Hsrare, Zimbabwe(News ofthe South)-So now Apple has cnfirmed what customers have long complained about: When you upgrade the software on your old iPhone, it can make it run slower.

 

But the upgrade doesn’t always make that happen. It’s only if the battery is in poor condition, so that it can’t retain enough charge to handle a sudden surge in demand from the processor. (Phone processors don’t work flat-out all the time; it helps the battery life enormously if they cut their power demands until it’s needed.)

 

The deliberate slowdown is being treated by consumers as evidence of a grand conspiracy by Apple to make people upgrade their phones. But consumers are wrong.

 

What used to happen was that you’d be using your aging iPhone, you’d upgrade the software, and then when you were getting low on charge, and, say, you began playing a game that made big demands of the processor, then the phone would abruptly shut off.

 

When Apple realized this was happening (because it could see it from the data sent anonymously back about phone performance), it added some code i later releases, so that if the processor made those hefty demands of the battery, it would be slowed down. That seems to have been added in February 2017, with iOS 10.2.1, which stopped “sudden shutdowns” of iPhone 6S models.

 

Yes, Apple is doing it on purpose. And it hasn’t been telling people about it; people have been inferring that something is slowing their phones down, and that it’s the new software. Correct, so far.

 

But it’s the third step — that Apple is doing it to make you buy a new phone — that’s wrong. Apple’s actually trying to help you hang on to your old phone for as long as possible, but it has screwed up how it tells you about that. In fact, it hasn’t told you that at all, which is poor communication.

 

Apple has had years to explain this, but hasn’t. There isn’t even an onscreen message or display until your phone’s battery is perilously close to permanent death.

 

The crazy thing is, if you’re using an Apple laptop, then you do get a message telling you that the battery is dying. That’s what happened a few months ago with my 2012 laptop. I took it in, got the battery replaced, and pretty much had a brand new laptop, cleaned and everything.

 

Clearly, Apple does know how to tell its users the battery on their fabulously expensive device is dying, or even ill. But on the phone and tablet it doesn’t. It should.

 

 

For the iPad and Apple Watch, it’s 1,000 charge cycles. So, it’s probably not surprising that people complain about their phones seeming to slow down after 18 months or so, and definitely after two years: By then, you’re well past 500 daily charging cycles. (For the iPad, it’s about three years, which is probably why you don’t hear those owners complaining in the same way.)

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