iOS 4 drawing complaints about poor battery life from iPod Touch users

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The recent release of iOS 4 was eagerly awaited by iPod Touch owners, so much so that the update server was overwhelmed. However those who’ve completed the upgrade are complaining that their battery life is horrible. The Apple Support forum is full of complaints that the iPod Touch battery drains quickly even with little to no use.

I am an iPod Touch owner myself and I can confirm that this issue is real. Before I upgraded to iOS 4 my battery life was excellent. I could go several days between charging. After I upgraded I set my fully charged Touch on my desk and 8 hours later it was down to less than 20%. Some are speculating that the poor battery life is the result of the new OS’s persistent WiFi feature. Previously the WiFi was turned off whenever the Touch went into standby/sleep mode. Why Apple chose to change this is unknown. I’ve started turning the WiFi off when I’m not using it and my battery life has improved significantly. Really though, we should have to do this-it defeats the purpose of having push notifications and email.

Apple has not yet commented on the issue but hopefully they will issue a patch or update that will revert the WiFi connection back to turning off in standby mode. If you’ve upgraded to iOS have you found your battery life suffering? Let us know!

Read [Apple]

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  • Dj

    I too had the drop in battery life while in sleep mode overnight. Doing a Restore and selecting the option for new iPod setup brought back battery life. You will however need to redo settings and rearrange the icons again. Hope this helps.

  • JT

    Good, it's not just me. I can confirm that my battery life indeed is much worse after installing iOS 4 on my ipod touch.

  • Texhchick

    I thought it was just me that had this problem. When iPod is on standby/sleep mode and wifi is off. Perfect! Cause you're not using it! But keeping wifi on while standby/sleep mode is just dumb you still get updates right away when the ipod is awaken from standby/sleep mode. Apple better fix this,a majority (or ALL) of users are not happy!

    -and for this who like the new software apple can have a option update to either keep ios 4 or restore back to 3 (or just fix the wifi problem.)
    P.s is it me or is the iPod capacity decreased as well? 

  • Bob

    I have an iPod Touch 2g, dunno if my wifi is persistent or not now with the upgrade, but no battery problems here.

  • RP Phillips

    I've upgraded to iOS 4 my 2G iPod touch and my 3G iPod touch. Since the upgrade both devices are clearly experiencing this problem.

  • Eg

    I also upgraded my 2nd Gen 2GB Touch to iOS 4. Next day I got a battery warning (was charged after upgrade). I think this is the first time I get a battery warning. I usually charge once or twice a week. Tried shutting the unit down (power off mode) and charging overnight. Day and a half later, I'm down to 35%.


  • Sue Walsh

    It's definitely the WiFi. Apple made it persistent because they allow those with iPhones and third generation iPod Touch's to multitask. Either they stupidly didn't test or consider battery life or stupidly didn't consider all the people who have devices that can't multitask. Hopefully they will release a patch or update soon but so far they are firmly ignoring all the complaints.

  • Chris

    Yay! I'm glad I finally found this article, I'm suffering from the same problem. How could Apple make such a goof-up. I'm really starting to lose faith in the company!!

  • Joe

    My 8 gig touch is sucking down the battery too. Since multitasking isn't available it has to be something else. Likely the WIFI like the article says. Be nice if Apple made that an option.

  • Matt

    Ridiculous. They should have tested the IOS on iPod Touchs and realized that the battery would be depleted very quickly. They need to give us an option to turn off wifi while in standby mode. Before the upgrade, I would charge every 1-2 weeks. Now the power is drained overnight.

  • Chris Millard

    I too am suffering from poor battery life as a result of upgrading to iOS4. If I could downgrade back to 3.1.3 I would, but it's impossible to do now that Apple no longer sign the 3.1.3 firmware.

    SURELY, this should have been picked up by many developers during the beta phase of iOS4?

  • Shit update

    Shit update…drains battery while in standby, my wifi used to be full bars but now for some reason I get two and sometimes one, also the capacity for the iPod touch got lowered. Fuck you apple.

