Multiple iPhone owners have reported a ‘bug’ with iOS 16.5 that has severely diminished their handsets’ battery performance. British news site The Mirror, for example, cites social media complaints about the software update “absolutely decimating the battery on my iPhone 12 Pro” and “iOS 16.5 battery drainage” being “even worse.” A quick search on Twitter reveals one user asking Apple support if there’s “any update regarding the iOS 16.5 fix, it’s draining the device battery,” another complaining that “coincidental or not, since iOS 16.5, not only is my battery life horrific, charging time has slowed drastically, and for some reason, my battery is reaching seriously hot temperatures,” and many more with similar issues.
All very worrying, right?
Well, no, not really. Regular readers will be familiar with this phenomenon, since we’ve previously explained why iPhone batteries often drain after an iOS update. This happens every time there’s a big iOS update, and is completely standard.
As my colleague Jason Cross explains, “The operating system is performing background operations, optimizing all sorts of data, and sometimes doing stuff like re-scanning your photos with new machine learning algorithms, and this increases battery drain. Not to mention that battery management is handled by sophisticated algorithms that may need several charge-and-drain cycles to adapt.”
Apple itself has acknowledged that this is how it works, and advises that waiting a couple of days should see battery performance return to normal: roughly 48 hours ought to do it. That matches our own experience with previous “battery killing” software updates, so the company isn’t just fobbing us off to distract from a real bug. You just need to wait a bit, and iOS will sort itself out.
If this sounds like a flaw in the process, you’re not entirely wrong: it is annoying, and we understand why people are disturbed the first time they notice the phenomenon. But the real worry is that something has been affected permanently, and we’re happy to tell you that this is not the case.
And iOS 16.5, while afflicted with some flaws of its own, is an important update with numerous fixes for bugs both minor and serious. We’d recommend that you install it at the earliest opportunity, and try not to worry about the temporarily weakened battery life of your iPhone.
This isn’t to say that you should never worry about iPhone battery life, which is a hugely important part of your experience with Apple’s handset. There are plenty of iPhone battery-saving tips you should consider–but “don’t install iOS 16.5” isn’t one of them.