Basically, every day is the same. I wake up, I get ready for the day, I grab my phone, I grab my Mophie, and I’m off. About halfway through the day, my phone dies and my Mophie saves me. I get home and I charge both devices to get ready for the next day.
First of all, it’s ridiculous that Apple isn’t in this business themselves. I know that they want to portray the notion that the iPhone battery is “good enough”, but it’s not. I’m not saying it’s bad. It’s just not adequate for a full day of usage for many people. And I’m not sure what’s so wrong with admitting that and offering solutions to “power users”.
And, of course, it’s hardly just Apple. Basically every smartphone aside from a few which are mediocre devices, lacks a battery that is adequate for the modern needs of a power user. Just amongst my friends (again, mainly power users), roughly half seem to carry around a battery charger on most days.
Battery technology is progressing much more slowly than all of us would like. But I have to believe that at some point in the next five years, we’ll get to a place where we really can use our phones all day without worrying about recharging.1
Many of us recall the days where laptop batteries only lasted three hours on a good day. Now, the battery on my MacBook Pro (with a retina display, no less) lasts a solid seven hours. That’s more than a 2x improvement in just a few years — while at the same time, these devices have continued to get smaller.
The situation is even better with tablets. My iPad lasts well over ten hours between charges. If we could get such juice out of a smartphone battery, we’d be set. Maybe an iPhone with a larger screen would have another advantage beyond the obvious…
The forthcoming issue I see is that all users are set to be “power users”. That is, everyone with a smartphone will continue to use it more and more to the point where a battery that is “good enough” becomes something significantly less than that. These regular users will start to worry each day before they leave the house about where and when they can recharge mid-day.
I just wonder if that will happen faster than the incremental improvements in battery life. My guess is yes.
One day, I know this won’t be an issue. I’m not entirely sure how it won’t be an issue 2, but I just know it won’t be. It’s one of those things that is too much of a pain for it not to be alleviated.
Until then, I leave my house each day with this lingering fear that my phone may die and I’ll be stranded. It’s unfounded on a day to day basis, perhaps. But on certain days, when I’m far from home, it is a real issue. And I dream of the day that I don’t have to worry about it anymore.
The Amazon Kindle and Fitbit Force are two devices I currently use regularly where I don’t have to worry too much about their battery levels. Both seem to last for well over a week on a single charge with regular-to-heavy use — which is fantastic. ↩
Wireless power? Some new battery technology? A new low-power screen technology? Better power management through software? Simply larger phones? Some combination of all of those? ↩