  • accujimmy

    I have had terrible battery life with my Touch since I upgraded to 4.0. I really thought that the battery was going bad or something. I only turn on my WiFi when I'm at home because we're not allowed to access at work, so the idea that the problem is WiFi related is doubtful IMO. In one work day I take my battery from charged to 15% life with podcasts and maybe 45min of games at lunch. That is less than half of what I could get with the previous firmware. I'm glad to hear that others have experienced the same thing – lets hope they're furiously working on that patch.

  • xX_JMO_Xx

    I too have been noticing that. I get about a days worth of charge now, so I now have to remember to charge my iPod overnight, so that it is ready for the next day. Hopefully there will be a fix for this soon.

  • Jon

    I've had the same problem. I already tried the restore and it didn't work for me. I accidentally left my iPod in the car the other night. When I went to work and plugged it into my speaker system, which also charges, the battery was so low that it wouldn't even turn on for about 20 minutes. I've only seen the battery warning once or twice in the year or so since I bought it, at least until the upgrade to iOS 4. Now it's a daily event. Mine charges ALL day long at work, I go home, leave it sitting on my dresser doing nothing and it's nearly dead in the morning. Ridiculous!

    And what's up with no multitasking?

  • Kev

    Oh man has it ever!

    I normally go to bed with my iPod fully charged and it's on all night playing music. Then I take it to work with me and use it all day. It's once I get home that I normally have to put it on charge.

    I now find when I wake up in the morning it's already telling me it's under 20% and I HAVE to take the charger to work.

    I really hope they patch this. I'm glad that turning the WiFi off will help, but it's annoying to have to do so and defeats the purpose of having it!

  • Dennis Porter

    I've had a new touch for less than 90-days and used the 3.2 OS without complaint. After the installation of iOS4 the battery life with horrible. I made it a point to turn WIFI off after every use, but the unit was in need of a charge every morning. I finally returned the unit for a refund and opted for a new iPad. It's not as portable as the Touch, but the battery is good for 10+ hours. Apple products are starting to fall into the category of "don't buy it until they work the bugs out".

  • Rob

    My wife bought me my 2nd gen 32gb iTouch a bit over a year ago, and I loved it. At the time it was very expensive and until the update it was the best consumer product I have ever owned. I have taken it with me literally 95% of the time whenever I left the house since the day I opened it.

    I used to have to charge it every few days. Now it does not last a single workday even when unused in my desk. It is essentially a beautiful paperweight.

    I've tried everything I can think of, (restore, turn off wifi, turn off push) and I cannot fix it. I cannot restore to iOS 3. And finding a solution to this is not my job, it's apple's.

    As far as I am concerned, apple broke my device. I have let them know that if this is not resolved satisfactorily in a *very* short time, we will not be buying another apple product in our lifetimes. My beautiful engraved gift is now useless.

  • Raed

    After I updated my ipod touch with iOS4 my battery was depleting very fast until I killed the blue tooth option and now the battery is back to normal as it was before the update. I hope this helps.

  • Jeff

    Blue tooth is not the issue. I've had blue tooth disabled since I first purchased my 32G Ipod touch 2nd gen. My battery doesnt make it one day. I used to charge it twice a week. Thx apple.

  • James

    Terrible. I wish I would have read this first. I have a IPhone 3G. I used to be able to go days with out charging. Now I can't get 8 hours in STANDBY!! Can we fix this?

  • David

    I have a 16gb 2nd gen iPod touch which I have loved and taken with me everywhere for just under two years. I had always been amazed by it's quality, and after 2 years I'd noticed the battery had drained a bit since purchase which is only to be expected.
    However the ios4 update has rendered it pretty much useless.

    45 MINUTES of angry birds takes it to 20% remaining battery. I find I am charging it MINIMUM of 3 times a day!
    It is completely ridiculous and I have lost all trust in apple.

    Thanks for that apple.

