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How to fix iOS update battery drain & slow Spotlight searches

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Reports of problems with battery charge or slowness with iOS updates or new iPhones happen every year. Here’s what you can do about it.

There can always be problems when a new version of iOS is released, or when a new iPhone comes out, and this is why you should wait to update. But whenever a user updates the iOS or upgrades their iPhone, there will also be an inevitable period where it isn’t yet working entirely as it should.

It typically isn’t that there is some functionality missing or going wrong, but it routinely will be that battery life is shorter than expected. And almost invariably, it will be that Spotlight searches take longer than usual.

Normal issues

Those two typical problems are related. Apple’s Spotlight is able to return fast results when you search for, say, an app, only because it already knows where everything is.

Spotlight indexes a user’s iPhone, it makes a database that means whenever they search, it just has to check its lists in order to return the information they want.

That’s a great and specific benefit for the entire life of the iPhone and iOS, but right at the start, it’s a small problem. Building that initial index takes time. While it’s being done, any searches a user makes may be answered from Spotlight’s database or it may still have to search from scratch.

And while that comprehensive index is being built, the iPhone is working at it — and that is why the battery is running down faster.

It’s certain that a new iPhone will need to build a Spotlight index, but it can also happen when there is a major iOS update.

What to do about normal issues

The simplest and usually best solution to this kind of issue after buying a new iPhone or updating to a new iOS, is to wait. Spotlight will finish doing its index and battery life will return to normal, search speed will too.

However, if the issues do not resolve themselves over the first few days since the update or upgrade, then there is an alternative.

Users can do a complete, clean install onto the iPhone. Resetting it to factory conditions, and reinstalling iOS will mean the Spotlight index is wiped so the problem will continue.

But if something has gone wrong, this will set it right even if users still have to then wait a few days.

Unusual issues

Even after all the testing Apple does with iPhones and iOS, when a new iPhone is bought by millions of people, they will find other problems. For the iPhone 14 Pro, for instance, there has been an issue with camera shake.

Apple has announced that this particular issue will be fixed in an update to iOS 16 which will be released shortly.

And that is what typically happens. Hardware problems, including model-specific ones with new hardware, get fixed with an .1 software update — and generally not with a .01 update like we saw on the first day of iPhone availability.

It’s not ideal that there should be any hardware issues that made it through Apple’s testing. And it’s not ideal that there can be features on an iPhone that don’t work at full speed, or with optimum battery use.

But they are always passing things. And in the case of the Spotlight search and battery use, it ultimately is what will make for a better iPhone experience later.



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