Apple Doesn’t Want You to Use Its New iPhone Battery Feature

When Apple admitted it intentionally slows down iPhones with degraded batteries late last year, the company was met with a firestorm of criticism and multiple lawsuits from users accusing it of a “planned obsolescence” scheme to sell more iPhones. While the tech giant has since offered a detailed apology that explains the slowdowns and a discounted iPhone battery replacement program, it’s about to release a software update with a new battery feature to address the issue.

The thing is, the company strongly advises you not to use it. Seriously.

When asked about the controversy during an interview with ABC News on Wednesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook again apologized to customers and said the company will soon roll out an iOS software update that will allow iPhone users to disable the feature responsible for the slow downs if they’d like to. As Apple has previously explained, Cook said the current iPhone software protects iPhones with degraded batteries from draining faster and shutting down unexpectedly due to the processing needs of common iPhone functions by slowing the phone’s performance. 

The forthcoming software update will include a way to manually disable the deliberate lagging, but at the risk of the iPhone shutting down without warning.

“We will tell somebody saying we’re slightly reducing, or we’re reducing your performance by some amount in order to not have an unexpected restart, and if you don’t want it, you can turn it off,” he said. “Now, we don’t recommend it because we think that people’s iPhones are very important to them and you never can tell when something is so urgent [that an unexpected restart could have a negative effect].”

Given that many — if not most — iPhone users would gladly take advantage of any feature that promises to make their device faster, it’s a bit ridiculous to offer that ability, then strongly urge people not to use it. Then again, only time will tell whether users who take advantage of the forthcoming option will end up experiencing a whole world of random shutdown pain.


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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.