  • Mitch

    Its not the WIFI, i had my iPod Touch in the new "airplaine" mode all yesterday, and i woke up this morning to an ipod that would not turn on

  • Sunny

    I hate this. My battery life sucks on my 3G Ipod Touch. I really should have stayed away when I had the chance to. DAMN YOU APPLE……

    I'm a PC….Cuz Macs suck!

  • accujimmy

    A little update from me and a comment:

    I did a reboot on my iTouch and turned ON airplane mode. This definitely seemed to help. Its still not back to running like it did with the 3.xx firmware I had before but it is a lot better while they work on a fix.

    For my comment – jesus people, it's a device that until 10 days ago worked pretty damn well! It's not the end of the world. Just relax and say you wish it worked better. So much whining. A few flaws in a new piece of software don't make a case to take to the Supreme Court.

  • Ogden

    Battery life problems here too. My roommate and I woke up to two dead IPod Touches which were fully charged the night b4. Lame.

  • Jon

    I'm really ticked about this stupid "upgrade." The only thing I have really gained, as far as I can tell, is the ability to create folders and some tweaks to email (threaded email that doesn't include my part of the discussion? Oh, yeah – THAT's useful). On the other hand, my battery life is in the can now, and as others have posted I'm turning the WiFi off to save battery life. All they needed to do was create a single switch in the settings to allow you to choose persistent WiFi – I hope they come up with something like that SOON!

  • Pete

    I am having the same issue. Horrible battery life since os4. Hope there is a patch soon because its useless the following day

  • tom

    I have a 2nd Gen 16 ipod touch and twenty minutes of angry birds (which doesn't use the accelerometer, which takes up less battery), puts the battery at eighty percent. Music for one hour takes 5 percent (which takes the music capabilities down to 20 hours compared to 30 hours). But it doesn't end there, it's full of bugs, once i download songs from itunes i have to sync them with my macbook's itunes library to stop the music app from crashing.

    To continue with the point, The OS is to demanding in terms of processing for 8 and 16 GB ipod touches, which makes it very slow. Also some of my songs will not play on it. Things don't load and I have to reload them numerous times like searches in the app store. The best thing is an hour of standby takes ten percent. Also they limited the UI on 2nd gen not allowing us change the wallpaper, that's just telling us apple wants us to buy the new ipod or iphone.

    Also Rob's comment concerning apple was full of shit. This has been the only apple product i used that was screwed. They have made quality products for ever and i'd suggest to invest their stock, for instance look at collage kids, they have macbooks. The cost effective and best solution would be take to the apple store and see if they could replace it or restore the OS, honestly i would push for them to replace with a new 32 GB 3rd generation ipod touch, because the 16 GB is no longer produced, and the new 32 GB will be able to run multitasking once they fix the OS 4 some time soon… i just hope that agreement contract i sighed didn't make me liable for the shit that the I OS has done to my ipod.

  • tom

    I know this is partially off topic but does anyone else having allot of issues with the built in apps crashing?

  • tom

    Mitch, try plugging it into itunes, any software related issue seems to be fixed by syncing into itunes. Is anyone here a programer? Maybe they would have a idea on whats causes the horrible battery.

  • ricar

    I had an ipod touch 8gb 2nd gen just this has an os 3.x …i'm amazed that it's battery is last long that i compared it to my cellphone and it's at least 8 to 10 times but when i upgraded it to iOS 4 i thought that i was just so excited on the new OS that i used it so much that i drain the battery fast. And now that I don't use it that much it still drains fast. In the beggining i thought my ipod was broken but when I read some forums, I think it's a big problem now. Hope Apple would work on this though..

  • ricar

    Another thing I didn't like about the iOS4 is that it takes much of the memory of my 8gb iPod Touch.. before when it's still on OS 3.xx I can use 7.5GB of space, but now that I upgraded it to iOS4 I can only use 6.8GB of space. So disappointing.(-_-")

  • Fusspot

    I've been having all of the aforementioned problems since updating my 16GB 2G iTouch. I was perfectly happy before with the battery life, but now it drains inexplicably fast. I use my Touch as an alarm clock, and by the time I wake up in the morning the charge is 2/3 gone. Let's not even mention how poorly all of my apps run.

