WTF is my iPhone doing? Battery issues coinciding with odd behavior

I have an iPhone 6S, and it recently started behaving strangely. Woke up last week to find it was down to 10% battery after having been fully charged before I went to bed. I shrugged and charged it up again. It went to 100% in just a few minutes, which was strange. From that point on it wouldn’t hold a charge, and would drop precipitously in moments.

So I figure the battery is going bad. No big deal, I’ll go to one of those mall fix-it stores and have it swapped out. Was on the road working, so it would have to wait a few days.

But now I notice strange things are happening. I get little cloud icons appearing next to some apps. They start re-downloading themselves. Those goddam songs by U2 that Apple forced on us a while back re-appear in my music library (I deleted the hell out them long ago). I have updates turned off - it’s not supposed to change IOS versions without me doing it manually. So I have no idea why the phone is doing this stuff, but I have to assume it is related to the battery issues.

Any ideas?

About the charge issue, what is your room temp? I’ve had devices mis-state the charge level when the battery is cold (one phone would report a low battery when temps dropped barely below “normal room temperature”, would almost instantly jump back to reporting correct charge when then ugged in.)

I’m doubting temperature is the issue here. It first started in a hotel room at a completely normal temperature. Ever since it’s been completely erratic. I can actually watch the battery level go down precipitously.

I really think Apple did some of their BS, tweaking the system or settings in some way - their typical “improvements” that actually screw everything up.

You’re supposed to replace your phone every 2-4 years. This is true for both Android and iOS. Both do a number of things that make older phones less and less usable, and of course the batteries wear out as well. If you don’t mind the cost, you could replace it with a newer iphone, otherwise there are a number of inexpensive ($100-$200) Android phones that you can get another one from every couple years. Given that a wireless plan with a decent amount of data ends up being around $50 a month in the USA, the replacement cost isn’t even all that significant.

Says who?

I take that back - I don’t care if it’s a recommendation straight from Apple. There’s no way in this lifetime I will replace an item like that so often. I thought we started getting away from planned obsolescence in the 70s. I’d rather have the battery replaced and I’m pretty sure I’d save money doing so.

But now the phone is behaving normally. But I will pull the trigger on a battery change at the next sign of trouble.

Oh, no no no. Planned obsolescence is a big factor with many modern technology manufacturers. They want you to buy a new product regularly, and they know that having new features and pretty commercials might not be enough to make you upgrade.

Officially what they’ll say is that they can’t support old models forever but really they’re doing all they can to force you to buy something new.

Really… my first iPhone I kept 5 years, including more than a year after it could take no further iOS upgrades, and gave in when I did because I was required by work to have function it could not do.

But as to the OP incident, it may be a case that if the battery (or the function that controls the charging and tells the rest of the device how much power is available) is starting to go, and the power variations are triggering resets.

Settings - Battery - Battery Health.

What does it say there?

Max capacity 78%, but it’s said that for quite a while.

And I just turned off “performance management protections” to see what happens. Anybody care to take bets that this “feature” is what has been causing my device to crap out?

Then you’re going to experience some mediocre times during the years when the phone (or any other electronic gadget) is past it’s expiration date.

As we get more and more efficient at manufacturing products cheaper, it’s going to make less and less sense to try to keep an older product going.

I believe that Apple themselves recommend battery replacement when max capacity is below 80%. If you can get to an Apple store today you’ll still be able to get the $29 battery replacement deal they’ve been running ever since their battery-pocalyse earlier this year.

“Max capacity 78%” means it’s toast. I took my iPhone 6 in a couple weeks ago reporting 84% and it failed their in-house diagnostics too, along with losing peak performance capability and flakiness. The problem is that as batteries age, it’s not just that their total storage capacity drops, but the amount of power they can output in a short period of time drops too. So a phone running a processor-intensive (and thus power-intensive) task can try to pull more power than the battery can deliver anymore, causing the phone to crash and reboot. A way around that is to throttle the phone’s maximum processor state so it won’t draw more power than the battery can handle. However then the “Apple is slowing down my old phone” complaints start, so they added the ability to disable the throttling, but that just means your phone is more likely to crash until you get the battery replaced. The apps re-downloading thing is odd though, I’ve never seen that. Could you be out of storage space too, so it’s having to delete less-used apps to free up space?

No, I have a fair amount of storage space left. The U2 songs reappearing is also really strange.

This is reaching, but here’s the only other thing that comes to mind… I have been to several Caribbean islands in the last few weeks. I mostly connect to WiFi while leaving the phone in airplane mode to avoid the out of country cellular charges. Could it have picked up a virus from an unsecured WiFi network at one of the hotels I stayed at?

No. Malware is extremely rare (EXTREMELY rare), pretty much will only affect an iPhone if you’ve jailbroken the phone, and will get on your phone if you installed it yourself outside of the iPhone App Store.

It won’t magically appear on your phone from being on an unsecured WiFi, like getting a cold from touching a dirty doorknob. The main danger of unsecured WiFi is people stealing your info as you send it. It doesn’t open your phone to intrusion from others.

And malware comes in the form of an app malfunctioning, not from something that infects your entire phone the way malware might infect, say, a Windows computer. If that was the case, you would be the first person to have your phone infected in that manner.

Undoubtedly you either have a hardware problem of some kind (extremely likely in an old phone) or some kind of iOS corruption.

Battery replaced by a mall fix-it shop. $20. Done.