Over the years, the “iPhone battery lasts half an hour” meme has long since passed. Apple hasn’t just significantly improved iPhone batteries as hardware. But also, it has been able to improve them through software, to extend the life of our devices, making them smarter.
The iPhone battery is smarter thanks to AI
Apple learned its lesson after all the controversies surrounding iPhone batteries in the past. Not only have they improved the batteries themselves, or they have stopped releasing updates that slowed down the iPhone if your battery was “bad”. Rather, they have introduced a tool into the iOS software that Let your device know your habits.
This software tool is made possible by the iPhone’s “A” processors and AI. It’s called “Optimized Charging” and as Apple itself explains, “to reduce battery deterioration, the iPhone learns from your daily charging habits to charge the battery up to 80% and finish charging when you go to use it.” This option can be enabled natively on the iPhone at Settings > Battery > Battery health and charge.
But why up to 80%? How important is this percentage? Traditional lithium batteries, such as those found in iPhones, lose energy retention capacity over time. This occurs, in addition to charging cycles, due to the stress suffered by lithium cells. Lithium batteries are made up of small “capsules” (let’s call it that), which retain energy and then release it. When these pods are charged with energy, if they exceed a certain capacity threshold, over time, they begin to degrade more and more quickly.
The low power mode at 20% has an explanation
After much research, it was concluded that for a lithium battery to extend its energy retention period without degrading, it should be between 20% and 80%. For this reason, also, when the iPhone reaches 20% battery, we can activate the sleep mode Low consumption, which reduces the functions of our device to a minimum, so that the battery wears out as little as possible.
iPhone Optimized Charging mode works in a very simple way. When we charge our iPhone at night (in my case, it is when this mode is activated, since it is when I charge my iPhone on a regular basis), the first hours, the iPhone charges faster and the energy reaches 80% and when gets to the percentage, the iPhone only supports enough power to stay at that level. Some time before I unplug my phone (the iPhone knows this better than I do, because honestly I don’t pay attention to the time every day), the iPhone will charge the remaining 80% to 100% at a slower rate, with the aim that lithium cells suffer as little stress as possible. And, therefore, that the battery takes longer to degrade.
As you can see, it’s a very simple option to activatewith just one button. But all the AI technology behind that button is what makes it possible for the iPhone to learn (and know better than us) our charging habits. Everything is automated and, in case you were wondering, these charging habits are not sent to Apple. Everything is stored within our device.