With literally months of standby time, Apple’s mobile devices have excellent battery life. Most users will tell you that their iPhone lasts at least a day of heavy usage (the iPad lasts even longer) but lately there have been reports from some users that battery life has dropped significantly.
James Kendrick of ZDnet was the first blogger to notice, and yesterday he reported that:
About two weeks ago I noticed that my iOS devices were using more battery than ever before. A couple of days the iPhone was very low at the end of the day, and the same with the iPad Air 2. Each time it happened I couldn’t think of anything I’d done differently. The iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Air 2 were hitting the battery harder than before.
Looking at battery usage by app in Settings>General>Usage>Battery Usage I quickly homed in on the culprit. The Kindle app from Amazon is now always the app that is using a greater percentage of my battery, and often by a wide margin.
I read a lot of Kindle books but rarely for hours at a time; a typical reading session is only 15 minutes or so. Rarely does my accumulated daily reading time exceed an hour. The usage of other apps far exceeds this, especially Safari and Evernote. These don’t come close to how hard the Kindle app hits the battery.
From the sound of it, the app must be active and running in the background, even when it is not being used. That is a surprise; IOS is great at putting apps to sleep when you’re not using them. This cuts down on the resources they use – or at least it is supposed to.
I don’t use my iPad enough to see an appreciable drain on the battery, but I have gotten anecdotal confirmation from a couple of friends. They all said that they saw a battery drain similar to what Kendrick reported:
What’s more, Amazon has confirmed the initial reports, telling ZDnet that they had: “checked and see that number of eligible customers have contacted us regarding this issue and our technical team is currently working to address this problem. ”
Update: Amazon’s PR dept is disputing this report. They deny the scale of the problem. Okay, but I’ve now heard from several more people on Twitter who have experienced this problem. They also deny that the app is running in the background, and I could be completely wrong on that point.
Amazon is expecting to release an update which fixes this problem in the next few days. Until then, you might want to shut down the Kindle app when you’re not using it.
In order to see what apps you have running, press the home button twice. This will bring up a menu which shows all the apps running in the background. If you’re running iOS 8, it will be a full screen menu. Earlier versions of IOS will show a taskbar menu across the bottom of the screen with icons.
To turn off an app (on iOS 8) simply select it and swipe towards the top of the screen. In earlier versions of iOS, press the little red X on the app’s icon.