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  • Apple Investigating iPhone 3.1 Battery Life Problem

    image via Spaziocellulare News Magazine

    Facing an avalanche of customer complaints about poor battery life in iPhones that are running the 3.1 firmware release, Apple Support has sent a selected group of users a profile enabling a power-logging mode, and has disseminated an 11-item questionnaire, including questions about email use as well as the frequency with which WiFi and Bluetooth are enabled.

    The Battery Life Logging mode apparently writes to the user area of the phone's flash, as the test users are instructed not to sync for a few days while gathering data. They are also asked to disable the mode once the testing is complete, presumably to avoid flash overrun due to the growth of the log files.

    The utility is enabled by an unsigned profile that was sent to a number of users who had reported the issue on Apple's support forum, and is accompanied bu a questionnaire that asks questions like “When you notice a power drop, does it seem to be a legitimate power drop, or rather an issue with the battery icon indicator?”

    An iPhone repair technician interviewed by Computeworld noted that "the processor in the iPhone 3GS can use 50% more power in some situations than its predecessor." Aaron Vronko of Rapid Repair theorized "that Apple missed some key interactions between the iPhone's software and the processor in the last update that causes it to over-utilize the CPU, especially since [the complaints] came after the software update."

    One would hope that a fix, once found, will be incorporated into the release scheduled for September 25 that will enable MMS messaging on all iPhones. Complaints about short battery life began with release 3.0, and reached a crescendo with the current release.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Investigating iPhone 3.1 Battery Life Problem started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 66 Comments
    1. adp's Avatar
      adp -
      One of many reasons why I will not upgrade to 3.1 (yet)
    1. pbutta67's Avatar
      pbutta67 -
      thought i was the only one
    1. The Maestro's Avatar
      The Maestro -
      I don't know if I'm the only one but my 3GS is out of wack The battery jumps up and down all day I never know what's in it
    1. ReplySF's Avatar
      ReplySF -
      Quote Originally Posted by The Maestro View Post
      I don't know if I'm the only one but my 3GS is out of wack The battery jumps up and down all day I never know what's in it
      I've heard of that happening. That's why I just got the 3G. I've heard of a bit of errors on the iPhone 3G[S].
    1. onebad7's Avatar
      onebad7 -
      i say complain to apple lets make them let us downgrade
    1. tarekkkkk's Avatar
      tarekkkkk -
      i dont know about u guyz but my 2g is good so far thank you God and im gonna wait about 2 years until i finish my college and boom buy the newest iphone 4GT i just hope my iphone screen keep alive cz it has some weird gray lines increasing every day inside the screen i dont know what to do i asked someone to fixed he told me it will cost 175$ and im studying comunication engineering i can fixed my self i just dont want to open the iphone i will loose my original case quality plus i dont have any warranty well guyz just wish me luck its only 2 years
    1. ReplySF's Avatar
      ReplySF -
      Quote Originally Posted by onebad7 View Post
      i say complain to apple lets make them let us downgrade :
      Lol, true.
    1. Mista Brothason's Avatar
      Mista Brothason -
      I deleted all the lil daemons running in the background and my battery is great running a full theme too with many mobilesubstrate plugins
    1. Silverado87's Avatar
      Silverado87 -
      my battery is just fine. im not jailbroken though. jailbreakers have to deal with mobile substrate and winterboard using up your battery. but ive noticed a significant change if i turn the brightness half way
    1. DMI187's Avatar
      DMI187 -
      It's About Time They Do SomeThing About It
    1. robbyrob's Avatar
      robbyrob -
      Quote Originally Posted by DMI187 View Post
      It's About Time They Do SomeThing About It
      man i thought I was being Bi-Polar again and though it was just me with the battery issue. It seems i was right all along! wow how do like that..
    1. smuggler's Avatar
      smuggler -
      I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything by sticking with 3.0.1, it runs like a champ, and survives a lot of heavy usuage. could be better, but I'll take the battery life sacrifice for better performance
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      I put a call into my contact at Apple about this and other 3.1 issues Yesterday...lets see what they do about this in the end...
    1. iHawk's Avatar
      iHawk -
      "One would hope that a fix, once found, will be incorporated into the release scheduled for September 25 that will enable MMS messaging on all iPhones. Complaints about short battery life began with release 3.0, and reached a crescendo with the current release."

      Since updating originally to 3.0, then 3.0.1, and now 3.1, I have found that the following three native apps do not stop running when you exit them, this is causing at least a portion of the battery life problems:
      Mobile Mail, iPod, and Safari.
      I have sent in numerous "bug reports" to apple about this, hoping that it would have been addressed in the 3.1 release. Obviously it wasn't.
      This is what I have noticed: If I go into the mail app (and it doesn't matter if there is an account setup or not) and then exit, I can set the phone down and come back 5 minutes, 5 hours or 5 days later, and open Free memory app, and guess what is STILL RUNNING? That's right, the mail app. It continues to run in the background. This is a programing problem. And before anyone says "Turn Push off", it is off, and at one point it was off, I had removed all mail accounts, rebooted, opened the mail app to the setup screen and exited. It still continued to run in the background till I manually killed it.
      This is also the same problem with the iPod function, and to a lesser degree, safari. My free memory app will kill safari, but it has trouble with killing the iPod, and will never close the mail app. Frequently I have to open Free Memory and the available RAM is around 1.5- 5.0 MB free. This was not the case before 3.0.

