Apple's iOS 16 has a neat yet unsung feature that can pause charging when an iPhone gets too hot, thereby curtailing the risk of battery damage and extending the phone's lifespan.
As noticed by Apple Insider (opens in new tab), iOS 16 will serve up a notification declaring "Charging on Hold" with a message that reads: "Charging will resume when iPhone returns to normal temperature."
Apple has not fully detailed this feature, but its support page on "Maximizing Battery Life and Lifespan (opens in new tab)" notes that exposing a device to high ambient temperatures above 95° F (35° C) can "permanently damage battery capacity." As such, it would appear this new charging feature is in reaction to that.
So when would you expect your iPhone to get particularly warm when charging? Well, it could be when using the likes of Apple CarPlay while driving where the iPhone will be automatically on charge, or using 5G for an extended period of time (say downloading or streaming large files).
How to address the Charging on Hold notification
With the hint that the easiest solution to this problem is to cool your iPhone. An obvious first measure is to remove any case that might be covering the battery. And if your iPhone is in direct sunlight, try and find a location with more shade.
Then if your phone is still overheating you can close any unnecessary apps, turn on airplane mode, or even turn your device off completely. From here your sense of touch will let you know when to resume using your device, if it’s still hot to the touch then it’s too soon.
Aside from the new warning system, Apple recommends updating to iOS 16 and only using official chargers for optimum battery care. The warning will appear before the chance of any lasting damage, but regular over-exposure to heat can have long-term effects on your phone and its battery such as the inability to hold a charge, forced shutdowns, or even melting key components entirely.
Our personal charging habits are also important when it comes to managing phone batteries. Experts recommend not letting your battery drain or charge fully and keeping it between 30% and 80%. Portable chargers are a great way to keep your phone in this sweet spot as the best portable chargers can charge your battery in minutes.