coconutBattery - Measure the charging and discharging currents on the iPad, iPhone and Mac

I gave you the Mac app coconutBattery already presented once - as a simple solution to bring back the display of the battery life on the MacBook. However, the software for macOS can do even more! She is extremely helpful if you want to measure what is happening with the battery in the iPhone, iPad or MacBook. You install them App on the Mac and can access the data from the iPhone and iPad via the WLAN (Wi-Fi synchronization via iTunes on the iOS device). I always use the app when I test Qi chargers, because I can use it to determine how much electrical energy is actually reaching the iPhone battery. That's more precise than a USB multimeter.

My recommendation: The plus version of coconutBattery with all functions

With coconutBattery Plus on the Apple Mac you can read out and process the battery data from iPhone and iPad via WLAN. A useful analysis tool - also for the MacBook battery.

With the app on the Apple Mac you can read and process the battery data from iPhone and iPad via WLAN. A useful analysis tool - also for the MacBook battery.

Charging current and discharging current on the Apple device

The app has been around since 2005 and is currently available in version 3.7.2 (as of May 10, 2019). Download, installation and use are possible under the operating system versions from OS X 10.11 El Capitan to macOS 10.14 Mojave. The standard version is free of charge, the plus version from coconutBattery costs €9,95 including VAT. I have summarized the advantages it brings you in the following table:

free Plus version
Mac battery diagnostics ✔︎ ✔︎
iOS battery analysis (iOS 7 to 12) ✔︎ ✔︎
"Health data" display of the battery ✔︎ ✔︎
Battery details in the menu bar ✔︎ ✔︎
WiFi support ✔︎
iOS battery life analysis ✔︎
Extended display of iOS batteries ✔︎
Extended display of Mac batteries ✔︎
Individual printing templates ✔︎
Notifications ✔︎
Price Free of charge €9,95
Information and Download Here

Show real values ​​in the Qi charger test

If you have installed coconutBattery Plus under macOS on the Apple Mac, iMac or MacBook, you can use the Plus version to connect directly to the iPhone or iPad via WLAN. You can then access the battery data of the iOS device. Although these are only updated every 10-20 seconds, the Coconut Flavor app gives you much more accurate values ​​than would be possible with a USB multimeter. That's all you can do anyway measure, how much the iPhone is currently "pulling" to charge itself. You never find out how big the discharge capacity of the battery is.

With coconutBattery you know exactly how power is received by the battery of the iPhone, iPad or Mac or how much power is currently required from the battery. A USB multimeter falsifies these values ​​because part of the current is always consumed by the Apple device itself.

Here are a few tests as practical application examples:

Update for Apple Silicon Macs with M1 processor

I opened the app a few days ago because I wanted to check the battery status of my Apple Silicon MacBook Pro with M1 processor. I noticed that "Design Capacity" has a value of 2%. This is because "Full Charge Capacity" only says 100 mAh. Something that just can't be right because the Apple Watch is already over 100mAh - and I think we can all agree that the MacBook Pro's battery should be a bit bigger.

A full charge capacity of 100 mAh simply cannot be real, because even the Apple Watch already has over 170 mAh.

A full charge capacity of 100 mAh simply cannot be real, because even the Apple Watch already has over 170 mAh. But there was an update in the meantime that addressed this problem.

When I just opened the app again, an update window came up, which praised "Support for Apple Silicon Macs" as an innovation, among other things. So the 2% value was simply an error in the ad based on the app not yet having data on the new Mac models. So if you ever get strange values ​​displayed in the app, it's best to check whether there isn't an update by chance that fixes this problem.

With the update from coconutBattery, M1 Macs now also have the opportunity to reveal something about their power consumption.

With the update of the app, M1 Macs now also have the opportunity to reveal something about their power consumption.

Is there an alternative for Windows?

I couldn't find a 100% alternative for Windows. There is no program that has the same functions as coconutBattery. A possible alternative to look at would be IBackupBot.

With this tool you can get information about the battery status of iPhone, iPad or other connected devices. However, this info is not easy to find because iBackupBot is actually programmed to back up data from the iOS device. The advantage, however, is that we only need one function, which is available in the trial version. And we find them like this:

  1. Download iBackupBot Trial
  2. Connect the iPhone or iPad to the Windows PC via USB (and now wait a few minutes until the program reacts again)
  3. select the iPhone under "Devices"
  4. right on "more information"
  5. The information about the battery can already be found in the following window

Advantages and disadvantages of coconutBattery

Benefits

  • precise determination of the current flow away from the battery or towards the battery
  • Data about the charging cycles and the battery status
  • updated for Apple Silicon Macs
  • Data acquisition is also possible via WLAN

Disadvantages

  • The data is only updated every 10 to 20 seconds
  • sometimes the radio connection breaks down and no more current data is received

Does the app have a log function?

No, it doesn't record any data. The display is also only updated every few seconds, so that an exact evaluation over time would be difficult.

Can the app also be used without a USB cable (via WLAN)?

Yes, it works. You have to activate the WiFi synchronization for the iPhone on the Mac to use this function. However, you also need the commercial plus version for this feature.

