iOS 16 still has a big battery drain problem — and there’s no fix in sight

iPhone 14 Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

iPhone users have been hitting social media over the past two weeks with complaints of iOS 16 severely draining the battery life out of their older-generation iPhones. If you own an iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Pro Max, or iPhone 11 Pro Max, you have come to expect all-day battery life, but if you've updated to iOS 16, you could be seeing up to a 20% drop in battery life according to users. 

Spotted by Phone Arena, Twitter user Alise Arndt (@Teachrrcoach) tweeted: "Reason I purchased Pro Max was because of battery life, all that has changed after iOS 16 update!" Another user, @DeclanFOM, stated: "Went from 3 days use before needing to plug in - to 5 to 7 hours a day before needing a recharge! Grrrr!" If I were Apple, I would take that "Grrrr" very seriously. Even our team of reviewers has pointed out that the latest iPhone 14 Pro's battery life is nothing to brag about. 

iOS 16, what gives?

Since the launch of iOS 16, there have been reports of buggy performance, and Apple has addressed some of the bugs in a recent iOS 16.02 update. The update fixed a myriad of issues regarding shaky footage due to an issue with the 48 MP primary camera on the new iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max when using third-party social media apps such as Instagram and TikTok. However, it did not address the rampant rumors of battery life drain that older iPhones may be experiencing since updating. 

A Reddit user named Comfortable-Key-71 shared this: "Battery on 13 Pro Max drains like crazy. It went from 11-12hrs SOT to just 7hrs, and it lags like hell when I do FaceTime or PiP; it just lags in general. I know it takes a few days for the phone to be normal again, but it's already been almost a week. I'm contemplating returning to 15.7, but I might need some opinions first."

Tech folks expect bugs to occur when a new OS is released into the wild, and usually, makers like Apple will address them as they come up. As of writing, we've not heard a peep out of the Cupertino tech giant, but that doesn't mean they're not already working on a fix. We didn't hear anything from them about the shaky camera with grinding noise issue until they released the iOS 16.02 update. 

Some have even theorized that this is a way for Apple to push iPhone users into purchasing the latest iPhone 14 lineup. This isn't the case, and if the issue continues, Apple will surely release a fix.

Despite these issues, we were blown away by the iPhone 14 Pro Max's battery life, which was a step up from the iPhone 13 Pro's battery. However, we did see a battery life downgrade in our iPhone 14 review.

Mark Anthony Ramirez

Mark has spent 20 years headlining comedy shows around the country and made appearances on ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, Food Network, and Sirius XM Radio. He has written about every topic imaginable, from dating, family, politics, social issues, and tech. He wrote his first tech articles for the now-defunct Dads On Tech 10 years ago, and his passion for combining humor and tech has grown under the tutelage of the Laptop Mag team. His penchant for tearing things down and rebuilding them did not make Mark popular at home, however, when he got his hands on the legendary Commodore 64, his passion for all things tech deepened. These days, when he is not filming, editing footage, tinkering with cameras and laptops, or on stage, he can be found at his desk snacking, writing about everything tech, new jokes, or scripts he dreams of filming.