back to article Apple seeks cure for iPhone battery woes

Stung by a torrent of complaints about its iPhone 3.1 OS update, Apple has contacted some affected users and asked them for their help in tracking down one of its many problems: poor battery life. As we reported last week, Apple's discussion boards - among other websites - have been alive with posts from users who have …

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Jobs Halo

IDrain

In my experience, the big drains are...

Push Notifications

Email accounts which are failing to send/receive.

For example, many ISPs (e.g. Virgin) do not allow use of their mail server from other domains.

Mail.app on the iphone seems to persistently silently attempt and fail to connect to the mail servers, and battery life is terrible.

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Stop Locking The Battery In

And give users the chance to upgrade the batteries without the AppleTax.

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Jobs Horns

Lets count the fanbois that post

'nuff Said

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Flame

Useless Push

Mine was positively drinking the battery (like it was lasting four hours) until I disabled push notifications. You have to disable them once overall and once per email account.

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Anonymous Coward

re the retro brick

Seems like it took 20 years to get across the pond; a site agent at a job in broadgate, city of london in 2004 had something like the retrobrick. He needed a labourer to fetch it, plus base station or whatever the fuck it was, in from his car. We all knew it would never catch on...

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Heart

its clearly not just since the release of OS3.1

the battery performance has been weak on the 3GS from the outset. primarily this seems to be down to screen illumination time (mine is turned down pretty low now) but massively exacerbated by network activity, and in the extreme by gps map usage. using the phone constantly as a satnav can drain it in 2 hours...

these days, with location off, 3g off, push mail off and low to average activity i will get 2 days standby & 5-6 hours screen usage. however, standby seems to basically use almost no power at all and therefore you still only ever get 5-6 hours usage in a short space of time. ie. one busy morning on the screen and you're f***ed...

if anyone was just using it as a phone then i'm sure the battery would be fine, but its not, its a handheld computer by any definition and its battery should be able to last to allow it to be used as such..

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Paris Hilton

@mosh Jahan

While i am no apple fanboi, what other phone gives the same overall user experience?

A you have a list of phones you have used in the last year on a regular basis (if that in itself isn’t a contradictory statement) then please advise.

A phone having a good review isn’t enough! I have contracted to a number of phones over the years on the basis of good reviews, a quick play and peer feedback and all of them seem to lack many features or do not pull the whole package together.

Don’t get me wrong, the iphone has a number of flaws too, not least reception, battery life and onerous contracts. Again, Nokia, Moto etc have all been in the game a long time.... and still they have their issues.

Paris, as i bet she offers a good user experience.....

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Troll

@Mosh Jahan - I smell a troll

"Decades old functions like copy and paste" - in a phone? Name a 1999 phone that had functionality that _needed_ copy and paste. SMS only appeared in 1997 for christs sake...

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Anonymous Coward

@Mosh Jahan

"There are other phones that do everything the Iphone does and do it better."

Ah yes thats true. BUT they don´t have a shiny aPPle logo, now do they?

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Please don't fix this !

The 4 o'clock mass whine "has anyone got a charger ?" is a highpoint of my (admittedly crap day)

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FAIL

Please please please.....

...With all these negative issues re battery life/changing etc, tell me, what it is that the wonderful iPhone does that other phones can't..... (apart from "looking good and being a catwalk phone").

My SE C903 is great, has a very long battery life, a battery you can replace, and it isn't even touch screen, yet provides me with seemingly all the features like an iPhone, and i'm not locked into some silly £45/month contract for 2 years.

And no, i'm not interested in the glut of pointless iPhone apps on the store.

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Megaphone

I have SERIOUS clue for Apple...

Don't know where to send this, but I can say that my iPhone is now generating more radio interference with my non-iPhone compatible speaker/dock combo than it used to, just since the 3.1 upgrade. It is very noticeable, and makes me think it is doing a fair amount more transmitting and/or seeking the mobile cell. And my battery life is definately gone south.

@Mosh - there are other touchscreen phones, but they are mostly infected with a terrible mobile phone disease called A STYLUS. Any touchscreen phone that uses a stylus to write on a tiny 3" screen is, unfortunately, light-years behind Apple in UI design...

Shouty icon, because my speakers are killing my ears when I plug the iPhone in lately...

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@Mosh Jahan

"There are other phones that do everything the Iphone does and do it better."

Such as?

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Anonymous Coward

@John Finlay, @Mosh Jahan

John:

"using the phone constantly as a satnav can drain it in 2 hours..."