    I would have been okay with Apple making the OS unavailable for devices it would run poorly on. But releasing this tripe and disallowing the option to downgrade if it was below our expectations was just low.

  • zigs

    I upgraded my itouch and now my batt doesn't last 3 days with minimum usage. The best part about my ithouch was the battery life! Apple better fix this soon…

  • Jennifer

    I'm glad to have found this article and to find out that I'm not alone, am sick of the loss of battery life. Am going to go back to the previous operating system, and wait until they fix this. Apple's arrogance in the face of problems is really disappointing, PCs may be boring but what's cool about products that don't work properly?

  • Karen

    I have an 8GB iPod touch and this update has really caused me some problems, most notably the battery issue. I too, used to be able to go days without charging it. No after listening to less than an hour of music, playing a game for less than half an hour, my battery gets sucked down to half and I've been having to charge it every day. I leave it in airplane mode almost all the time, which helps only a very little bit.

    It's also really hurt the wifi. My wifi signal strength is now always low and constantly fluctuates in my home network, I cant even seem to join any other wifi networks now. My iPod is now also running a bit slower. I'm really sad (and rather upset with Apple) because I love my iPod touch and now it's having all these issues.

  • AubreyG

    Add me to the list. I use my 2nd gen touch as a PDA, which is now struggling to go a day without charging. I could previously go nearly a week before the update! I like the new tweaks in iOS4 like unified inbox, and I'd say my touch actually is a bit more responsive than it was before – but I'll gladly take back the battery life, thanks.

  • Ethan King

    Yes I have also noticed the battery issue with my refub 16 GB IPod touch… What I have been doing is turning the airplane mode on when not using my IPod. Mail push is manual and bluetooth is not on…. HOWEVER I use the IPod touch For ALMOST EVERYTHING (for at least I did before the update)I really hope that Apple can fix this Problem ASAP so I can get back to checking my email, the weather, Text messaging, Instant messaging, instantly communicating friends on face book… without turning airplane mode ON and OFF…

  • Ben

    Yes my ipod use to go for plenty of days without recharge, but since update a day at the most.
    Not happy.

  • DMZ6

    I upgraded a few days ago. I play my iPod Touch in my car a lot. Yesterday, after an 8 hour shift at work, I got back in my car to find my battery dead. I have a habit of not pausing it when i am at work, so I figured my dead battery was a result of this. Last night, after I had fully charged it, I woke up this morning to another completely dead battery. wouldn't even turn on. This is absurd.

  • tycol25

    I thought i was going crazy or something cuz i could swear my ipod touch (64gb) was fully charged when I went to bed…and in the morning, the meter was red…..

  • Pb

    I called Apple support about the short battery life issue since upgrading to the newest OS (from work) and they asked that when I get home to call them and they would talk me through wiping out iOS4 and reinstalling. They said if that didn't fix it they would replace the unit. Seems to me they have yet to acknowledge the issue and would rather send out new units than admit there is a problem. Ridiculous!

  • Keith

    So where is the app to automatically initiate air plane mode after X minutes of no activity or something then?

    Or if that is too hard how about an air plane mode toggle app to save prating about going into settings etc.
    The morons, oops I meant developers, at apple really didn't think this one through did they!

  • Eddy

    I have the same problem of battery life. In addition, I am wondering there are people suffering from the unstable wifi connectivity in iOS4? After I upgraded my iPod Touch to iOS4, it reconnects to the base station every minute. I tried WPA2, WPA and WEP but no help at all.

  • Matt

    My wife and I have had charging issues (as well as performance issues) since upgrading our 3G's to 4.0. We also notice many of our charging cables don't seem to charge much of anything, but don't indicate any compatibility issues. One thing I just noticed ten minutes ago was taking my phone off my IPad charging cable (because it didn't seem to charge it) and as soon as I plugged it into the cradle of my clock radio, it went from 20 percent to over 50 percent!

