iOS 4 Causing iPod Touch Battery Problems

iPod Touch owners are flocking to the Apple support forums after installing the latest update, iOS 4. For users who bought the more recent third generation device, the upgrade provides a robust lineup of new features including multistasking, folders, home screen wallpaper, Bluetooth keyboard support, and more. For second-generation owners, the update isn't quite as generous, leaving out the wallpaper, keyboard, data protection, and multitasking support.

Hey, at least it gets iBooks.

In a topic called Low battery life on iPod touch after installing iOS 4, users are stating the obvious: iOS 4 is consuming tons of battery store. "My iPod Touch (2nd gen) is completely charged when I go to bed, but when I wake up in the morning it is completely drained and non-responsive," reads one complaint. "This never happened under pre-iOS 4 releases."

One third generation owner echoed the same complaint. "Absolutely the same with my 3rd gen iPod. Go to sleep with nearly full battery, wake up with a nearly empty one," said DrWig. "This update has crippled my iPod. I really hope the restore feature works to get me back to os3..... My iPod clearly isn't going into standby like it used to."

As of this writing, there are thirteen pages just in that particular topic alone. Other topics on the Apple Support forum include iOS 4 seems completely to have wiped out my 3G iPod Touch and iOS 4 Killed my iPod 2G WiFi. As for the battery drain, it's speculated that multitasking is eating away at the battery, however that's not possible on the second generation device. The Wi-Fi connection itself may be the issue, as it now stays connected when the device goes into sleep mode.

As an owner of the second generation version, I just installed the new OS last night. It was fully charged when I finally crawled into bed, and twelve hours later--with Wi-Fi, push notifications, and location services still on--the battery looks to have retained most of its charge. So far I haven't seen any problems, however I was forced to revert the device back to its factory settings prior to the upgrade because the initial backup process was taking more than three or four hours. I didn't have this problem with the last OS update.

So what exactly is killing the battery on these devices after the update? Some suggest that Wi-Fi should be kept off until needed. It may have something to do with a bug in the OS, or some kind of corruption residing on the device prior to the upgrade. So far Apple has not commented on the problem.

UPDATE: I can now officially confirm the battery issue. As previously mentioned, the battery consumption seemed normal twelve hours after the iPod Touch 2G was updated and charged. However, just minutes ago, I tried to turn it on and it was completely dead. I haven't used it since iOS 4 was installed (outside updating apps and downloading iBooks, but that was within the initial 12 hours). Typically the charge will have a duration of (seemingly) weeks when left unused--I've never seen the device lose a full charge after sitting idle for less than two days.

Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then, he’s loved all things PC-related and cool gadgets ranging from the New Nintendo 3DS to Android tablets. He is currently a contributor at Digital Trends, writing about everything from computers to how-to content on Windows and Macs to reviews of the latest laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and more.