iOS 14.5 will fix your iPhone 11's faulty battery estimates

iPhone 11 Pro Max
(Image credit: Future)

The iOS 14.5 beta 6 for developers has just dropped, touting several new features that add even more to the increasingly large update. 

One in particular might please iPhone 11 series owners frustrated with their battery life: you’ll now be able to run a recalibration of your battery life to give more accurate readings if it’s draining faster or slower than expected. 

To be clear, this update doesn’t strictly improve battery life – it evaluates peak performance and maximum capacity calculations and, well, recalculates them. 

The good news is that this seems like an automatic process that will happen in the background, presumably once you download the iOS 14.5 update (or the developer beta 6), as implied by this official Apple support article (first noticed by 9to5Mac) – which is curiously already online, despite not the public update not going out yet.

The not-so-good news is that it takes a number of charging cycles to recalibrate the battery life, which could take up to a few weeks, so it's worth waiting until it’s finished recalculating before getting your device serviced. If something goes wrong and the battery somehow fails to be recalibrated, a new battery service message will pop up and an Apple Authorized Service Provider will replace it for free, the official support article says.

So...what about other iPhones?

The bad news: the support article only notes that the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max will get the capability to recalibrate, suggesting that other iPhones, well, won’t. 

That’s not to say the feature won’t make it to other Apple phones, but there’s a clear reason it’s coming to the iPhone 11 line first – assumedly because it’s fixing an issue particular to that series, rather than one that broadly affects iPhones. 

Which could be frustrating for iPhone owners struggling with battery issues, like the users encountering increased battery drain after iOS 14.2 came out. It’s all well and good if the rumor that the iPhone 13 packs better battery life than the still-new iPhone 12 turns out to be true, or if an iPhone 12-compatible MagSafe battery pack is released, but as it stands the feature will only help those running older models. 

David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.