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iOS 15.4 reportedly causing iPhone battery drain — what you need to know

iphone 13 pro display on in hand with metal background
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Update: Apple has responded to complaints about iPhone 15.4 battery drain. The company says it can take up to 48 hours for your apps and features to adjust.

Last week Apple released iOS 15.4 for the iPhone. While this update adds a host of new features including the ability to unlock your device with Face ID even when wearing a mask, as well as a new gender-neutral voice for Siri, it also appears to be causing some users battery problems. 

Podcaster Alex Kretzschmar took to Twitter to express his frustration, claiming that after installing the latest iOS update his iPhone “battery life today is half what it was last week."

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He’s certainly not the only one having this issue either, a quick glance at social media and you’ll find multiple iPhone owners claiming to be suffering from extreme battery drain in the wake of downloading the iOS 15.4 update. 

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There’s been no official comment from Apple on this potential issue, so for now we can’t say for definite if the latest iOS update is actually causing battery issues. 

It's worth noting that we've not encountered these battery issues ourselves, with managing editor Roland Moore-Colyer noting that there's been no change in his iPhone 13 Pro's battery life after installing iOS 15.4. 

However, these complaints aren’t uncommon whenever Apple pushes out a new operating system update. 

Historically when a new iOS update has rolled out, battery life complaints have been common for the first few days before settling down. This is often because even when the update installation is technically complete, software is still being unpacked in the background. It can actually take your iPhone longer than the telegraphed download/installation time to settle down and start running efficiently again.  

If a larger issue is discovered with the iOS 15.4 update that is causing iPhone battery drain, we would expect Apple to prioritize a fix. After all, battery life is a key concern for many smartphone users, and the iPhone needs to stay competitive in this area. Apple is clearly aware of this as its latest devices boost improved battery life. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone Pro Max both made it onto our best phone battery life list.

Even with this unconfirmed battery drain issue, we still recommend downloading the iOS 15.4 update. The suite of new features are particularly useful with Face ID now functioning even while you’re wearing a mask, as well as some subtle but appreciated tweaks to Apple Pay. Plus, who can say no to 37 brand new emojis? 

Rory Mellon

Rory is a Deals Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on deals, gaming and streaming. When he’s not scouring retailers for PS5 restock or writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found attending music festivals and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.