Posts tagged “Battery

Apple Phone Slowdown Explained

It’s never a good thing to suspect that a company, especially one as large, controlling and expansive as Apple, could be doing something nefarious.  This certainly is not the case, Apple is not doing anything to make consumers purchase new devices or give up on their old ones.  However, what they did do, in traditional Apple fashion, is lack tact in delivering information to consumers, who just so happen to be the ones making them billions.


What is happening?

Over time lithium-ion batteries degrade.  It has become common knowledge that your smartphone battery (any rechargeable battery for that fact) will hold less and less change as it only has a lifetime of so many charge cycles.  With that being said, given the fact that your smartphone battery has limited life, develops wear and tear and will hold less and less charge over time it might make sense to slow an older phone down, right?  Smartphone apps are not getting any less demanding nor are the mobile operating systems that contain them.

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Due to the systems and applications that are on our mobile computers needing such power, they simply strain the battery too much for them to remain properly functional, meaning that Apple will throttle the performance of your CPU when it detects that the battery has a certain level of wear.  When CPU spikes occur, sometimes we feel our phones getting hot (it simply means that it’s working hard under load); however, when you’re dealing with sensitive internals of a device — if your battery already a tremendous amount of wear, spike after spike of the CPU could have your device shutting off because it simply cannot handle the operations (we’ve seen this on iPhone 6), have it’s battery life plummet or worse, mechanical failure of the internal components. Users noted that after they got a battery replacement on their device it seemed to function normally presumably because no throttling was needed at that point because the battery in the device was of good integrity.

Remember the Galaxy Note 7?  You don’t want mechanical failures like that in your precious iPhone.


Apple’s Response

Since the fallout, Apple has publicly acknowledged that this was happening and reportedly has been occurring since the iOS 10.2.1 update when it was noted that the iPhone 6 battery issues had been resolved.  This comes as somewhat of a surprise to Apple loyalists when some enthusiasts have been suspecting Apple of “planned obsolescence” or intentional slowdown of older devices in order to get the user to purchase a new one.  Additionally, Apple has noted that a future software update will give users insight into the health of their battery, this will come in early 2018.


My unbiased opinion

The issue that I have is that Apple did not tell customers that this CPU throttling was happening and honestly, they have a right to know, especially with newer phones costing $1000 and more.  Don’t just sit back and apologize for Apple (or any technological company) over and over again when they make a mistake — this is wrong and cowardly when you hold such a compelling grip on your customers and can lead to consumer backlash.  Perhaps that’s exactly what the company needs to stop being so secretive and oftentimes ignoring what their customers want and think.

Battery and Charging Issues in 2016

On the iOS side people complain that iPhone charges too slow — on the Android side the phones don’t charge fast enough, although we have “fast charging”, “dash charge” and more.  As usual, I say in instead of making phones charge faster than they should.. How about us maximize battery life and stop having rogue apps that utilize too many CPU cycles and exhaust system resources?  

All in all, battery technology has gone nowhere — fast.  Batteries have been getting bigger, but they still seem to drain and drain.  On the Android side Google has done a few things to try to make battery life suck a little less, such a Doze, which turns on when the phone is laying down or is in your pocket and helps to reduce the number of processes that are running that can drain your battery in the background.  But when you think about it, apps should occupy less space in RAM the longer that it remains unused, so it is certainly two sides to the coin here one side that raises into question the quality of the apps that are installed on the device.

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Example of an iPhone charging.

So, since our batteries seem to deplete so quick in this world, where we cannot manage to put our devices down for a moment, we invent quick charge “standards” — I use the term standard very loosely because NOTHING has been set in place by Google to be followed, which leaves these well-intentioned, but poorly executed plans laid out by OEMs to destroy devices left and right.  So what do we have on the Android side?  As mentioned above: fast, dash, rapid, turbo and quick — all are a different means to the same end.  (a full breakdown of these technologies can be found here: http://www.androidpolice.com/2015/06/12/quick-rapid-turbo-and-fast-charging-explained-what-you-need-to-know-about-charging-your-smartphone/).

Bottom line: Google and Apple, let’s tailor these mobile operating systems to run as efficiently as possible and last well throughout the day.  I will note that typically iPhones and the latest Android devices running more up to date versions of Android have no problems getting through a full day under normal usage.

Battery Technology

Smartphones have become almost a necessity in this fast-paced, technology driven world that we are in.  Coming in a variety of screen sizes, storage capacities and shapes it is almost a smartphone for everyone.  Then you have your choice between Android and iOS devices, that is another argument altogether.

Let’s start off with the thing that you look at, the screen.  The display on a smartphone is the main component that drains battery life and it seems that every manufacturer places a “retina” display or Full HD display in their device.  Meanwhile, this is retaining the same battery technology from yesteryear.  In fact, there are rumors that Samsung is working to produce a 4K resolution handset.

That’s right 4K.

There is not even a significant amount of people who actually own 4K televisions, so where would you enjoy the content that you caputure from the 4K camera that will also be smashed into the device?  Only on your device.

Next, let’s break down processors that get faster and faster every year.  My first Android device, which was a Motorola Droid X, has a 1 GHz single-core processor — my current device, Nexus 4, is running a quad-core processor.  Although, mobile processors have advanced significantly over the years with battery saving technology built in — it still misses the point.  A bigger and better battery is still needed to push our devices with these larger screens containing more pixels all day.

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There is no one person that I know, who is a smartphone owner, that does not either have a car charger or have the need to charge their phone at some point throughout the day.  Owning the Nexus 4 has been great because I can go all day without charges; however, many suffer throughout their days with their phones almost always needing to be tied to a power outlet.

Bottom line:  Given the above information is factual, it appears that the technology placed in batteries needs to advance more along with the components that they are powering.  With a majority of high-end Android devices having 1080p screens, better batteries are a must to keep their owners content and the device being used to it’s full potential in many situations (eg. Until the device owner goes to bed).