iOS 11.3 is one of the most significant iOS software updates Apple has ever released, and it’s not even a full numbered upgrade.
Among other new features, iOS 11.3’s marquee addition is the ability to turn off processor throttling.
In response to the controversy surrounding Apple admitting that it slows down the processor speed of older iPhones when their batteries degrade to the point that they’re no longer able to deliver peak performance, the company has added the ability for users to toggle throttling on and off.
While Apple has yet to say when it will release iOS 11.3 to the public, given that the update is available in public beta now, a final release can’t be too far off.
Apple says that the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X all feature hardware that make its new power management options unnecessary, though the company doesn’t seem to be ruling out launching a similar feature for those smartphone at some point in the future. For now, this update only applies to the iPhone SE, 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, 7, and 7 Plus.
If you’ve already signed up for Apple’s iOS beta program — which is a relatively simple process that only requires a few steps — and just downloaded iOS 11.3, here’s how you can turn off the iPhone’s battery throttling feature.
- Once you’ve installed iOS 11.3, you’ll notice a new option under ‘Battery’ in the ‘Settings’ app called ‘Battery Health.’
- Tap ‘Battery Health (Beta)’ and you’ll be directed to a page that gives more information about how lithium ion batteries work. Under that information, an indicator of the battery’s maximum capacity is displayed.
- When this maximum capacity is under 80 percent, a message shows up on the screen indicating that the battery has “significantly degraded,” accompanied by a link explaining how to get the iPhone serviced.
- Here’s where things get a little more complicated. If your device has shut down because of battery degradation — which can happen even at 95 percent battery capacity, according to Apple — the app tells users that “performance management has been applied to prevent this from happening again”
- Finally, the option to disable throttling now appears. It’s also not possible to turn this feature off until another unexpected shutdown happens, according to various reports.
While the feature isn’t exactly intuitive, the ability to view battery health, as well as to turn off throttling, adds a much-needed level of transparency to Apple’s iOS operating system. It is strange that the feature can only be turned on and off when an unexpected shutdown occurs, however.
If only Apple opted for this level of transparency when throttling was first added to the smartphone, then it’s likely the controversy surrounding the problem wouldn’t have bubbled up in the first place.