In a nutshell: if you’re experiencing a sudden decrease in iPhone 6s battery life, and you’re using any third-party components when charging, try switching back to the Apple-supplied cube and cable.
For months, my iPhone 6s delivered incredible battery life, ending a day of heavy use with as much as 30% of its juice remaining. Then, quite suddenly, everything changed: by noon, even if the phone spent most of the day in my pocket, my iPhone’s battery was down to 10% or less.
I deleted recently-installed apps. I switched off background activity on other apps. I turned off “Hey, Siri.” In the Settings panel, I studied the list of apps consuming battery power. Nothing helped.
Before traveling for Thanksgiving, I made an appointment to visit an Apple Genius. Perversely, once we were on the road, my battery woes suddenly fixed themselves. Despite heavy use every day over Thanksgiving — taking photos, checking email, using the GPS — my battery life was, once again, perfect. Mystified, I cancelled my appointment.
The minute I returned to Atlanta, though, my battery life cratered again. And that got me thinking: why would the battery behave differently on the road than it would in my home town?
With that in the back of my mind, I made another appointment at the Apple store. The genius ran diagnostics, didn’t find anything wrong, and suggested one of my apps might be the culprit. But since he could also see in my battery history that I’d been using between 200% and 400% of my battery charge daily, he swapped out my iPhone for a new one, just to eliminate faulty hardware as the culprit.
The very next day? My battery dropped to 30% by lunch, despite the fact I didn’t touch the new iPhone at all.
Convinced that an app had to be the problem, I deleted every app I could delete, reducing the iPhone to the apps supplied by Apple (and pretty much destroying its usefulness to me). Despite this desperate measure, the next day, the new phone’s battery was dead by noon!
And that fact — combined with my experience on the road — drew my attention to the one variable I hadn’t considered.
At home, I’ve been charging my iPhone through an Anker multi-slot wall charger. But when traveling for Thanksgiving, I charged my iPhone using an Apple-supplied cube and cable. It doesn’t make sense — electricity is electricity, after all — but could using a third-party charger somehow cause the iPhone to be confused about the amount of juice it stores or needs?
I stripped out the Anker charger. I popped in my Apple cube and cable. I charged the iPhone up.
Problem solved. Today, the battery works exactly as it should.
So: if you’re experiencing issues with battery life, before you delete apps and shut off the features that make you love your iPhone in the first place, make sure you’re not using any third-party hardware or cables when charging. Despite all claims to the contrary, this really can make a big difference in your iPhone’s performance.