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iPhones running iOS 18 will detect if your charger is slow – a helpful addition with room for improvement

Poor battery detected
Last Updated on June 12, 2024
iOS 18 logo against plain white background
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For a long time, many have critized Apple’s chargers and their seeming lack of longevity. They slowly become less efficient over time and it can be difficult to recognise this change in the moment. Apple’ recent update to iOS 18 is set to bring a new feature to the iPhone’s Battery settings, the ability to identify slow charging. This can be a lifesaver for users who experience unexpectedly long charging times and aren’t sure why.

Spotting slow charging

The Battery section now displays your iPhone’s charging history over the past 24 hours or 10 days. Look for orange bars within this graph. These bars indicate periods when your iPhone was connected to a slow charger. While Apple hasn’t explicitly defined ‘slow’, tests have shown the feature triggering with 5W wireless chargers. This is particularly useful for identifying chargers claiming MagSafe compatibility but offering slower Qi speeds, or even lower.

Slow charging battery identification – Image Source: Reddit

The benefits

This new information will allow iPhone users to understand their charging habits. If you frequently see orange bars and are concerned about slow charging, you can investigate the culprit. It might be a low-wattage charger or even a cable that’s not optimized for fast charging. This may mean you can either upgrade to a new device sooner or simply buy a new faster charger.

iOS 18 went into beta following Apple’s WWDC keynote, but if you don’t want to opt in, you’ll have to wait for the full iOS 18 release date to make use of this feature. Some other interesting benefits coming to iPhone include a customizable home screen and plenty of AI integration, though we’d say Apple doesn’t need AI to remain on top.

Where to improve

While the current implementation is helpful, some have argued for a more proactive approach. An optional alert notifying users when they’re using a slow charger could be even more convenient, as the Battery settings menu isn’t always readily accessible. Additionally, the information button beside the slow charging notification currently leads to a non-existent support document. Hopefully, Apple will address this in future updates and provide users with relevant resources to optimize their charging experience.

Overall, this new feature in iOS 18 is a positive step towards user awareness. It allows iPhone users to take control of their charging habits and ensure their devices receive power, or even an upgrade, as quickly as possible.

Tom is a tech writer with a detailed view on ensuring the best buying advice, most useful information, and latest news makes its way into PC Guide's articles.