    Someone please tell me this is not a software issue. Apple really should have never recommended this upgrade for 3G users. The least they can do is give me an easy way to downgrade back to 3.x. All the ways I've seen aren't very simple.

  • Keith

    Before the Update, I could leave my Ipod touch on for days. several. after the update, it would drain without me even using it….. in less than 7 hours. i would go to bed, wake up and its dead dead dead. I'm actually quite pissed off about it. I was always amazed at how well the battery life was in previous os, but i find myself not even using it after the update. its too frustrating watching those bars decrease. whats the point of having multiple apps open if it drains. even if there arent apps open. Other than taking it to the genius bar, i dont know what to do.

  • Bian

    I took my 2G Touch into the genius bar yesterday over the battery issues. The Genuis said it was a software issue so there would be no point in his changing it out for another unit, but off the record he suggested I look online for instructions on reverting it to 3.x.

    Apple doesn't support downgrading the OS, but he said that it's easy (it is) and even if it bricks, they won't be able to tell what did it and the warranty "should" remain in effect.

    I was impressed that they were helpful in that capacity.

  • Carl Blakemore

    Resetting the network settings fixed the problem for me, for about 2 or 3 weeks. I had great battery life again up until a couple days ago when I started noticing it going down again, the only thing that had changed is that I added in additional wifi networks for it to automatically connect to.

    I hope a fix for this comes out soon.

  • Jim Tarbet

    Me too!! since upgrading to OS4 my Touch is flat from fully charged with less than an hours use. I hope there is a fix for this soon. My wife and daughters are showing similar problems since upgrading.

  • Jonathan

    Yep, this is a terrible "feature" that is mandatory not optional. As soon as persistent wi-fi was added, battery life lasts only 8 hrs in my house with wifi on. My wifes itouch (didnt upgrade to ios4 yet) out-lasts mine by DAYS with the same wi-fi push settings. I understand the advantage IF you are running background apps that require wi-fi (pandora, gps skype etc) but IF the app is not running or requiring wi-fi, WHY is it still connected? this should be an optional "feature" and be able to disable it.!
    Thanks Apple!

  • Derek

    I hate my ipod because of this. The battery life used to be so good. and Now I might just break out the old CD player again.

  • sepultaker

    with this update my ipod touch have a very poor music sound,before with half sound was fantastic now with full sound i dont even have the half sound that i had before. have everyone noticed?

  • Sunny

    Yes. I also noticed a difference in sound quality as well. It isn't as loud and as crisp as it was before. However with the battery issue. I turned off wife and my ipod touch 32gb works as it should. I dunno if this is the case with anyone else….but give it a try if you got the 3rd gen touch.

  • Thomas

    I'm not convinced it is WiFi. I found if I shut sown all multitasking apps then the battery is "as normal" overnight. It is a pain to remember. I hate the multitasking. At the least you should be able to turn it off or select apps you want to multitask. It is stupid having an app you use once a month suspended.

  • Neil

    I'm another user with a 2G Touch that is having the very same issue; previous to the upgrade to iOS 4, I was using iOS 3.x. I was only having to charge the unit once a week, as I would leave it powered on and then letting it go to sleep. Since the upgrade, I get a total of 2 days out of a full charge.

    I have performed a complete wipe of the device, in the hope that this process would help improve the battery life – like others have done; unfortunately it has made no difference to the batter life. This is really poor on the customer service side of things!

  • Mark

    I'm not the only one!!! This is comforting in a way, because at least Apple is aware of it. I have definitely experienced the drain in battery as everyone else has described. i hope a patch is released soon. this is frustrating.

  • Josh

    I have noticed that by playing games like FIFA it is about 80% by about 15 minutes…

  • Matt

    I just DOWNGRADED our phones back to 3.1.3 and they are MUCH BETTER. I'd recommend it for anyone having problems since they upgraded their OS. It obvious to me our older phones can't handle any new upgrades. Oh well, I'm quite content with it being a good phone first and foremost.

