Why you should avoid iOS battery apps
iOS already has everything you need, writes Glenn Fleishman
A-reader recently wrote in suspecting that malware had infiltrated his iPhone: “While running a battery app on my iPhone 6, it showed an invisible Chinese program running.”
After some back and forth and a bit of research, I found that the free app he’s using, Battery Doctor, doesn’t have a useful purpose and doesn’t offer accurate information. The app claims that
it can help with battery management and usage, including providing per-app details about power consumption, and helping prevent an overcharge of an iOS device’s lithium-ion battery. All nonsense.
As one of the many techniques it employs to reduce spying and malware, Apple doesn’t expose much information to third-party apps about what’s going on in iOS. I’m unclear why Battery Doctor’s makers released this app and apparently continue to update it.
The app in the list that Frederick was worried about translates (with the help of Google) to ‘School Party – Love News’. He doesn’t have such an app installed, and it’s either the battery software purely inventing it or it’s showing the wrong name for an app that is running. This non-existent app appeared at least three years ago, based on forum postings.
The company has three other apps listed: one ostensibly rates GPU performance, not really an issue for iOS devices, and the other two more consumer oriented. One translates as “Daily Free Gifts application – only recommended limit free software and games gifts”; the other offers free videos, and was also updated in August.
To get useful battery information, tap Settings → Battery, where after a moment of cogitation, iOS shows you the percentage of battery consumed by apps in the last 24 hours or seven days. Tap the clock icon to get more details about the split in time between on screen/background usage. I just discovered the Fitbit app ate 7 percent of my overall battery consumption in the past 24 hours due to 5.4 hours of background activity.
I advised the reader to remove the battery app.