One specific application has come under scrutiny for causing excessive heat issues with the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Since the launch of the iPhone 15 series one week ago, users, particularly those with the premium iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models, have reported experiencing elevated temperatures in their new iOS-powered devices. This problem appears to occur during activities such as playing video games, charging, and using social media platforms. The affected devices have been reported to reach temperatures of up to approximately 116 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prominent tech influencer Marques Brownlee recently observed overheating on his iPhone 15 Pro while listening to music and browsing Instagram. He described how the overheating issue manifested, stating, “For about 5 minutes, the phone becomes noticeably hot and consumes around 5% of the battery. Afterward, it returns to normal.”
Is the Instagram app solely responsible for causing the iPhone 15 Pro models to heat up to such high temperatures?
A YouTube video by tech reviewer @iPhonedo also points to Instagram as the culprit behind the overheating problem. Unlike many other complaints, @iPhonedo noted that this issue began after updating his iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max, and iPad Pro to iOS 17 and iPadOS 17. Similar to Brownlee’s experience, @iPhonedo reported that while his devices were overheating, the battery life of each device was rapidly declining at a rate of 1% per minute. Consequently, spending 10 minutes on Instagram with no active use would result in a 10% drop in battery life.
In his video, @iPhonedo demonstrated how the temperature of the iPhone 15 Pro Max increased from approximately 80 degrees Fahrenheit to over 96 degrees, causing a noticeable decrease in battery life. He emphasized that this issue exclusively occurs with the Instagram app. Given his professional use of Instagram, deleting the app was not a practical solution for him. However, he found that enabling Low Power Mode while using Instagram helped mitigate the heat issue, albeit with some continued battery drain.
Notably, @iPhonedo expressed frustration with his unsuccessful attempts to gain Instagram’s attention regarding this problem and clarified that it is not an issue with the iPhone but rather a problem specific to the Instagram app. This situation raises questions about why Instagram alone seems to cause these overheating issues. It’s worth recalling that earlier this year, a former Facebook employee named George Hayward, who worked as a data scientist, alleged that Facebook and the Messenger app intentionally drain phone batteries as part of a process referred to as “negative testing” by Meta.
According to Hayward, “negative testing” is employed to evaluate features within an app or assess how images load. He also claimed that he was terminated by Meta after refusing to participate in this practice. His lawyer argued in a court filing, later withdrawn, that depleting users’ smartphone batteries could pose risks, especially in situations where users need to communicate with others, including emergency services like the police.
Hayward’s lawsuit was dropped because his employment contract with Meta required arbitration. This situation is relevant to Instagram since Meta owns Instagram, along with Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp.