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article imageApple to release iOS update that can disable battery slowdowns

By James Walker     Jan 19, 2018 in Technology
Apple CEO Tim Cook has said the company is developing an iOS update that will allow you to disable battery-related performance throttling. It comes after Apple has faced a month of criticism for deliberately slowing iPhones without informing the user.
Users given a choice
Apple admitted last month that iOS can limit processor performance to help preserve battery endurance. The company said it developed the technology as a way of combatting unexpected handset shutdowns. These can occur as the battery ages and it becomes unable to reliably deliver peak power.
Despite claiming to act with customers' interests in mind, Apple has been widely criticised for not properly informing users. The scandal has prompted allegations that the "feature" was intended to be a form of planned obsolescence, pressuring consumers to upgrade their device. Multiple class action lawsuits are now being filed against Apple. Some governments are also pursuing full antitrust investigations into the company.
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In his first public comments on the matter, Apple CEO Tim Cook this week admitted the company should have been more transparent. Speaking in an interview with ABC News, Cook announced Apple will release a software update that makes the throttling optional. Apple has also cut the cost of iPhone battery replacements to $29, although some customers and lawmakers feel the company should now be offering them for free.
The upcoming iOS update will allow users to check on the health of their battery. It will tell the user if processor throttling is being used to help maintain the battery's reliability. If desired, it will be possible to turn the behaviour off entirely. Apple still maintains this isn't recommended though, stressing that disabling throttling with very old batteries could result in sudden shutdowns.
iPhone users should be "paying attention"
During the interview, Cook said Apple did inform people after introducing the throttling but claimed they may not have been "paying attention." His comments reference the official release notes for the update in question, which do mention the introduction of new power management systems.
Since iOS' update prompt never displays the full release notes, most people will still have been unaware. Cook admitted the company could have been more "clear" about the contents of the release.
"Maybe we weren't clear. We deeply apologize for anyone who thinks we have some other kind of motivation," Cook said to ABC News. "We're going to give people the visibility of the health of the health of their battery so it's very, very transparent," he later added.
While Cook may be turning apologetic, Apple's not yet being allowed to close the door on the issue. This week, Italy and South Korea both opened new antitrust investigations into the company's actions. The South Korean consumer group is directly targeting Cook himself in a criminal investigation, claiming Apple has defrauded its customers.
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