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Bad iOS 6.1 Battery Life, Other Bugs Plague iOS 6.1 Users



iOS 6.1 bugs such as bad battery life, poor reception and busted auto-brightness are leading some users to ask if they can go back to iOS 6 or hoping for a swift update to iOS 6.1.1.

Apple released iOS 6.1 on January 28th after a short lived iOS 6.1 GM, and based on one developer’s stats nearly 50% of iOS users upgraded to iOS 6.1 in the last 7 days.

In extreme cases, we are seeing bad battery life on iOS 6.1 that drains the battery to almost 50% in less than six hours.

Based on reports of bad iOS 6.1 battery life, cell signal issues and an auto-brightness feature that doesn’t work as well as it did on earlier version of iOS, Apple could have spent a little more time working on the iOS 6.1 update before release.

While iOS 6.1 on the iPhone 5 performed well in our initial tests, the iOS 6.1 bugs appear to be affecting devices differently

Bad iOS 6.1 Battery Life

The biggest issue for iOS 6.1 is the bad battery life that is impacting the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPad mini and other devices.

Bad iOS 6.1 Battery Life

An example of bad iOS 6.1 battery life.

Several members of the Gotta Be Mobile team are experiencing bad battery life on iOS 6.1. Below are the observations from several team members.

  • iPhone 5 Verizon – one to two hours less battery life.
  • iPhone 5 Verizon – 10-15% less battery life at the end of the day.
  • iPhone 4S Verizon – Extreme cases, 45% battery used after 2 hours use, 4 hours standby.
  • iPhone 5 AT&T – 20% reduction in battery life on iOS 6.1.
  • iPad mini and iPad – Both dying earlier in the day for one of our writers.

Readers chimed in sharing that their iPhone 5 battery life is worse on iOS 6.1 and that the iPad mini battery life is “terrible,” after upgrading to iOS 6.1.

Other users saw iOS 6.1 battery life improve on their devices, and in our iOS 6.1 review Editor Adam Mills did not notice a change.

There are a numerous reports of bad iOS 6.1 battery life on the Apple Support Forums. Some users are reporting that bad battery life on iOS 6.1 is solved by backing up their iPhone and performing a restore.

Bad iOS 6.1 Signal Strength

We are also hearing reports of sub-par singla strength on iOS 6.1, with users saying that the 3G signal is worse on iOS 6.1. Reports on Apple’s Support Forums don’t single out one carrier or device, but we’ve heard that the AT&T iPhone is experiencing signal issues for at least one reader.

Apple just fixed WiFi issues on the iPhone 5 and iPad mini in an update last month. Hopefully Apple can push a small iOS 6.1 update to fix signal problems.

Busted Auto Brightness on iOS 6.1

Another iOS 6.1 bug appears to be a broken auto-brightness setting. On the iPhone 5, the auto brightness feature is not dimming the screen correctly after the iOS 6.1 update. This bug is not present on all of the Gotta Be Mobile team member’s iPhone 5’s, but it may be the cause of bad iOS 6.1 battery life for some users.

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  1. Maggie

    02/04/2013 at 2:48 pm

    When I exit safari my screen flashes white.
    Started two days after update.

  2. Rob Ames

    02/04/2013 at 7:48 pm

    My iPhone 4’s battery life has just been awful since installing 6.1. Last time I install an update early

  3. Jon Hendry

    02/04/2013 at 8:39 pm

    4s: terrible
    iPad3: much improved by 6.1

  4. wschloss

    02/04/2013 at 9:30 pm

    My battery life and reception have both improved with iOS 6.1. I think most people who close all apps and restart their device will see the same. Also, it takes a bit more space so some will need to remove some music, photos or app data. (the equivalent of 20-30 songs or photos or some combination. I always try to keep at least 1.5gb free. Lots of good articles out there on how to do all that. Sorry people it’s not your closet, it’s a tool. If you need storage buy some.

  5. Steve Dalton

    02/04/2013 at 11:38 pm

    On my 4s the worst bug is that the App Store update has stopped working. I have 10 updates flagged, but when I go to the update screen nothing shows. Grrrrrrr

  6. Nadine

    02/05/2013 at 12:46 am

    I’ll be on a call and suddenly the call is dropped and my iPod is playing a song. Never happened before the update, and I’ve been using an iPhone since the original, so I’m pretty sure it’s not me.

    • Polly

      02/06/2013 at 6:19 am

      I am having exactly the same problem, and also Siri keeps interrupting songs !!!!!!!!!!

  7. Tony

    02/05/2013 at 5:26 am

    i am having signal issues on my 4s since upgrading to 6.1 nearly every text i send now wont send the first time and i have to re send it. never had to do that before. also when using hotspot to my ipad or laptop, signal intermittantly drops out. wish i had never upgraded.

  8. Chris

    02/05/2013 at 6:02 am

    iPhone 4 6.1 on AT&T:

    Constant signal issues, I’m only ever 1 or 2 bars where I used to be full.

    Down to 49% battery after full charge in 2 hr 5 min under mild use (pandora, occasional Facebook). Pre-6.1 would run 9-10 hours under those conditions.

    The phone is warmer than usual, like how it would be when I’m playing a more intensive game. My guess is something is stuck running in the background. All apps are closed and no change after restart.

  9. Jeremy

    02/05/2013 at 6:28 am

    No problem here. My iPhone performs as normal.
    In fact my iPod is actually more snappy after 6.1.

  10. Oscar

    02/05/2013 at 8:35 am

    My iphone 5 Yoigo (Spain) worse batterry

    Before 2 day 5 hours
    After 1 day 15 hours

    IPhone 5 Yoigo (spain) my girfriend same problems

  11. Daniel

    02/05/2013 at 9:37 am

    Wifi unable to connect on wpa2 had to switch security protocol to wpa on my router

  12. Iphone sucks

    02/05/2013 at 11:07 am

    2 hours at using pandora100 percent to 51 percent. All apps closed… 5 mins on phone, checking text messages.. 3 percent down.. With all apps closed.

  13. Skid

    02/05/2013 at 11:50 am

    6.1 is terrible. After updating my AT&T 4S, I have 40% less battery life, I lost two bars of signal strength, I lost a shoe size and a half, my car has 20% less gas mileage and my 12 year old scotch is now only 8.
    Thanks for nothing Apple.

  14. Kristal C

    02/05/2013 at 4:11 pm

    I seriously want to throw my phone at The wall. My battery dies after 4 hours. 6 if I haven’t used it… My music sound hardly works. Sometimes when I unlock my phone the brightness goes way low, my phone reboots itself more and more often now today it even blacked out for 30 minutes. I hate it.

    • Kristal C

      02/05/2013 at 4:12 pm

      Oh and my “3G” isn’t working like it should/use to.

  15. Richard

    02/05/2013 at 10:46 pm

    Some game apps crash ( minecraft for instance) and take long to open. Havent had issues wih battery life… Yet.

  16. captcalamitous

    02/06/2013 at 3:36 am

    I keep hoping the non rotating mail app bug will be fixed.

    It never is.

  17. Tina C.

    02/06/2013 at 3:55 pm

    Anyone have a problem with text messaging? When I get a text it no longer shows the name of the person only their phone number even though they are in my contacts.

  18. Bob

    02/08/2013 at 8:29 am

    More of the same for me. Just bought my iPhone 5 two weeks ago and loved it. Had great battery life. I saw the prompt to upgrade to iOS 6.1 and figured I needed to do that. Since then battery goes from full charge to completely dead in 5 hours.

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