Apple has finally admitted that there are problems with the new iPhone 4S’s battery life, after weeks of reports of devices overheating and batteries draining in less than 12 hours.
The good news is that the problem appears to be due to a bug in the iOS 5 software that the phones use – rather than a problem with the battery itself. The bad news is that the problem will take ‘a few weeks’ to fix.
Speaking to website AllThingsD, Apple said, “A small number of customers have reported lower than expected battery life on iOS 5 devices.”
“We have found a few bugs that are affecting battery life and we will release a software update to address those in a few weeks.”
Mac websites also report that a new ‘test’ version of the software has already gone out to app developers, and one of the changes is that the new software, “Fixes bugs affecting battery life.” Australian users will also be reassured to find that the new software reportedly makes it easier for iPhone’s Siri voice control system to understand their accents No fix is in the pipeline for Scots who find that the voice-command system can’t understand them, however some temporary fixes are available for the battery problem, however. Apple’s official ‘help’ forums have been deluged by complaints about the problem – with some users reporting that the battery lasts less than a day. Sites such as Macworld have offered guides to how to ‘fix’ the handset while users wait for help from Apple.
So far, though, no one solution appears to fit all the problems. The Apple fan site iDownloadblog suggests that the problem might be in the section of the Settings menu dealing with the phone resetting its time zone when you travel.
iOS 5′s GM release introduced a bug that causes the Setting Time Zone function to keep the location tracking circuitry running constantly, draining battery power considerably,’ said the site.
Switching it off may mean that your iPhone will no longer set its own time zone when you travel. “But that’s a small price to pay for having your iPhone last more than 12 hours on a full charge.”
So far, though, the fix is not confirmed to work on all affected iPhone units. Other users have reported different bugs where using the browser causes battery life to drop alarmingly. Others have found that the phone gets worryingly hot in their pockets Apple has reportedly been in touch with individual iPhone users over the past days to try and pin down the root of the problem.