You may be charging your iPhone battery incorrectly – especially if you use a case

According to Apple, you may be charging your iPhone incorrectly – especially if you use a thick and/or very insulating case.

Apple's MagSafe Charger
Apple’s MagSafe Charger for iPhone

“Battery life” is the amount of time a device runs before it needs to be recharged. “Battery lifespan” is the amount of time a battery lasts until it needs to be replaced. One factor affecting battery life and lifespan is the mix of things you do with your device. No matter how you use it, there are ways to help. A battery’s lifespan is related to its “chemical age,” which is more than just the passage of time. It includes different factors, such as the number of charge cycles and how it was cared for. Follow these tips to maximize battery performance and help extend battery lifespan. For example, keep iPhone half-charged when it’s stored for the long term. Also avoid charging or leaving iPhone in hot environments, including direct sun exposure, for extended periods of time.

Harry Pettit for The Sun:

Apple says that stripping certain cases from your iPhone before charging can also help keep its battery healthy.

That’s because some styles of cases may generate excess heat, which can affect your battery’s capacity.

This could be due to the thickness of the case or the material it’s made from. Materials such as lather [sic leather], for instance, are better insulators than silicon, making your iPhone more likely to overheat while charging.

Apple says: “If you notice that your device gets hot when you charge it, take it out of its case first.”

Perhaps the best advice is to protect your iPhone battery from damage in the first place, to maximise its lifespan. “Low or high-temperature conditions might cause the device to change its behaviour,” Apple explains.

The ideal temperatures to keep your iPhone at, according to the tech giant, is between 16 to 22C (62 to 72F).

Colder temperatures can lead to temporary battery life-shortening. But higher temperatures can mess up your battery life for good.

“Using an iOS device in very hot conditions can permanently shorten battery life,” an Apple support post reads.

MacDailyNews Take: Read more about your iPhone battery and how to maximize performance via Apple Support here.

See also via Apple.com: Maximizing Battery Life and Lifespan.

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16 Comments

    1. “Lather” is obviously wrong and denoted as such, and corrected, by MDN. However spellcheck wouldn’t help there as “lather” is, indeed, a word. Proofreading would have caught it, though, you’re right.

      However, “maximise” is correct. The Sun is a British publication and that is the proper British spelling of the word.

    2. Right after that, they made they typical error of using the word silicon rather than the correct silicone. As we all know, silicon is what our chips are based on, and silicone is the rubber compound.

      A silicon case would be nice, but expensive (as much as the phone), heavy and brittle.

      I don’t know why this is gotten wrong so often. I even hear talking heads on YouTube and the internet say it. So I don’t think it’s as much a spelling error, as just ignorance.

  1. No mention of maintaining the charge between 20% and 80% (or 40% and 80%) where possible. I know this is impractical for most people but it can extend the battery lifespan.

    Are there any hardware or software solutions that can do this?

    1. There is an optimize charge menu setting on the iPhone and I’m sure on Android phones too. I believe it is an algorithm based on your charging habits. Its intention is to bring the phone up to somewhere around 80% but delay the final 20% charge based on your typical charge-usage pattern. So if you often wake up 8 am, the phone will hold back adding the rest of the charge until, say, 7:30am. The theory being you will start using your phone right at the time it just reached its full charge, and the phone doesn’t frequently stay at 100% for repeated extended periods of time. I’ve also heard on AppleExplained channel that the iPhone (and again presumably Android phones) that show 10 to 20% actually have more time on it than the battery indicator. This presumably would prompt a user to charge it before the battery was actually coming to an actual 0%.

      Obviously this will happen sometimes. We’ll fully drain the battery or it charges to 100% then doesn’t;t get used for several hours. But the optimize setting will at least limit the amount if times it gets to 0 or stays near 100% for an extended period.

    1. Correct Yokhetani, in reality most phone batteries will last for years with standard charging practices and the optimize charging setting on. I know someone who still has a 6+ and the battery is still going fairly well. Apple OS updates do allow for keeping the phone for a long time. If someone plans on keeping a phone for 6 years — and if they don’t want to have to replace the battery — then they may want to do non standard battery saving practices.
      But on the larger picture, if Apple (and basically all other companies) don’t put out these bulletin, there more open to a law firm and a few dimwits looking for a free payday for a class action lawsuit.

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