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Apple iOS 14.5: Why The Latest Update Is Crucial For iPhone 11

With the arrival of Apple iOS 14.5 for iPhones from iPhone 6s onwards, there were usage improvements across the board—full details here. But while some features were limited to particular models, such as unlocking your iPhone when wearing a mask was, unsurprisingly, just for Face ID-capable iPhones, there’s one new addition which only works with one generation of handsets.

That’s a clever battery recalibration feature, which is only compatible with the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

It’s designed to fix a problem where iPhones had erroneously been reporting battery health estimates. This problem, at its worst, could lead to unexpected battery drain or lower peak performance—both serious issues.

This new update is designed to make these potential problems history.

Reporting, not the battery

The first thing to note is that this erratic behavior did not actually affect the health of the battery itself, rather the reporting of it could lead to unhelpful responses.

So, when you update your iPhone 11 series handset to iOS 14.5, a message appears if you go to Settings, Battery and then Battery Health with the ominous heading: Important Battery Message. The message explains that the “battery health reporting system” is being recalibrated.

Don’t expect a quick fix

This recalibration system is not a speedy thing. Apple says that because the recalibration, both of the “maximum capacity and peak performance capability” happens during regular charge cycles. As such, “this process may take a few weeks”. Yes, weeks.

Why does it take so long? Well, as Apple explains, “Maximum battery capacity is determined using a set of algorithms and measurements taken during use. Over time, these algorithms may be updated to provide the best estimate of maximum battery capacity.”

And when it’s finally done…

Then the figures for the maximum capacity percentage for the battery and peak performance capability will be updated. At that point, the message saying the recalibration is happening will automatically disappear.

Then what?

Then, carry on as you were. That’s the result in most cases. However, in what Apple says will be a small number of cases, the recalibration may not work. In that case, a new service referring to the battery will appear. And if it does, then there’s another step to be taken: contacting an Apple Authorized Service Provider.

The good news?

There is some good news, actually. The provider can replace the battery to ensure that full performance and capacity are restored. What’s more, it will do so for free. Apple also says that this problem is not a safety issue though users may notice battery and performance issues. The message that will appear in the phone has a clickable button that reads, “More about service options…”

Apple recommends that once you’ve updated to iOS 14.5 that you should wait until the recalibration is done before contacting them. If your phone is still in warranty, service cover for a battery with this issue will be temporarily extended to cover the recalibration period.

Battery issues are serious, but this is a serious response to one of them from Apple.