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iPhone 4S battery issue detected (really)

11273 Views 22 Replies Latest reply: Jun 24, 2012 2:55 AM by Shant1998 RSS Branched to a new discussion.
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sk0rp10 Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Nov 14, 2011 12:31 PM

Dear all,


I'm an Italian engineer and iOS developer, who recently bought the brand new iPhone 4S .

As most of you who have bought such device , I'm experiencing poor battery performances , even after the latest 5.0.1 iOS update from Apple.


Therefore I wanted to try to understand what was the real cause of such bad performances and - moreover - why does it seems that only certain iPhone 4S are affected from such battery inefficiency behaviour.


By looking at the Internet, most of the hints lead to the conclusion that a particular mix of Apps - or even just one App ( you may find many pointing at Facebook or Fousquare Apps as culprits for the bad battery performances) may cause this huge power drain.


The only way to match such apparently contrasting reports from users all over the world with the fact that at least one certain cause shall explain the power drainage exeperiencied by us all was - in my mind - to find a solution in what the Apps could do to make things go wrong.


By using the Apple Instruments tool from Apple Developer suite (shipped with XCode) , I found this interesting thing :


it seems that the very cause of battery drainage is a bug in the video card driver , which could be triggered by applications making use of certain iOS APIs.


I found this by looking at the energy consumption graphs extracted from my iPhone 4S and comparing them with other information taken from the device.


It seems that - even in sleep state - and when nothing should use the GPU, there is recorded video card activity. But the most interesting thing is that it seems the device does not recognizes this activity as a power draining activity, therefore my theory is  that iOS can't trigger power saving algorithms to shut down the video card since it can't detect the fact it is consuming battery power.


I will attach here a screenshot taken from Apple Instruments tool which shows a 17% video card activity while energy usage is recorded as to be zero, and even when the Display Brightness is exactly zero, there's still video card activity ( near 1%) , but still no energy consumption is recorded by the iPhone.


I'm writing all this here hoping that Apple will examinate my theory and - if confirmed - will soon release a fix for this annoying issue.



iPhone 4S, iOS 5.0.1, Battery bug
  • zeGenius Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 23, 2011 1:01 AM (in response to sk0rp10)

    That's a really good find !! I hope that the Apple engineers look seriously into it


    My 4S was absolutely fine until I started playing Monopoly on it (yup a heavily 3D game! ) ... then it just started draining the battery super fast!


    Any ideas how to stop the issue from occurring:


      - e.g. restore to factory settings + restore contacts, bookmarks, etc from iCloud + install apps one-by-one ?!!?



    Will that work?



    iPhone 4S, iOS 5.0.1, Battery bug, fix
  • zeGenius Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 23, 2011 2:55 AM (in response to sk0rp10)

    Interesting. I am trying to see if this works


    I have:


       - shut down all apps on my 4S

       - turned off Settings > WiFi

       - turned off Settings > General > Bluetooth

       - turned off Settings > General > Network > Cellular Data

       - turned off Settings > iCloud > All = OFF (except Find My Phone)

       - turned off all apps from notification center (IMHO: it does use a cool 3D "roll-down" graphic for new notifications )



       - soft-rebooted


       - my battery is at 58% and I plan to just leave the 4S untouched (screen off)

       - lets see how it discharges (normally, it goes down 10% / hour when untouched)



    I'll get back to you




    iPhone 4S, iOS 5.0.1, Battery bug, fix, test
  • zeGenius Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 23, 2011 6:09 AM (in response to zeGenius)

    Awesome !!! It's been 3 hours since my last post and my battery is still at 57%


    So: I've only lost a measly 1% in 3h ... Great! My 4S' misbehaviour has stopped !!




    Now going one step further in my test:


        Settings > WiFi > ON (however, I currently have no WiFi at the office !!)

        Settings > General > Network > Cellular Data > ON

        Settings > Notifications > only viber, whatsapp, mail, calendar, messages ON




    BTW, FYI: I also have these other settings:


        Settings > Location Services > ON (only for Find Friends, Weather, Find My Phone)

        Settings > Location Services > System Services > All OFF (ex. Cell N/W Search)

        Settings > General > About > Diag & Usage > Don't send

        Settings > General > Siri > ON (with Raise to speak = OFF)

        Settings > Sounds > Vibrate > OFF (for both silent and ringer)

        Settings > Brightness > 40% (with Auto Adjust = ON)



    Leaving the 4S again in a barely-touched (screen off) state. Shall report on battery drain again in ~3h



    iPhone 4S, iOS 5.0.1, Battery bug, fix, test
  • Qingg Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 23, 2011 8:15 AM (in response to sk0rp10)

    wow..let me try too..get back to u once i tryed

  • zeGenius Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 23, 2011 9:18 AM (in response to zeGenius)

    3 hours later and I've dropped now to 54% ... that's barely 1% / hour !!!!


    This is quite normal for me: I've been receiving and replying to emails, SMS'es, iMessages, etc in these past 3 hours (admittedly, not as heavily as I normally would've used the 4S!)



    Looks good (so far), guyz !!



    Thanx, sk0rp10 !!



    iPhone 4S, iOS 5.0.1, Battery bug, fix, test
  • alwaystubed Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 23, 2011 9:45 AM (in response to sk0rp10)

    Great Find! Please submit this using apples feedback system, as well as your developer bug reporting method. This makes real sense!


    Again, Bravo.

  • Qingg Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 23, 2011 6:47 PM (in response to sk0rp10)

    i got drop 2-3% after around 7hr untouched standby without sim card and followed the method u guys this normal?


    i also found out that..everytime i go to setting..and play around battery will always - 1%.

  • quantumket Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 24, 2011 6:52 AM (in response to sk0rp10)

    This is great news. I too was suspecting some sort of running graphics engine to be the culprit in the battery depletion.


    I just updated to the 4S from the 3GS and instantly noticed poor battery life. Right out of a full charge I was loosing 1% every 10 minutes on standby, screen locked.


    I read your post and tried a couple of things. First, I kept my apps running, but turned off all location and notification settings. Surprisingly, that solved nothing. The second thing I tried, which is what you suggested, was to close all apps in the task manager. A 97% charge held for roughly 25 minutes.


    To me, this solves nothing. I, nor would anyone esle, excpect to have to tediously close all their apps whener I lock the phone.


    Any news on a 5.02 update?

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