new scandal. Social media exploded after users found lower Geekbench scores on older iPhones. Apple finally admitted that they implemented a solution to slow down older iPhones with failing batteries.
Every software engineer I know is impressed. Unfortunately, tech journalists, most of whom haven’t written a single line of code in their lives, have come to a completely different conclusion. This is all a conspiracy to force iPhone users to upgrade. It’s almost as if I decided to critique cardio-thoracic surgeons, claiming that they can be a bit messy with the blood.
The Internet has no shortage of unqualified people who feel the need to make their opinion heard. This is appropriate in comments, however, the articles themselves are written by people with limited technical abilities. They’re just regurgitating the same talking points in an echo chamber. After all, if they were technically skilled, they would be writing code and making three times as much money. As someone with more than 15 years of coding under my belt, most tech news makes me vomit in my mouth. That’s one reason why I started this website.
Apple’s Explanation for Slowing down Older iPhones
I’m sure you have already read “journalists'” explanations of the iPhone slowdown scandal. I have searched extensively, and the vast majority of them have put forth a conspiracy theory. After all, being bold, yet wrong, will get more page views. This is the essence of click bait. Controversy is more important than the truth. This goes beyond technology. Our journalistic community has found that hype, controversy and fake news are quite profitable.
I urge all readers to find primary sources. Don’t rely on me or any other writer to expose the truth. Don’t let The Verge, USA Today or BGR tell you how to interpret the facts. The best thing you can do is to read Apple’s press release. It has far more details than any other article. You could read every article in the tech news about this, yet not learn a single fact about the issue.
According to Apple’s message to customers, iPhone batteries age over time. As they age, they no longer provide stable, sustained current. If an iPhone has an old, failing battery, processing peaks can result in unexpected shutdowns. Apple implemented advanced power management code to slow down processing in these situations. This prevents the iPhone from shutting down, allowing users to keep an iPhone for much longer than any competing smartphone. Instead of buying a new device, iPhone owners can make do with what they have.
Slow Down or Shut Down?
The bottom line is, there are two options. Either an iPhone with a failing battery slows down or shuts down. Which do you prefer? Everyone I have asked said that they would prefer that the device slows down. Not one person wants their iPhone to shut down while they’re using it. Any reasonable person would have the same preference.
Some feel that Apple should have informed users that their batteries are failing. The problem is that the failure may not be permanent. There are a lot of variables at play when it comes to lithium-ion battery lifespan and performance. If your iPhone is throttled due to poor battery performance on a hot day, for example, that may be a temporary issue.
Apple is addressing this in future releases of iOS. They will provide battery diagnostic tools. Third-party developers have already provided similar utilities in the App Store. next page →
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