iOS 5.0.1 didn't fix battery drain bug, say some users

Released yesterday, Apple's iOS 5.0.1 was supposed to resolve a battery drain problem introduced with iOS 5, but some early updaters claim they're running into the same issue.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
3 min read

Apple rolled out iOS 5.0.1 yesterday in large part to squash a battery drain bug, but some users say their batteries are still losing charge at a fast rate.

A variety of comments on the Apple Support Forums have so far revealed several people who say the fix did nothing to improve battery life.

Here are just a few comments among the range of unhappy users:

"Upgraded to 5.0.1 this morning. Still draining at the exact same rate. Unplugged with a full charge 2 1/2 hours ago, and already down to 80% with light usage."
"Installed the new IOS 5.0.1 two hours ago. I started a test at 1:30 CT today. 5% battery drain in 45 minutes with WIFI and location services turned on and me not touching the Iphone 4S. The new update doesn't seem to help much."
"I updated last night (UK) and it didn't fix anything. Losing 6% / hr in standby which is the same as with 5.0."

Some have even claimed that the fix made the situation worse:

"Lost 15% in 45 mins and I didn't even use the phone. What happened? This update is no help. In fact, it drains the battery even quicker."
"Updated to 5.0.1 last night and my battery life seems even worse than before! My phone dropped by 4% overnight in flight mode! I have had it out of flight mode since 6.30am (at which time the battery was at 51%), and its now 8.30am and its down to 35%."
"For me, its worse than ever. the battery life was much better, since i updated 5.0.1 for iphone yesterday. Battery % was on 92% last night, 3g is not on, wifi also, and now the battery is on 69%. unbelievable!!!"

In the midst of the complaints, one user chimed in with a more reasoned approach: "Don't rely on immediate numbers when you've had mixed pre/post patch usage. Most likely you need to reset the network/device itself and discharge/recharge! It's not magic! Enthusiasm is normal but Apple users have to learn to be methodical."

In line with that, some people advised performing a total discharge to 0 percent and then recharging all the way. Others suggested resetting the device by doing a complete backup and restore.

Apple also provides a page on battery usage for the iPhone and how it runs battery tests on the various models.

The users who say iOS 5.0.1 didn't resolve the battery problem could be in the minority since other early adopters reported that the . And several people on the Apple Support Forum say the fix did help them. But even a small minority can indicate that the update didn't fully address the issue or that other factors may be involved.

Complaints of poor battery life certainly didn't start with the iPhone 4S or iOS 5. Users of the iPhone 3G also griped about short battery life. Older versions of iOS, or the iPhone OS, such as and triggered grumblings over the same issue.

But complaints seem to be on the rise. Today's crop of smartphones run a variety of apps and services, often in the background, all of which can easily chew up battery life. In the case of iOS 5, many users have already tried , yet the battery glitch seems to persist for a fair number.

In a provided to All Things Digital, Apple said, "The recent iOS software update addressed many of the battery issues that some customers experienced on their iOS 5 devices. We continue to investigate a few remaining issues."

Update, November 11, 12:03 PT: adds Apple statement.