The Deal with Batteries

As a computer technician, I have heard some nasty things said about Apple this past week regarding the whole incident of slowing down iPhones with exhausted batteries and I thought I would put in my two cents. Apple is not very good about making it easy to see what is going behind the scenes on their devices and this makes sense as they spotlight what you’re wanting to work on and do. The average person doesn’t worry about what processes are running in the background, how much memory is drawn or their chemical stability of their battery – they just want their device to work. So, for all of you out there saying Apple is slowing down their devices to sell more devices, stop it – just stop it.

Of all the brands of electronics I work on, I see older Apple devices the most. They last longer and, in turn, their batteries and other components eventually need replaced. Unfortunately, Apple and other manufactures do not make it easy to simply eject an old battery and replace it with a new battery. Some of that has to do with how batteries fit into devices. In the past, batteries were in a hard shell that could be pulled out or slide out. Today, most batteries are soft and molded perfectly to take up as much internal space as possible to the most amount of power as possible. This does not change the fact that a battery has a life span and the capacity it is capable of holding starts to dwindle from day one of using the device.

How hot or cold the battery is, how much energy you are pulling from it at any given time make a big deal in how it powers the circuitry inside. As the battery chemically ages, it is not as robust as its younger self. Apple’s software to slow things down was designed to keep the device from crashing entirely and, I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have my device slow things down a moment and catch up then crash and reboot – I already deal enough with that on the PC side. Managing how the battery is working is also a big deal as these devices can be volatile when not handled correctly – looking at you Samsung.

So what can you do? Well, lucky you! If you have an iPhone 6 or later (including iPhone SE), you can now setup an Apple appointment to replace that battery for as $29 – which is down from $79 – and is available until the end of 2018. While Apple is going to push an iOS update that gives you more insight to your battery, you can also download Coconut battery for Mac and let it give you more insight when you plug in your iOS device. It’s a great free app and even gives you info on your battery on your MacBook portable. Get the App Here: https://www.coconut-flavour.com/coconutbattery/

Additionally, if you are feeling the DIY movement and don’t want to with on an Apple Store appointment, the guys at iFixIt.com have lowered the price on their kits which also give you the tools to open your own device and swap out our those torx screws for some standard Philips. Check them out here: https://www.ifixit.com/Kits/iPhone-Battery-Kits