iOS 16.1 could be saving the world one charge at a time — here’s how

iPhone 13 on a table with a Lightning cable by its charging port
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Monday’s launch of iOS 16.1 brought with it a curious new feature for iPhone users in the U.S. called Clean Energy Charging, which aims to help cut down on carbon emissions. 

As explained by Apple, in an effort to lessen the environmental impact of charging your phone, iPhones running iOS 16.1 will learn users' charging habits and aim to juice up an iPhone with the cleanest energy possible. Apple states that through location services, the phone “gets a forecast of the carbon emissions in your local energy grid,” and then prioritizes charging your device at times when your local grid is producing energy at its cleanest.

With the climate crisis worsening every day, it is good to see one of the largest companies in the world invested in tackling it.  Earlier this year Samsung revealed it will be using ocean-bound plastics in upcoming devices, but Apple has actually taken steps to mitigate the ongoing damage to the environment of its phones.

To enable/disable this feature users on iOS 16.1 should visit the Battery menu under the Settings tab and then select Battery Health and Charging, but in truth, there shouldn't be much need to. 

Those who live more exciting unpredictable lives one charge at a time (far too chaotic for me), need not worry about running out of power as your iPhone will not utilize clean charging while traveling or plugged in at irregular times. Even when charging at home, iPhone 14 users needing a quick burst of power can turn off Clean Energy Charging when plugged in, simply select the clean charging notification on the lock screen with a long press and then the “Charge Now” command

While many of us are environmentally conscious, we also like to keep our phones constantly charging while at work or sleeping. Thankfully, with this new feature Apple has created a solution for us and the environment. With the differences in power supply infrastructure between countries, a global release of this feature would be difficult to implement but, with 240 million iPhones sold since 2021, Apple (and The Earth) could benefit with making the U.S. test a success.

Andy Sansom
Trainee Writer

Andy is Tom’s Guide’s Trainee Writer, which means that he currently writes about pretty much everything we cover. He has previously worked in copywriting and content writing both freelance and for a leading business magazine. His interests include gaming, music and sports- particularly Formula One, football and badminton. Andy’s degree is in Creative Writing and he enjoys writing his own screenplays and submitting them to competitions in an attempt to justify three years of studying.