To be fair, my last phone was an O2 Orbit and on normal use I only needed to charge it every 3-4 days, however as soon as I used it as a GPS unit I got a maximum of 2.5 hours out of a full battery.

Mosh:

Go-on then, educate us with your bountiful knowledge of phones that do everything an iPhone does, but better.

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*snicker*

Battery life? theres an app for that!

hot swappable batteries would make the most sense

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Happy

Each to their own

I like my iphone - but would never ever ever rely on it as my only phone.

The battery life simply doesn't cut it . Like many of my peer group I have a dull phone and a tart phone.

dull phone - E71

tart phone - iphone 3g

The e71 does most of the things the iphone does (objectively) nowhere near as nicely (subjectively). I would be really really sad if I ever had to choose between them.

Personally I reckon the main reason for the crap iphone battery is that it *begs* to be fiddled with.

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Badgers

Same old..

Performance on mine.. I've done the 3.1 upgrade, and nothing's really changed for me.. Still get a few days out of it on a charge (and that's with a fair bit of tapping on apps and such). No coma mode, no connection problems..

Yeah, I know that doesn't mean it doesn't happen, and there are lots of cases in the wild apparently, but just making the point that it's not everyone by a long stretch.

Never had a problem, and it just does what I want. I'm no fanboi, but hey.. It's a phone, and it's one I like.. Politics and comparisons have no real meaning for me (I don't care if my phone is better than yours, and neither do I care if yours is better than mine; it's all opinion, and mine is that I'm happy with what I have).

Now will all detractors just stop badgering (especially the "Well, my phone is X and it's better than your phone that I've never used" ones). Interesting opinions pro and con all welcome, but the signal to noise ratio in here is worse than a whispered conversation in a city centre night club!

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Since...

Since upgrading to 3.1/During Install...

- Phone coma'd during update, managed to fix by updating to Itunes 9 and then restoring the phone, even though I thought I was restoring the new OS went on the phone

- Facebook app crashes all the time/drops saved log in info ( after 3 new installs)

- Get mail alerts, can see the mail and then when clicking to open, it opens the previous mail and then the new one dissapears from the inbox, reappears in 5-10 mins

- Back of the phone gets alot warmer than ever before

- WAY more dropped calls - not cool!

- Backlight refuses to light up when awaking from standby

- Longer time to connect to WIFI then before...

Not so cool really!

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My 2p

@Anon Coward: [For example, many ISPs (e.g. Virgin) do not allow use of their mail server from other domains.]

Erm... try putting your username and password in to the SMTP server settings and you should be absolutely fine. Amazing what happens when you look for an answer. Mine works perfectly with Virgin Media over 3G.

@Juillen 1: Ditto.

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Two phones

I usually sell my old mobile when getting a new one. However, on going for the 3GS, I cannot rely on its battery life when travelling without power for a few days e.g. when camping. Therefore I take my old N73 with me as a backup. This works pretty well and I like having the 3GS as a main phone/pda when out and about from home.

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FAIL

If you can't rely on it ...

Looking at the comments about people having a "backup phone." If you can't rely on it to do the primary thing a phone does (such as make calls), shouldn't that lead to an obvious conclusion?

My first touchscreen smartphone was the Samsung SCH-i730 back in June 2005. Windows Mobile, touch screen, hardware keyboard, WiFi and cellular networking, terminal apps to dial into *nix systems, tethering to my laptop, removeable batteries, integrated voice recognition for dialing and applications, and, of course, copy/paste. If only I hadn't dropped it so many times, I'd still be using it.

My current touchscreen, the HTC Tilt, has a finger-friendly touchscreen (lost the stylus months ago), decent battery life (full day of talking, email synchronizing, web surfing), tethering via USB or BlueTooth, plus all the aforementioned "features," including copy/paste.

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Jobs Horns

One thing Nokia do well...

... is battery life.

Nokia N95 8Gb with 18 month old battery still goes a week inbetween charges with maybe 2 to 3 hours call usage in that time.

I have friends with iPhones who look at it with admiration and wonder on how such a phone manages such an amazing feat as if its technology from the future.

Because it was designed by someone who actually knows something about phones and not just how to make something look pretty might just have something to do with it...

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@Roger Garner

Yes, though you do have to keep taking said battery in and out to forcibly reboot it due to it running out of memory every 5 minutes, despite the fact that absolutely nothing is running, the internet cache in empty, you've emptied your inbox/archives/sent message folder...

I was glad to take my sim out of my N95 and put it in my iphone - and I've never looked back!

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