My iPhone 8 is about a year old. I've run this test several times on it, recently, and months ago. I'm getting the same results I got on my old iPhone 6s. In my testing, I've used Apple Music, Simple Radio (an internet radio streaming program that's very simple - no buffering, just straight streaming), and Pandora.
I found that Pandora uses power at about 1% a minute. If I start at 88% at 2:00, then at 2:45, I have about 43% power, give or take a few percentage points. With Simple Radio, if I start at 2:45 with 43% power, I still have 43% power 5 minutes later. In fact, today when I was watching, by 2:55, I still had 42%. So it's using 1-2% every 10 minutes. Apple Music is about the same as Simple Radio: 1-2% every 10 minutes.
When I do longer trails, Apple Music does seem to use a little more music than just streaming with Simple Radio. (And, interestingly, using TuneIn for testing, if I recall, it used more power than Simple Radio, but maybe because it buffers content and that may take more CPU resources to handle.)
So Pandora can drain my battery in under 2 hours. If I'm not taking calls, Simple Radio would take about 500 minutes, or over 8 hours, to drain my battery. Apple Music would take about the same length of time. This seems about right, since I'm often out 6-8 hours during the winter and 10-12 hours during the summer, when I have more daylight. During the summer, on long days, I have to stop streaming after a while. During the winter, I get down to 20% or even 10% on sme longer days.
I've also tested these programs while working on my tractor, with my cell phone in a cradle, and hooked up to the tractor's cigarette lighter with a lightning cable. With Simple Radio and Apple Music, the iPhone would charge up at about the rate of 1% a minute. With Pandora, it could take 5 minutes or more before I see the charge start to go up as much as 1%. (I forgot just what the amp rating of the adapter I was using at the time was.)
I think this proves that Pandora just burns through battery power.
- Any idea why Pandora uses so much power? I would think it might be due to the need to decrypt the stream, but doesn't Apple Music use an encrypted stream, too?
- Is there anything I can do to reduce Pandora's hunger for power? Any settings I can change that would help with this?