iOS tip: Find out how many times has your iPhone battery been recharged

Head over to Settings > Battery, and then into Battery Health and Apple gives you a lot of information about your iPhone’s battery.

But there’s one number that Apple doesn’t give you — how many times your iPhone has been recharged.

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Now, this is quite a critical number, since rechargeable batteries have a number of recharge cycles in them before they are considered worn. This is true of all rechargeable batteries, not just the one in your iPhone.

Apple has published information about recharge cycles and how they affect batteries. Here’s what they say about the iPhone:

“Your battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles.”

Also, there’s more information on this page, which goes into more detail.

But the bottom line is that you can expect to get 500 recharge cycles out of your battery before it’s below 80 percent and considered worn.

Note: A “recharge cycle” is how many times a battery has been discharged, and not how many times it has gone from 100 percent to zero. So, if you start the day with a full battery, and you take it down to 50 percent, recharge it, and then take it to 50 percent before charging it again, that’s one cycle. You can go through multiple recharge cycles in a single day, or over many days.

But how do you know how many recharge cycles your battery has been through?

Apple doesn’t tell you.

In the past I’ve been using a Mac app called coconutBattery to pull this information from my iPhone. However, I recently came across (via Reddit) a way to get at this information without needing an app.

But it’s a bit fiddly at one point.

  • Head over to Settings > Privacy > Analytics & Improvements
  • Tap on Analytics Data
  • Scroll down to log-aggregated-2021-01-16-xxxxxx.ips (notice the date in the file name along with the numbers, and pick the latest file from the list)
  • Now comes the tedious part… you can either copy and paste this into the Notes app (scrolling to do the copy is a pain in the rear), or, what I do is I email it to myself and look at it on a laptop or desktop
  • In whatever app you’ve opened the file in, search for BatteryCycleCount, and that will give you your recharge cycles

And there you go.

iOS battery recharge cycle count

iOS battery recharge cycle count

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iOS 14 pro tip: One setting change for better photos

Having a new kitten about means that I’m taking a lot more photos. But trying to get a good photo of something that continually moves and squirms (even when sleeping) is tricky.

And it was made all the harder because Apple hid a handy Camera app feature.

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Prior to iOS 14, if you held down the shutter button in the Camera app, the iPhone would go into “burst mode,” taking a bunch of photos that allowed me to go back and find the best one.

But now in iOS 14, pressing and holding down the shutter button switches to video recording mode. That itself is a nice feature, but I want the old “burst mode” feature back.

It’s there, but again it’s hidden. And it’s also changed how it works.

Head over to Settings > Camera and you’ll see a setting called Use Volume Up for Burst.

Here's the setting you are looking for: Use Volume Up for Burst

Here’s the setting you are looking for: Use Volume Up for Burst

Now, rather than holding down the shutter button, I have to remember to hold down the volume up button.

But it’s nice to be able to quickly choose between shooting a burst of photos or shooting a quick video.

It’s a nice change. And I really like having a physical button to press on. It’s easier to find and gives me proper tactile feedback, unlike a button on a screen.

UPDATE: A reader sent me a note via Twitter (thanks, Wolfgang!) to point out that there’s another way to access “burst mode,” and that’s by pressing and holding down while simultaneously sliding the button to the left if in portrait mode or down if in landscape. 

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