Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has a new special feature in iOS 9, and it’s going to make your iPhone run slower than ever before. A new power-saving feature that will boost battery life on Apple devices will throttle the processor of the iPhone 6 reports MacRumors after running benchmark tests on the iOS 9 beta.
The tests, which were performed on an iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 5s, found that iOS 9 will cut processing power by up to 40% in order to make the battery in the device last longer. Smart phone users have long been crying out for a way to lengthen the life of their phones, and slowing down the iPhone 7 might be the only good way for Apple to get there.
Slowing down the iPhone
The Geekbench 3 tests found that the iOS 9 Low Power mode cut single-core performance on the iPhone 6 Plus from a score of 1606 to a score of 1019, a 36.5% drop in the power of the phone. The multi-core test saw performance drop from 2891 to 1751, a loss of more than 39%.
Juli Clover, who wrote the report on the Low Power slow down, said that there is a clear and “significant performance reduction when Low Power mode is enabled to save as much battery as possible.”
The Low Power mode will also slow down or stop many of the background tasks in iOS 9. The OS, which will debut on the iPhone 7 later on this year, will allow a user to start Low Power mode when the phone’s battery gives either a 10% or 20% battery alert.
Once it’s active an iPhone 7 will stop looking for mail, freeze moving wallpapers, stop motion effects, and stop the refresh of apps running in the background. Geekbench 3 has just been updated to work with iOS 9, so much more data from the new OS, and its Low Power mode, is sure to arrive in the coming days.
Clover said that Low Power mode can extend the battery life of an iPhone 6 Plus running iOS 9 by up to three hours. That’s a trade-off that many might want to make in order to secure a longer-lasting battery.
Building a thicker iPhone 7
Ming Chi Kuo, an Apple analyst known for the exceptional accuracy of his reports on the firm, says that the iPhone 7, which is set to be released in October of this year, will be thicker than the iPhone 6. That extra room won’t be used to put in a bigger battery, however.
The iPhone case size will be boosted in all three dimensions, says the KGI Securities analyst, in order to bring a Taptic Engine to the smartphone. That means that Force touch, a key feature of the Apple Watch, will make its way into the iPhone 7.
Mr. Kuo is very often right in his forecasts, and he may even get his info from inside Apple itself. That means that his outlook for the iPhone 7 should be listened to closely for clues about the eventual form of the device.
Slowing down the iPhone 7
Apple is not going to put a bigger battery in the phone if Mr. Kuo is to be believed. Instead the firm is going to lengthen battery life by slowing the phone down once it reaches a critical level.
some kinds of Low Power mode are already available on the iPhone, and users can always turn off their wireless data and wifi in order to squeeze out an extra hour or so from their phone. Apple is going to offer all of that in one place, however, and it’s going to do so in a way that makes it simple to use for owners of the iPhone 7.
Whether or nor the power loss will worsen the user experience remains to be seen, but the A9 processor, which is set to feature in the iPhone 7, will likely be a big upgrade in terms of raw power to begin with. That means that the 40% cut in efficacy might simply bring the phone back to the normal performance level of the iPhone 6, or iPhone 5s.
9to5Mac’s Ben LoveJoy did the legwork and showed that the iPhone 6 Plus Low Power mode benchmarks make the device more powerful than the iPhone 5 but less powerful than the firm’s iPhone 5s.
That means that the same size of processor boost with the iPhone 7 will make the device faster than the iPhone 5s, but slower than the iPhone 6. Given the totally unscientific of that comparison it should be taken with a grain of salt. We don’t yet know what the iPhone 7 A9 processor will be like in terms of power.
That’s not an ideal solution for those who want to use their phone for more than 24 hours at a time, but it is one that works, and one that won’t hurt all that much in day to day life.
The iOS 9 currently in the wild is a dev version, and the Low Power mode being looked at may not be the full release of the software. When that arrives the performance drops may change depending on the feedback Apple gets during dev dealings with iOS 9.
Update 19:54 EST: Added data from 9to5 Mac showing comparison of low power iPhone 6 to iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s.