Apple fast tracks efforts to address battery concerns following iPhone OS 3.1 update

Mon, Sep 21, 2009


In the wake of Apple’s recent iPhone OS 3.1 update, a number of users are reporting noticeable and significant drops in battery life.  One of the more recent complaints on an Apple discussion board on the topic writes that “the phone is using 10-12% of the battery every hour of standby.”  Yikes.

In response to a flood of complaints, Apple is reportedly contacting a number of message board posters and asking them a series of 11 questions which focus on aspects of iPhone usage that tend to be at the root of most battery related problems – such as push email, WiFi, and bluetooth connectivity.  One question in particular asks, ““When you notice a power drop, does it seem to be a legitimate power drop, or rather an issue with the battery icon indicator?”

The iPhoneBlog reports further:

The note also contains an attachment which, when double-clicked, installs what looks like an unsigned profile, similar to what is provided (in signed form) by developers using Ad Hoc provisioning for beta testing… This profile enables Battery Life Logging on the iPhone.

Once enabled, the iPhone will sync power logs back via iTunes, and they ask that those logs be sent back to Apple. (Due to the size of the logs, they recommend users not go for a few days without syncing, and provide instructions on turning off Battery Life Logging once the information has been accumulated.

One thing that I’ve noticed about battery life with the new OS update is that it tends to be inconsistent.  Just the other day, for example, I finished watching a video and was prompted with a notice that I only had 20% of battery life remaining.  Naturally, the battery icon was almost empty save for a few precious red pixels.  I soon turned off the video and switched it up with some podcast listening.  After 30 minutes of play, I checked my battery life with a specialized app and it was back up to 45%.  Moreover, half of the battery icon was now filled with reassuring green.  What gives?  And soon thereafter it was back at 20%, so who knows what the heck is going on, but hopefully Apple can come up with a fix soon.



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