Lithium Ion Batteries
Just about every electronic device we own has Lithium Ion batteries inside. These batteries are very good at providing power for a long time and they are rechargeable when they get low. As good as they are, however, they do not last forever and we need to pay attention to them. Two of my devices have recently had failing batteries and that is what prompted this blog.
I have an old iPhone 5s that I keep around, using it like an iPod. It still does just about everything except make phone calls. I picked it up recently and noticed that the screen was separating from the case. My first thought was the glue was failing but after some more thought it dawned on me that this was most likely caused by a failing battery. Failing batteries can swell and that swelling could cause the display to separate from the case. Should the battery swell to the point of breaking open then very bad things can happen so care needs to be taken to avoid this.
My MacBook Pro is 8 years old and about 5 years ago I had the battery replaced under warranty. For the past year plus the on board diagnostics have warned me that the battery was failing again and it should be replaced. Since I usually leave my Mac plugged in, I was not worried about a reduced battery life, but that was a mistake. Recently I noticed that the aluminum case was bulging on the bottom and that finally got me to take notice and get this fixed. With the new battery I noticed that the trackpad button works like it did when new. I have long had a problem with pressing the trackpad and I know now this was due to the swelling in the battery as it sits right below the trackpad.
Swelling batteries are a sign of problems and should not be ignored. Apple has a good track record of battery safety, but ignoring signs like swelling could lead to a bad outcome. The article below has some information on batteries.