Apple is adding Clean Energy Charging to iOS 16 iPhones later this year

Ios 16 Iphone 13 Pro Hero
(Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

Apple has today released the big iOS 16 update to the world and tucked in the middle of its press release is the news that a future update will see iPhones charge at times when the grid is using cleaner energy sources.

The feature, dubbed Clean Energy Charging, will arrive as an update to iOS 16 later this year according to Apple's press release — although the company isn't saying exactly when that will land just yet.

Cleaner energy

Apple says that "Clean Energy Charging aims to decrease the carbon footprint of the iPhone by optimizing charging times for when the grid is using cleaner energy sources," while also confirming that the feature will be available in the United States only. Whether that will expand to international users in due course isn't immediately clear, however.

The wording suggests that Apple's new feature will choose to charge iPhones during the hours of the night that see power provided by cleaner sources in a way that's similar to an existing battery optimization feature. That feature only charges an iPhone's battery to capacity just before iOS thinks that its user is likely to unplug it, like when they wake up in the morning. With that in mind, it's unlikely any input will be required from users who want to take advantage of Clean Energy Charging, beyond perhaps enabling the feature during initial setup.

The new Clean Energy Feature isn't the only one that we're waiting on, though. Apple's iCloud Shared Photo Library feature is still being worked on despite being part of previous iOS 16 betas, while Live Activities are also coming later this year, too.

The iOS 16 update brings the best iPhone software to date thanks in part to a number of features that deal with complaints people have had for years. For the first time, people can edit iMessages and even unsend emails using the Mail app — features that third-party apps have offered for years.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.