Wednesday, February 7, 2018

How to check the battery on your iPhone, iPad and macOS devices.

It never ceases to amaze me how information we could use, is so often hidden from us. With all the issues around Apple slowing down devices reportedly over ageing batteries, I started to wonder if you could easily check the battery of your devices.

Yes, you can go to the Apple store and see a technician, but last time I enquired the appointment was for the following week.  With a little searching I found software called coconutBattry which can be installed on a MacBook Air. Using coconutBattery you can check the status of your iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air battery. With iPhones and iPad you connect them to your MacBook Air using the USB cable and provide permission.

Be careful installing any software from unknown sources. The software coconutBattery is available from many sites. I decided the only site I could partially trust was the developers own site. Any other site could have a modified version uploaded. Even the developers software can be suspect. In this case I ran a scan using a malware site which checks the software using over 50 anti-virus engines. With the software checked it was then installed. There's now only a small chance the software could be nefarious.

With your iPhone or iPad connected to a MacBook Air via and USB cable and running coconutBattery, you can then select the iOS Device tab and see the battery information. The following is an older refurbished iPhone 4. Whilst the cycle count is above the 500 mentioned on the Apple site, there's still plenty of life in the battery as the capacity is a little over 90%.

The important figures are the cycle count and the percentage of the design capacity. You'll need to check the cycle count for your device.

The iPad and MacBook Air is designed to retain 80% of the battery charge for up to 1,000 cycles. For the iPhone it is 500 cycles. Older devices like the iPhone 4, may have a different cycle count.

The MacBook Air contains most of the information but doesn't include the design capacity. It does let you know in the system information the status of the battery, but the if the design capacity was provided as the full charge capacity is, you could determine the percentage yourself.

Apple does like to hide technical information from users which does make it less confusing. But for those who wish to have more information, since it's so easy to obtain, Apple could easily provide a suitable app. It's a pity they don't.

Kelvin Eldridge
Online Connections
IT support.

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