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Apple's iOS 5.1 doesn't fix battery drain bug, say some early reports

Recently released to developers, the beta of iOS 5.1 doesn't appear to resolve the draining battery issue, according to early reports.

Screenshot by CNET

The first beta of iOS 5.1 may not resolve the battery drain problem that's been plaguing many iOS 5 users, claim some initial reports.

Released to registered developers on Monday, iOS 5.1 is Apple's latest attempt to squash the battery drain bug cited by a variety of users running iOS 5.

But early reports don't sound too encouraging.

Tech enthusiast site AppAdvice said yesterday it's been hearing "that iOS 5.1 doesn't seem to really help with the iOS 5 battery issues some users have been experiencing." The site already seemed resigned to the news: "Guess we'll have to get used to it after all."

Fellow site Redmond Pie echoed the news today, reporting that after just one day of testing, iOS 5.1 doesn't seem any better than 5.0.1 at maintaining battery life--and could be even worse. "The battery issues are still there and there's no noticeable difference," the site said.

The sites didn't reveal where they picked up the information, but presumably it would be from developers who've been busy checking out the latest update. One apparent developer posting on the iPhoneForums site also said that the 5.1 update didn't help and may have made the situation worse.

A search of iOS 5.1 at Apple's own Support Communities didn't turn up much, which is understandable since the beta just came out. A number of people also seemed confused between 5.1 and 5.0.1.

But just as iOS 5.0.1 garnered mixed reviews at plugging up the battery drain, 5.1 may be stuck in the same boat. One tester chiming in on a forum at MacRumors found a noticeable improvement in battery life after updating to the 5.1 beta. Another user commenting on the AVForums site also saw a healthy boost in the battery charge as a result of 5.1.

Whether iOS 5.1 is having any effect so far on battery life, either positive or negative, it is still just the first beta of a new version. Apple is likely to roll out a few more betas before releasing the final edition to its user population, especially if the battery drain issue persists at some level.