iOS 14.5 update will recalibrate battery health reporting on the iPhone 11 series
Apple’s next big update for its iPhones, iOS 14.5 or iOS 15 as it ends up being called, is expected to arrive later this year. While most of the attention will be on new features like new emojis and shortcut actions, controller support, and more, the update will also bring along a fairly substantial fix for the older iPhone 11 series. iOS 14.5 will allow users to recalibrate battery health reporting on the iPhone 11 series, potentially diagnosing subpar battery performance on these devices.
On the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, users have reported unexpected battery drain behavior and reduced peak performance capability. Apple’s support page (via MacRumors) mentions that this inaccurate battery health reporting does not reflect an issue with actual battery health, but it then goes on to offer free battery replacements from Apple if recalibration is not successful through iOS 14.5.
With iOS 14.5 coming later this spring (and available as a beta right now if you cannot wait), iPhone 11 series users will be able to recalibrate the maximum battery capacity and peak performance capability under the battery health reporting system. Maximum battery capacity is determined using a set of algorithms and measurements taken during use, and over time, these algorithms are updated to provide more accurate estimates. While the battery health reporting system is recalibrating, users will see a message in Settings > Battery > Battery Health. The process takes a few weeks as recalibration happens during regular charge cycles.
Once the calibration process is complete, the recalibration message will be removed. The process will be able to determine if your battery health has significantly degraded, and show a battery service message. And in a small number of instances according to Apple, recalibration might fail and a new battery service message will appear.
For these instances, Apple will replace the battery free of charge to restore full performance and capacity. Apple reassures that this message does not indicate a safety issue with the battery, but users might be experiencing more noticeable battery and performance issues if this message appears.