iOS 16.3.1 and watch update kills 2 batteries

After my recent update from iOS 15, my iPhone 13 mini and watch 6 (watchOS 9.3.1) had temperature excursions, and neither battery makes it through the day whereas previously I could go about 48 hours without charging them. Any others have similar experiences? Of note, randomly this occurred while driving 2 hours and traversing a military base.

Apple advised me that I should get battery replacements which clearly makes no sense. 2 batteries failing suddenly after OS update? Most battery usage in log is due to HomeKit (35-45%). Of note, phone failed to recognize air tags for about 48 hours but I understand this is common after update to iOS 16.x. I know that’s not much detail but the whole thing is baffling, seems undoubtedly software related and I do not want to reward Apple by purchasing new hardware. Any ideas? I’ve turned off all background access and location tracking except for critical apps to no avail. There must be some vampire drain somewhere that I am missing.

In the 10 days since this has occurred I have unpaired watch 3 times and set up as new watch, soft reset phone 4 times, wiped iPad and set up as new device and am still struggling with battery life. If watch can’t make it to dinner time it’s pretty much worthless.

I know that for a day or two after an update, there is more activity with the cloud and connections which lead to worse battery life. It usually levels off after a few days. How soon after the update was the excursion?

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Battery drain issues can be so hard to solve.

It depends really on the battery health. On the phone, settings / battery (or long-press the settings icon and tap battery), then battery Health, and note the maximum capacity.

On the watch, setting app, battery, health (you can’t get the health info from the Watch app on the iPhone.)

If maximum capacity is under 80%, definitely get a new battery. If it’s in the lower to kid 80s (possible for both devices, depending on how long you’ve had them), it still might be worth a try.

As @raykloss said, it can take a day or two after a fresh install or restore for the devices to return to normal battery life. But - you say the phone is reporting HomeKit battery drain. I wonder if that’s it? Do you use HomeKit at all? Perhaps the HomeKit setup is problematic, though I’m not sure what a solution would be other than removing the home and building it all back again from scratch. (I’ve done that once, but I have only six outlets and a temp/humidity sensor here, and a few time-based automations, so it wasn’t all that painful.)

If you don’t use HomeKit and it’s reporting battery usage like that: I’d try calling Apple Support again and ask them to explain how that can be happening.

not sure if this is related but - I have a series 8 watch and enjoyed nearly 48 hour battery life with fast recharge about 2 hours - last night at about 35% I put the watch on the charger and 4 hours later it had not charged at all - I unlocked it took it off and put it back on and it never showed the charging level - I ended up taking it off and wearing it over night and on putting it on the charger it immediately showed charging - altho - its been about 3 hours and its fully charged now - the not charging at night before bed is a new finding and again - not sure if its related but belielve it has something to do with night mode and focus - my phone/watch go into silence mode at night - not sure if that is the issue with it not charging during that time but also - have you confirmed the watch was charge fully and its time to discharge? I didn’t see that in your discourse but similarly wonder if anyone has had the not charging issue?

It was about 36 hours after the update. Interestingly both battery and watch had become hot. Battery was on wireless car charger that I have used for years but watch was on my wrist.

Battery health is in the 90s per the indicator on my device and both checked out ok when Apple did remote testing yet they recommended batteries for both. In my experience batteries slowly degrade. Falling off a cliff without perceivable change in battery chemistry suggests excess drain to me. I do use HomeKit for my primary home and a second home. It would be a real pain to reset and re-pair everything (which all worked fine prior to the update).

I think there is a setting to not charge during peak hours. Maybe you have that selected and it’s related to that…?

Never heard of it and wouldn’t know how to turn it on or off but since all updates it suddenly happened last night not sure - will look and let ya know!

Found optimized battery charging under settings battery on the watch - nothing on the phone - turned that off and will see tomorrow night iff that is actually the culprit - thanks for your suggestion!

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Likely not that. Optimized battery charging will charge to 80% and hold on both Watch and iPhone. My suspicion was it was just an anomaly.

12 posts were split to a new topic: Deleting old watches in the Watch removes Health data

The high usage by Homekit puzzles me. My phone reports that the Home app used 5% of battery usage. Since iPhones (and watches) are not used as Home Hubs the usage must mostly be the times I use the phone to control devices.

In Apple Discussions there are many reports of “issues” with Homekit after iOS16.xx updates.
Maybe try quitting* apps like Home on the iPhone and see if the battery drain reduces.

I suppose it is possible that driving through a military facility meant your devices were exposed to some electronic eavesdropping interference. Maybe Home/Homekit on the iPhone is vulnerable since it is always looking for connection to your accessories?:sunglasses:

  • On my iPhone, double click the home button to display all open apps and swipe up on the one you want to quit. Although you did soft resets it is possible that Home is automatically opened after a reset.

Thanks. I have quit HomeKit app but still chewing up battery. Very frustrating.

After updates, my iPhone (12 Pro) battery drained really fast for a few days a few times, and for just over 2 weeks one time. Then the fast drain stopped and everything was normal again. No idea why. The battery report about app usage was irrelevant; mine said that having the screen on for about 1 minute correlated with the fast drain down to 10%, which of course is nonsense. I did notice that turning on airplane mode stopped the fast drain, which suggests something about the phone’s communicating to the outside world, but I don’t know what. At least, I’m pretty sure that was the case; it has been a while. Apple’s support was baffled, I was baffled, the internet seems to be baffled. Good luck.

Thanks, that’s exactly where I am but it’s been 10 days now. Thinking about wiping and restoring but that didn’t work for the watch and is more of a headache with the phone. Hoping there is a light at the end of the tunnel like you experienced. Maybe I just need to be patient a little longer. Hearing your experience is encouraging; appreciate it.

My phone, when connect to carplay with a cable, gets super hot if the screen is hot. It seems to drain the battery. It’s running GPS on the phone and displaying on my poorman’s car screen.

A bright screen does get hot and drains batteries.

If you have automatic brightness enabled, then you have probably experienced this when using your phone outdoors on a sunny day. In order to be visible in direct sunlight, iOS will boost the brightness to its maximum, making it get hot and drawing a lot of power.

So much so that if used in this state for a non-trivial amount of time, some internal temperature sensors will trip and the display will suddenly get very dim (almost useless in outdoor conditions) until it cools down again.

I see this most often if I’m using my phone for navigation in my car. If the phone is mounted on the dash on a bright day (especially in the summer), it will get hot, then go dim, stop charging and may even go into thermal shutdown. For this reason, I prefer to use a vent-mount when navigating in during daylight hours in the summer, so the A/C from the car can keep it cool enough to remain fully operational.

I always have auto screen brightness turned off on all my devices and not in the sun. So the heat thing is really weird.

Me too. And, the temperature excursion occurred between 9 and 11:30 PM so unrelated to sun.

Could the NPR app be causing a battery problem? I don’t normally have battery problems (50-60% by bedtime), but I found that yesterday NPR accounted for 52% of my battery usage for only 1 minute of screen time and only 20 minutes of background time. That’s crazy! I will henceforth force-quit that app when done with it.