What is the difference between the free and the plus version of the app?

With the Plus version you buy a one-time upgrade that unlocks these features: WiFi support, iOS battery analysis, extended view for iOS devices and Macs, user-defined print templates, notifications.

How much does the Plus version cost?

The Plus version of the Mac app costs EUR 9,95 (as of April 2021).

Does the app also work on Apple Silicon Macs with the M1 chip?

Yes, the app was updated at the beginning of 2021, which has now introduced compatibility with Apple Silicon Macs. The update was available free of charge.

Why is the current maximum capacity higher than the design capacity?

The value under "Design Capacity" is the capacity that the battery in the device should have after it leaves the factory. In the manufacture of rechargeable batteries, however, chemical processes are involved, the result of which can never be 100% predicted. Therefore, in some cases, the current maximum capacity may be higher than the design capacity.

coconutBattery or Apple's battery health - which is more reliable?

If you connect your iPhone to the Mac and check the battery health with coconutBattery, you often get different values ​​than those that can be called up via the "Battery Health" option in the iPhone settings. If you want to check it yourself, you can find the battery health this way under iOS:

Settings> Battery> Battery Health

There is no clear statement as to which value is more correct here, but of course there are arguments why one could rather believe the Apple value:

  • Apple has more direct access to device information.
  • The "coconutBattery" app may not have access to certain values ​​of the battery and must calculate an approximate value.

However, there are also voices who generally see a problem in the fact that the values ​​of both displays can be particularly precise:

  1. Batteries are chemistry and so their condition is always difficult to determine.
  2. Depending on how certain values ​​of the battery are included in a calculation, you can come to different percentages.
  3. Over the years, not only does the capacity of the batteries deteriorate, but also their performance - i.e. the ability to cover a high level of power consumption in a short period of time - is lost. How this is included in the calculation is another question.

Unfortunately, the question of the accuracy of the individual details cannot be fully clarified, but a number of users swear by coconutBattery's displays because, for example, they had an iPhone that switched off during operation. The battery status was still displayed by Apple as 84%, while Coconut Battery only certified 65% and was therefore probably closer to reality.

What is "High Performance" on the iPhone's battery gauge?

Apple introduced this term at the beginning of 2018 after they got it on the roof because of the supposed "iPhone brake". The "brake" is more of a feature because it slowed down an iPhone with a weak battery to such an extent that no energy peaks can occur, which would otherwise have resulted in the iPhone being switched off.

If you have a weak battery in your iPhone, you will get the following message from the system under the battery status:

The condition of your battery has deteriorated significantly. An Apple-authorized service provider can replace the battery to restore full performance and capacity. Learn more about service options - This message does not indicate a security issue. The battery can still be used. However, there may be more noticeable battery and performance issues. With a replacement battery, you can make better use of your device.

For example, if you have a navigation app on, listen to streaming music, gamble a bit on the side and then start taking photos with a flash, then the battery may have to deliver enormous power for a short time. Older batteries often cannot do this, which is why a protective circuit switches the battery off completely in order to avoid permanent damage.

However, if a battery is still fresh enough to be able to absorb these energy peaks, then Apple speaks of the fact that it still has a "maximum capacity" and consequently the iPhone brake is not activated.

Due to legal pressure, Apple was forced to install an option that also allows the iPhone brake to be switched off manually. So if you think you don't have to take care of your iPhone and want to switch it off spontaneously, you can intervene here yourself.

However, the app does not make any statement about the maximum performance - probably also because the app lacks insight into data that the iOS operating system has.

coconutBattery's Advanced Viewer elicits more data from the iPHone, iPad or Mac.

coconutBattery's Advanced Viewer elicits more data from the iPhone, iPad or Mac.

coconutBattery Advanced Viewer for Mac and iOS

I just saw that the app has a few more features that I haven't even tried yet. There is an advanced view (Advanced Viewer), which displays more data under macOS and iOS. It is by no means just about the battery, but also about the health of the SSD, the date of manufacture, the factory in which the device was built and much more.

You can find the Advanced Viewer by clicking on "Mac Info" (or correspondingly on "Device Info" on an iOS device) in the window and selecting the "Advanced Viewer" button in the following window.

For example, on my Mac I could get the following information:

  • Name: MacBook Pro from Jens
  • Model: MacBookPro17,1
  • Serial: XXX (shouldn't be displayed publicly!)
  • Model Description: (13-inch, M1, 2020)
  • Manufacture Date: November 2, 2020
  • CPU model: Apple M1
  • Disc:
    • APPLE SSD AP1024Q:
    • Firmware: 2.101.1
    • Power On Hours: 1815
    • Lifetime used: 18%
    • Power Cycles: 214
    • Data Read: 636,76 TB
    • Data Written: 578,52 TB

That is quite interesting information, which is not all bad, especially on a used Mac. For example, I am a little surprised that my SSD has already reached 6% of its life after 18 months. This means that with a 5-year-old Mac with an SSD, you have to expect the SSD to bite into the grass at all times. It's not a good feeling when you keep that in mind.

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