A few weeks ago, the iPhone 8 that Rogers tried to rip me off on was in trouble. Straight out of the blue, it had no battery life at all. I could charge it, and a few hours later, no matter how much or how little I had used it, it would be totally dead. Like turned off dead. Well, I thought, it did just pass its third birthday a couple months ago and since everything now is intentionally built not to last worth a shit it’s probably time for a new one, god dammit.
But then I remembered something. It wasn’t long ago that I had updated a bunch of apps as well as upgraded to iOS 14.6. I wondered if maybe these things were all connected somehow.
I thought the culprit might be the Canadian COVID Alert app. It had been updated a couple of times recently with only a vague description like maintenance updates in the release notes. So thinking that maybe they had an issue they were trying to work through, I turned off my Bluetooth and waited. Bam, problem solved. In fact the problem was solved so well that the phone is actually working a little bit better than it was before everything started going to hell.
This is obviously good news, at least to a point. I don’t have to buy a new phone, which is great. I resent having to pay for new ones so often, so I like to stretch them out as long as I absolutely can unless there’s an offer I just can’t refuse. And in normal times I hardly ever use Bluetooth for anything, so not being able to use it unless I’m plugged in isn’t the biggest of deals either. But these aren’t normal times, and I’m trying to do my part to keep us all as safe as possible. Hence the presence of the COVID Alert App. It relies completely on Bluetooth, so for my purposes its useless now. Not exactly ideal, although I’ve been extremely good at not being around anyone long enough to trigger an exposure notice. I believe that takes about 15 minutes, and other than a very small handful of people who I know for a fact don’t even use the thing, every interaction I have with another person is either saying hello when we pass, a minute or two in the elevators or while picking up a delivery.
I’ve written all this not even knowing if COVID Alert is the problem. It was my best guess, but it may not deserve the blame. It’s looking like the fault for this one lies squarely with Apple, although nobody really knows why. The only thing we know for sure is that there is a battery sucking gremlin in the latest version of iOS, everyone who has experienced it is dealing with it in their own way and plenty of folks aren’t having any trouble at all. Oh, and that it’s been weeks and Apple has neither said a word about it or put out a potential fix. So if my Bluetooth thing doesn’t do it for you, maybe have a look at this and see if anything in either the article or the comments helps.