More odd design in iOS battery-management

Published by marco on

Updated by marco on

When I snapped the screenshot shown below, I wanted the answer to one question:

I had actively used the phone for only about 2 minutes that day. Which application used the phone for the other 3 hr and 56 min?[1]

Apple’s design makes finding an answer frustrating, at best—and infuriating, at worst. Here’s what you see when you look at the battery settings.

 Who's responsible for this?

The batter control panel tells me that “[b]attery information will be available after using iPhone for a few minutes.”

Some questions:

  • Why would Apple design this feature this way?
  • That is, what is the reason for not always showing the applications that used the most battery?
  • Perhaps because the calculation takes time and effort?
  • Why is there no button to let me force the calculation and show the numbers?
  • If that’s not possible, why can’t you tell me more precisely how and when I can get the information I want?
  • Do I have to just start using the phone?
  • For how long?
  • When should I check back?
  • Can I just leave it on?
  • Or do I have to actively use it?
  • Is scrolling a page or flipping app folders back and forth enough?
  • Do I have to prevent it from sleeping for those “minutes?”
  • If the phone does sleep, does it reset the “minutes?”
  • If I have a low battery and want to know which application is doing that, how useful is it to make me start randomly using a phone that’s about to die without knowing which application is causing it to die?
  • Why does iOS make me do all the work? Why can’t the damned thing work for me instead of making me work for it?

As you can probably tell, I fell well into the “infuriated” camp, despite knowing that this is a first-world problem. To assuage my guilt about that, I thought about all of the people who just accept this design, this design that takes power out of the hands of the user for no reason whatsoever other than laziness.

This control panel is for an OS that is in its 10th version. A multi–billion-dollar company should be able to do better for its users.


[1] It was the Mail app, which had gone haywire for some unknown reason. I’ve seen it do this when a certificate for one of my mail accounts had expired, but that wasn’t the reason this time. It remains a mystery because Apple also doesn’t make any logs for your apps accessible, either. Diagnosing your “computer” is a thing of the past. In this brave new world, users just live with software oddities with no recourse.