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Apple responds to iOS 15.4 battery drain on iPhones — here’s the advice

iPhone 13 Pro Max review
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Update: As of March 31, the iOS 15.4.1 update is out, and it promises to addresses battery drain on affected iPhones. Make sure you update to it right now

The iOS 15.4 update has lots of welcome upgrades, including the ability to finally use Face ID with a mask on, a new voice for Siri and Live Text integration with Notes and Reminders.

But the iOS 15.4 update has also led to complaints around battery life drain, with many iPhone owners saying they are running out of power much more quickly than before. One user on Twitter said that his iPhone 13 Pro Max was down to “half capacity by mid day” when he could previously go days without charging. 

As we noted when we first reported about this issue, battery life complaints are common when an iOS update rolls out, and iOS 15.4 is no different. 

Now Apple has responded to one of those iOS 15.4 complaints on Twitter (opens in new tab), from user JY (@laceup524), who said that “iOS 15.4 battery drain is absolutely ridiculous. why can’t @Apple @AppleSupport ever get releases right the first time. down 5% in less than 10 minutes.”

As reported by TechRadar (opens in new tab), here is Apple Support’s response: 

“Thanks for reaching out! We'll be happy to help. It's normal for your apps and features to need to adjust up to 48 hours after an update.

Let's have you reach out to us in a DM if this is still an issue after that time so we can help you look into this further.”

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In other words, Apple is simply saying to be patient and wait for the iOS 15.4 update to fully process. And if the battery life drain is still an issue, then reach out to Apple. 

Generally speaking, the battery life on iPhones is quite good despite Apple typically offering lower capacity batteries than competing phones. As you'll see in our iPhone 13 battery life test results, the iPhone 13 Pro Max lasted an excellent 12 hours and 16 minutes on the Tom's Guide battery test, which involves continuous web surfing over 5G at 150 nits of screen brightness. 

That runtime is good enough to make our best phone battery life list. Anything above 11 hours is excellent. The iPhone 13 Pro lasted a very good 11:42 and the iPhone 13 endured for 10:33. The iPhone 13 mini lasted for 8:41.

Interestingly, the new iPhone SE 2022 lasted for 9:07, which is a bit longer than the iPhone 13 mini. But the iPhone SE may benefit in this case from having a considerably smaller display at just 4.7 inches; the iPhone 13 mini is 5.4 inches.

The bottom line is that OS updates can temporarily wreak havoc with iPhone battery life, but if Apple is right in its response this won't be a long-term issue. 

Next: See the iPhone 14 Pro design that just leaked (opens in new tab)

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.