iOS 4 Is a Battery Drain For Older iPhone/iPod Touch

I had written a post before was officially released talking about how was a battery drain and whether or not you should upgrade to it. However, I did upgrade to iOS 4 and found it to be good feature wise. I have now been using the device for a couple of weeks and was disappointed with the battery performance after the switch.

iOS 4 Logo

Though iOS 4 has brought in a lot of nice changes like Folders and Multitasking, it also uses up battery pretty quickly even when the device is not being used. In my tests so far, the device holds up strictly OK and has a battery life of 7-8 hours in idle mode and approximately 3-4 hours with moderate use on an 3G. If you decide to play games or use heavy apps, the battery gets drained pretty quickly.

Now here is the problem, during the above tests, most of the apps I was using were not multitasking capable. With several apps already making use of the new multitasking feature, those numbers will go down even further.

Another problem I saw with my tests was that, if I left my device with 75%-80% battery overnight, the battery would run out in the morning. This is truly a pain since before the iPod Touch would run without  charge for 4-5 days. Now, I have to always remember to plug the device into the charging unit before I sleep. Also with heavy usage I have to usually keep the iPod Touch plugged into the charging unit.

This is definitely disappointing and like I had said it was something I had expected. You might see the same problem on an older . So if you want to use iOS4 you are better off doing it on an which has better battery life and was created specifically for iOS 4 features.

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Keith Dsouza

I am the editor-in-chief and owner of Techie Buzz. I love coding and have contributed to several open source projects in the past. You can know more about me and my projects by visiting my Personal Website.I am also a social networking enthusiast and can be found active on twitter, you can follow Keith on twitter @keithdsouza. You can click on my name to visit my Google+ profile.

  • Pyyro

    The BASEBAND is responsible for the battery strain.

    5.11.07 … 3.1.2 – I phone has great battery life

    5.12.04 …. 3.1.3 – the iPhone battery life improves 3x, but baseband is unlockable (or so Apple thought).

    now .. 5.13.04 … OS4 – worst battery life.

    Do you see the picture building up !!

    Users (especially the jailbroken ones with an unlocked phone) can expect a new baseband in the next release that will be truly unlockable (perhaps). This will resolve the battery issue but take care of the unlocking problem for Apple.

    • Joe

      I have the 3GS. Battery life was great with OS 3.1.3. Easily could last all day with normal use and by the end of the day, I would charge it overnight. With lighter use, I could goto bed and keep the phone on the nightstand for an alarm clockat 50% and wake up with 20%. Now after the iOS4 upgrade with Multitasking (not jailbroken) the battery goes from 97% to 10% in about 4 hours with very light use. Usage and Standby time in the settings>about are nearly identical, which tells me maybe the phone is never really going into standby?

      I went to the Apple store and had them Flash the phone for a fresh install of iOS4, and the problem has not resolved itself. I will wait for iOS4.1 before I go back to the store and call shenanigans!

      • Pyyro

        Better wait for baseband 5.14.x

        Your iPhone at 3.1.2 must have been working on 5.11.07 (That was ok – but with slight battery problems)

        When you upgraded to 5.12.01 – battery problems were all gone!! One full day with negligible loss of charge

        Now they have 5.13.04 – again with battery problems (I suspect this is on purpose). Next baseband 5.14.x will resolve this – but will be unlockable

        • Joe

          Not so sure it was the baseband. When I upgraded to ios4.0.1Baseband is 5.13.04. The battery drain was still intact. I flashed the phone again and still the same issue.

          I went back to the apple store, and swapped out the phone for a new one. Luckily I bought the apple care protection plan insurance, otherwise this swap would have cost me $199. I got it for free. Now with my new device, i have re-synced to itunes, setup as a new device, and everything is back to normal. The battery drain is gone.

          I say the hardware was the problem here. They had no explanation.

  • Jonathan

    I have 3g with iOS4, no multitasking and still see the battery drain.

    I had multitasking enabled, but re-jb without multitasking and not seeing much of a change.

    My wife has iPod touch 2g and was JB with multitasking, but went back to factory iOS4 from iTunes, no multitasking, and still seeing battery drain.

    • Joe

      I have heard from Apple Support Sites that anything below the 3GS will have less than optimal battery drain. It's just a result of the hardware they used back then. If you still have the 3G, now 2 years later seems like a great time to upgrade your device and solve your problems :-)

  • I have an Ipod touch, excellent performance with iOS 3.xx, but now that I switched to iOS 4 every day I run out of battery. Doing some experiments I found that I can save some battery juice by turning of wireless, since standby mode keeps it on.