After getting much ire from users as well as lawsuits in recent months, (following the revealing of its power management policies) Apple has announced that it will be drastically overhauling its practices, giving more power to the end user.
According to Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, future versions of the iPhone will allow users to turn off “power management”, needed for older batteries to enable smoother functioning, and will include a warning when you turn it off. Users will also be able to monitor the health of the batteries themselves.
Current iPhones throttle the performance of the phone as a battery grows old, making demanding tasks difficult to handle. The “feature” (that’s what Apple calls it) was added through an update and only discovered after suspecting users ran performance tests.
Apple CEO’s Statement
Tim’s statement reads,
About a year ago, we released some code that essentially what it does… is all batteries age over time and they become unhealthy at a point in time and an unhealthy battery has a probability that it will create an unexpected restart.
And so you can imagine if you’re making an emergency call or you’re making a call that’s important to you or a message that you’re waiting for, or you want to capture that moment that’s fleeting with your camera… we always focus on the user experience. So at the heart of any decision that we make is the user. We felt it would be better to take something off of the performance to prevent that from happening
When we did put it out, we did say what it was, but I don’t think a lot of people were paying attention and maybe we should have been clearer as well. And so we deeply apologize for anybody that thinks we had some other kind of motivation. Our motivation is always the user. The user is at the center of everything that we do.
In an effort to minimize collateral damage, Apple initially lowered the prices of battery replacements, which can eliminate the issue altogether. It agrees that the disclosure of the practices could’ve been better handled.
Though, according to Apple, the feature was aimed at providing a consistent experience, most users didn’t take too kindly to it. It remains to be seen whether the warnings (which you’ll inevitably ignore to disable power management) are serious enough.