iPhone update will let you turn off battery slowdowns; experts suggest you think twice
While Apple is planning to release a software update to allow users to turn off the feature that slows down their iPhones to preserve the battery, several experts would advise you to leave it on or risk your phone shutting down unexpectedly.
In a statement to ABC News, CEO Tim Cook said the software that slows down iPhones, which was released last year, was intended to make sure the devices did not get cut off in the middle of an important call or text message due to an outdated battery. He also went on to advise users against taking advantage of the upcoming updates.
“We will tell somebody we are reducing your performance by some amount in order to not have an unexpected restart, and if you don’t want it, you can turn it off,” Cook said.
“We don’t recommend it because we think that people’s iPhones are really important to them and you can never tell when something is so urgent. Our actions were all in service of the user.”
However, following the social media rampage unleashed on the company after admitting that it intentionally slowed down older iPhones, Apple issued an apology to consumers as well as an explanation for the practice.
WATCH: Apple apologizes, offers discount on batteries
Apple’s response claimed that the software updates that allowed the smartphone giant to slow down iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, iPhone SE and iPhone 7 devices were intended to “smooth out” peak power demands, to avoid unexpected shutdowns and to extend the lifespan of the batteries.
Rechargeable batteries, the company lamented, “become less effective as they chemically age and their ability to hold a charge diminishes.” For the most part, experts supported these statements, claiming that where Apple had truly gone wrong was a lack of transparency.
WATCH: Class-action lawsuit filed against Apple following admission it slows down aging iPhones
“Batteries are super problematic. After a year, we all know from our own experience that they get worse. At a certain point, the processor is drawing so much current that it can’t support the voltage. This can absolutely cause the system to shut down,” explained Jonathan Rose, a professor in the department of electrical engineering at the University of Toronto.
“If you’re choosing to opt out, you’re willing to risk a shutdown,” Rose warned iPhone users.
Former Apple employee and entrepreneur Chad Jones echoes these statements.
“I used to work at Apple, and they spent a lot of time implementing this and it’s [supposed] to improve the customer experience because the older phones — if you go back far enough — didn’t have this and the experience was that if you waited long enough, your phone would not work very well,” who is now the founder and CEO of Saskatchewan-based app development firm Push Interactions.
Jones added that this was Apple’s way of extending the battery life for people who want to keep their phones for longer than iPhones are designed to last.
WATCH: Apple admits it slows down older iPhones
While he agrees that more iPhone users will be inclined to switch the feature off because of the storm of public vitriol and lawsuits that followed the company’s admission, he’d advise users to use such a feature sparingly when it is released — if they use it at all.
Abe Baggili, head of the Cyber Forensics Research and Education Group at the University of New Haven notes that regardless of Apple’s intentions, with the ownership rates of personal devices climbing higher than ever, the passive consumer is a thing of the past.
“The consumers are getting smarter… Giving the user the option puts them in control of what happens,” Baggili stated.
“I think that Apple tried to make a decision, and then consumers said, ‘We want choice.'”
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