iOS 13 has a new feature called Optimized Battery Charging which is supposed to slow down battery aging by preventing the battery from charging up to 100 percent until you need it.
How does this work?
The idea is that iOS 13 “learns from your daily charging routines” so it can figure out when is best to top up that last 20%. This is meant to prevent battery wear by not continually keeping the battery at its fully charged state.
But how does this work in real life? The answer here is “it depends.”
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If you regularly charge your iPhone at night, and wake up about the same time, then this feature does seem to work as advertised, and fast charges the iPhone to 80%, and adding that final 20% at the last 30 minutes or so before you “normally” take your iPhone off charge.
However… (there’s always a “however” or a “but,” isn’t there?).
The problem is if you are erratic in your charging schedule, or if you are not the sort of person who charges your iPhone overnight. At this point the iOS seems to default to a regular charging regimen of fully charging the battery as fast as it can. Same is true if you charge it during the day.
One possible downside of this feature is if you need to get up earlier one morning then your iPhone might only have 8% charge. Not the end of the world, but that missing 20% could amount to more than an hour of lost run time.
But does this feature help prevent battery wear?
At this point I don’t have anything conclusive to share, but given that not continually charging a battery to full capacity should help reduce wear, this feature could help, and those who keep their phones on charge a lot (like I do) could see greater benefit. But notice how I’ve hedged my bets here with a few “shoulds” and “coulds.” We’ll have to wait to see if this has any meaningful impact in the read world.
But anything that lengthens the lifespan of your battery, and delays that inevitable trip to an Apple Store for a new battery of phone upgrade is a good thing.