#batteries

Scotty Loveless:

One thing I found in my Genius Bar experience is that people that are anxious about their iOS device battery life are constantly checking it to see the percentage and how much it has dropped from the last time they checked it. So if you check your device twice as much, simply to check on the battery life, you are essentially halving the time your device will last.

Stop freaking out and enjoy your life. There are more important things to worry about than your device’s battery life. The control freak inside you might freak out the first few days you do this, but you’ll get used to it.

I’m a much happier person since I turned off the battery percentage indicator. Also, it looks like iOS 8 is going to go a long way towards alleviating the (major) battery woes of iOS 7 — but these are all still great tips.

The All-Day Battery

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.

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Nilay Patel reviewing the new 13-inch MacBook Air:

13 hours and 29 minutes. That’s all you really need to know — that’s how long the new MacBook Air running Safari lasted running The Verge Battery Test, which cycles through a series of websites and images at 65 percent brightness. Run time in Chrome was shorter, at 11 hours and 29 minutes, but both are still ridiculously impressive. In fact, it’s the record for a laptop running our test without an external battery.

A few of my own thoughts:

1) Wow.

2) And this is running OS X Mountain Lion — OS X Mavericks is supposed to come with even more battery optimizations when it ships in the fall. That’s scary to think about.

3) I’ve noticed this about Safari versus Chrome as well on my laptops. No idea why that is.

Mikey Campbell of AppleInsider looks at a newly-unveiled patent filed by Apple:

Instead of sourcing power from a stationary dock, Apple’s invention calls for a tablet case, or more specifically an iPad Smart Cover, to hold the inductive power transmitter. In some embodiments, an internal battery is disposed within the case, basically creating an “on-the-go” wireless charger.

That’s a good idea. Hope it happens.

really-shit

really-shit:

Imagine a world where your iPhone, car or any electronic device charges fully in 30 seconds to a minute. Well, that world has arrived. 

Scientists at UCLA have accidentally found the future of batteries and its very exciting. Watch this short little clip & be amazed.

Awesome. While everyone has been focusing on extending battery life, these guys may have alleviated the core problem from the other side. If you can charge your phone in a minute and have that charge last for hours, I’m sold.

Also, see: previous post.

Googler Jed Christiansen takes issue with my previous post about battery life. As he writes:

MG comes across as an Silicon-Valley-centric arrogant jerk saying that “battery technology is really ripe for disruption.”  It implies that all he needs to do is call attention to this problem, and two hackers in a garage will start experimenting and build a battery that’s better than anything else on the market.  The reasons improving battery technology is tough is because the chemistry and material science problems are orthogonal; the work isn’t x*2, it’s x^2.  Even once you’ve solved the key problems, manufacturing at the scale required for specific use cases becomes a third problem, since it forces a re-evaluation (and sometimes a complete re-design) of the original chemistry and material science problems.

Ad hominem aside, it’s a fair point. But I also don’t claim to know how to solve the problem, nor am I arrogant enough to think a short post on my blog will lead to a solution. I’m simply pointing out the obvious: that this is a major problem. And it’s going to get worse.

Obviously, a lot of people are working on this problem. And many are doing good work, no doubt. But I still hold out hope that there’s something out there right now that no one has thought of yet that will completely change everything in the space. True disruptions are never obvious. And it’s foolish to brush the possibility aside. Then again, that mentality often opens the door to disruption…

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes:

Between the release of the iPad 2 last year and the announcement of the new iPad yesterday, Apple has nearly doubled the capacity of the battery, taking it from 25Wh to a massive 42Wh. Measured in milliamps this boosts the battery from 6944 mAh to a monstrous 11,666 mAh.

That’s a massive, massive jump in the same basic space (ever-so-slightly bigger). This is perhaps the most significant thing only briefly mentioned yesterday because the ramifications are huge for many other products.

As John Brownlee notes:

That means that Apple’s work in battery density is not only going to open the door to an LTE iPhone 5, but could give us all-day MacBooks sooner rather than later.

During the keynote, I noted that I remembered the days when my laptop battery would give out before an Apple keynote was over. It was only a few years ago. Yesterday, by the end of the event, my MacBook Air was at 65%. What if Apple is close to a 20-hour laptop?