      With the release of 3.1, and the large number of 3G owners complaining about phones freezing up with dark screens, my only guess is that the phone is crashing because it's running out of available memory, especially if 2 or more of these native apps are running in the background and you launch something else that take that last little bit.

      This is just my theory, but it was made with a lot of evidence to support it. I have a couple dozen screen shots of when my free RAM was very low, and in all of those screen shots, at least 2 of those native apps are still running. Someone didn't code the "end application" statement correctly.

      Another App/Service on the iPhone that I find running all the time is BT Server. I can boot the phone with BT off and it's still running in the background. Not just for a minute or 2, but constantly.
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      The issue I am having is that none of the stock apps want to Force Quit anymore. They all run in the background. Mail, iPod, Safari...etc. Now that the Voice Command has been added to the 3GS I cannot force quit them. So I use sbsettings' Processes to kill them. They all come back eventually throughout the day even if I don't activate them.
    1. iHawk's Avatar
      iHawk -
      Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChaos View Post
      The issue I am having is that none of the stock apps want to Force Quit anymore. They all run in the background. Mail, iPod, Safari...etc. Now that the Voice Command has been added to the 3GS I cannot force quit them. So I use sbsettings' Processes to kill them. They all come back eventually throughout the day even if I don't activate them.
      Force quit procedure has changed.

      Hold down the Sleep button till the red slider to power off appears. Then hold down the home button till you return to the springboard.
      yes, it's rather stupid considering how it used to be done, but it had to change so that voice control could use the home button.
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      Quote Originally Posted by iHawk View Post
      Force quit procedure has changed.

      Hold down the Sleep button till the red slider to power off appears. Then hold down the home button till you return to the springboard.
      yes, it's rather stupid considering how it used to be done, but it had to change so that voice control could use the home button.
      Cool thanks for the info! Now if they could do a speech training app for the voice control so it could understand me lol
    1. cying's Avatar
      cying -
      Quote Originally Posted by tarekkkkk View Post
      i dont know about u guyz but my 2g is good so far thank you God and im gonna wait about 2 years until i finish my college and boom buy the newest iphone 4GT i just hope my iphone screen keep alive cz it has some weird gray lines increasing every day inside the screen i dont know what to do i asked someone to fixed he told me it will cost 175$ and im studying comunication engineering i can fixed my self i just dont want to open the iphone i will loose my original case quality plus i dont have any warranty well guyz just wish me luck its only 2 years
      My iPhone was out of warranty and Apple Store will replace the phone with a re-furbished phone no questions asked for $199.
    1. iRockish's Avatar
      iRockish -
      Quote Originally Posted by iHawk View Post
      Since updating originally to 3.0, then 3.0.1, and now 3.1, I have found that the following three native apps do not stop running when you exit them, this is causing at least a portion of the battery life problems:
      Mobile Mail, iPod, and Safari.
      I have sent in numerous "bug reports" to apple about this, hoping that it would have been addressed in the 3.1 release. Obviously it wasn't.
      This is what I have noticed: If I go into the mail app (and it doesn't matter if there is an account setup or not) and then exit, I can set the phone down and come back 5 minutes, 5 hours or 5 days later, and open Free memory app, and guess what is STILL RUNNING? That's right, the mail app. It continues to run in the background. This is a programing problem.

      This is also the same problem with the iPod function, and to a lesser degree, safari. My free memory app will kill safari, but it has trouble with killing the iPod, and will never close the mail app. Frequently I have to open Free Memory and the available RAM is around 1.5- 5.0 MB free. This was not the case before 3.0.

      This is just my theory, but it was made with a lot of evidence to support it. I have a couple dozen screen shots of when my free RAM was very low, and in all of those screen shots, at least 2 of those native apps are still running. Someone didn't code the "end application" statement correctly.

      Another App/Service on the iPhone that I find running all the time is BT Server. I can boot the phone with BT off and it's still running in the background. Not just for a minute or 2, but constantly.
      Mail, iPod, Phone, and Safari are all native applications and have always ran in the background, nothing new about that
    1. iHawk's Avatar
      iHawk -
      Quote Originally Posted by iRockish View Post
      Mail, iPod, Phone, and Safari are all native applications and have always ran in the background, nothing new about that
      Until 3.0, mine have never run in the background, unless it was purposeful. If I launch the iPod and start playing music, it will continue after I lock the screen. mail will check for new messages if setup for it, but in manual mode, once you exit the app, it should be off. Especially if there is NO ACCOUNT SETUP.
      Safari, as far as I know, should never run in the background. What purpose does that serve? None.
      2of the 3 native apps can run in the background, but only if setup to do so. Otherwise they should shut down just like any other app on the phone. That's the way it worked before 3.0, and that is the way it should work now.