  • David

    Upgraded iPod touch 2G from 2.2.1 to iOS 4.0 and had the same egregious battery life issues. To resolve, I turned off push, turned off notifications, and turned on airplane mode, and power cycled it, making sure it was still in airplane mode afterwards. The main downside to this is that the autosync feature of MobileMe is not so automatic anymore. Would give anything to be able to downgrade to 2.2.1 again. I hope that Apple comes out with an update soon so we can again use the hardware as it was originally intended. At least for now, have a workaround to get the battery life back to what it was on 2.2.1.

  • Tim

    Same problem here. This really stinks. Come on Apple, fix this!

  • Infuzibil

    OS 4 is just too much for an iPod touch. I think wi-fi is not the only problem. I am in airplane mode most time, but every application opened drain battery quickly. Earlier I could read in Stanza one day (about 7-8 hours), now it is enough only for 3-4 hours.

  • Andrew

    Thanks for this post. It confirms that there really is a problem. I have to charge more than once a day (as opposed to every few days) since downloading iOS 4.

    A real bummer… I hope there soon is a fix.

  • Sam

    Yer same things happening to mine since i upgraded to 4.1 firmware
    i hate and wish apple would do sumthin
    im havetin to charge it every day where as it used to keep a good battery life for about 2 days

  • Eugene

    I upgraded to 4.0 on my 3d gen iPod Touch to capture a few of the great updates to the IOS. The battery life had degraded just a bit. There was no persistent WiFi when the device slept, which was good. I could live with it, for sure.

    For some crazy reason, I upgraded to 4.1. Boom! The battery won't last a day with the same configuration settings on the Touch, using it or not. After calling AppleCare, the agent said he was getting lots of reports about it, and could not direct me on how to get back to 4.0 or 3.1.3 – said, "It is not an option to roll-back".

    That is irresponsible! There should at least be a way to disable multitasking and to disable persistent WiFi (just have WiFi enabled when the device is activated again, like it was before).

    Either deliver an upgrade patch that allows one to toggle those features (now defects) or allow the end-user to roll back.

  • Eugene

    Returned the updated iPod Touch because Apple Store personnel offered no method to revert back to 3.1.3, or 4.0. I exchanged it for a new iPod Touch with 3.1.3 on it. All the apps, everything is restored to the configuration of the unit I returned. The battery has not required a charge (3 days) of regular use. The only difference is the lack of a persistent connection function on the original 3.1.3 code. No apps run in the background on 3.1.3, either. I have no use for a persistent connection. It is perfect the device only seeks a connection when it is active, not on standby or sleeping.

    It might be that the apps running in the background as well use up processes that stressed the battery, but the persistent connection is most likely the cause, since I removed the apps one by one to see if any of them were the culprit for eating up battery life. Non of the apps removed changed the persistent connection, nor helped improve the battery life.

    Hope this helps some other folks that notice the same problem.

  • cbandt

    Man I thought i knew better! Should have read up on things before updating. I'm having the same problems and more. Apps run slow or cut out. Youtube vids load really slow now or not at all! Thanks apple, you've turned something cool into a fat turd.

  • Jaryn

    This problem doesn't exist solely on the itouch, it's also affected the iPad. While it hasn't reduced my battery life enough to be a problem people are openly complaining about, I still get about half to a 4th of the time on low power applications (alarm clock, etc) that I used to. I now definitely have to charge it overnight, which definitely was not the case before if I had a battery of 60% or more. Even at 100% when I go to sleep the battery is low enough the next morning to cause issues. Long term I worry that this increased battery turnover will lead to a shorter overall life of it's battery. Anyone else seen this in an iPad?

  • Andrei

    Appears so. My iTouch 2 lasted longer with recent OS than current, iTouch 4.

  • Rose

    I found this discussion when searching on 'battery life useless since upgrading my Ipod Touch to IOS4.' Need I say more. I'm going to try the tip re disabling wireless to see if that puts it back to usual life – which was always excellent, pre ios4

  • Spartan

    I had the same problem of battery draining after I upgraded to iOS 4.3 and I tried all tips offered in forums but in vain. Finally I found this setting myself, which worked like a charm –