After fully charging my Pre, the battery died at around 2pm today, 21 hours after the test started. That is a far cry from the 2.5 days that the BlackBerry Storm2 is getting. I’m going to charge the phone up again, and will re-run the test starting at 5pm this evening with W-Fi turned off and see how things go.
I’ve been a fan of Palm’s PDAs and smartphones for some 11 years now. I have a love/hate relationship with my Sprint edition Palm Pre. webOS is an amazing little OS that works well. The one feature that I love the most is Synergy. The ability for webOS to sync all of my cloud (aka Internet) accounts and present that information in a single unified spot is niffy indeed.
But I hate the battery performance of my phone. I can barely get 24 hours on a single charge with minimal calls and surfing. I have my Pre with me all the time, but I use is sparingly to make sure that I can make it through my day on a full charge. Conversely, my Verizon BlackBerry Storm2, which gets used about the same as my Pre, can easily go 2.5 days without me having to worry about recharging the device.
On the Pre, I keep features that I don’t need that drain the battery turned off. This includes the GPS and Wi-Fi radios. I even keep the screen brightness down around 25-30%.
Earlier this week, I read an interesting data point on PreCentral that reads:
“Turn Wi-Fi on and leave it on. Seriously. Unless you’re someplace where there’s positively not a Wi-Fi network to which you can connect, leave Wi-Fi on. The Wi-Fi radio in all webOS phones (with the exception of the Wi-Fi-less Sprint Pixi) is notably more power efficient than the cellular radio, so whenever possible use Wi-Fi instead. Plus, if you’re on a metered data plan, you can save your bytes for later.”
That statement runs counter to what I’ve always practiced with my Treo smartphones. For more than a year, I’ve left Wi-Fi off on my Pre, and only configured one of many email and social media account to sync at an interval of less than 1 hour. There is something to consider about the PreCentral article and that is that if you have apps that poll the Internet for information, the Wi-Fi radio really might be more efficient than the cellular radio.
I want to test this notion out, so all this week, I’m going to leave Bluetooth on as I always do (for handsfree driving), and turning Wi-Fi on. I also have GPS enabled so that when I take a photo, it is “geotagged” for use in iPhoto. (That is a really cool feature, if you have iPhoto ’09 and a GPS enabled smartphone or camera.)
I’ll post my results over the coming days. If I find that the battery life is good, then I may start turning on more frequent email and social media updates so I can get information more timely.
I just finished watching the Apple steaming video from the July 16th press event to discuss the whirling controversy around the iPhone 4’s antenna issue. You can watch the 30 minute video on Apple’s website. I’ve waited over a week for the presentation to be posted as a podcast, however, it hasn’t gone up yet, which leads me to believe that this video will disappear from the web soon. (Maybe around Sept 30, when the free bumper case offer expires.)
The Facts According to Apple, AT&T
Apple’s assertion that the “death grip” issue is a problem on all smartphones, not just the iPhone 4. Mr. Jobs suggests that the loss of signal, or “bars”, was more noticeable because of the two slits on the lower left and right sides of the iPhone 4.
Mr. Jobs also said that Apple takes these issues seriously and that they, “care about every user,” and that they “love our users.” During the presentation, Apple uncharacteristically came clean with some hard numbers based on the data that they have. Apple also released the delta change between early iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 dropped call statistics per 100 calls.
To help address the issue of signal strength, Apple also released the iOS 4.0.1 update on July 15th. The update is free to all iPhone OS 4 users and anyone using an iPhone 3 or iPhone 3GS. The iOS 4.0 software will not run on the original iPhone, also known as the iPhone 2G. The software update is available for download via iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC.
Making Sure Customers Are Happy
Even though Mr. Jobs’ assertion is that this is not the major customer problem that some technology blogs are making it out to be, Apple wants to “take care of everyone” by giving all iPhone 4 customers a free case. If they have already purchased an Apple iPhone 4 bumper case, the company will automatically refund your money. If you still don’t like the iPhone 4 or feel that the antenna issue is a big problem for you, you can bring the phone back to an Apple or AT&T store for a full refund. No restocking fees. A full refund. No questions asked. The iPhone must be in good working condition and you have 30 days to return the phone from the day if shipped from Apple or you purchased it from an AT&T store.
I’m glad to see Apple stepping up to the plate to offer free cases to every iPhone 4 owner and anyone who purchases an iPhone 4 until September 30th.
My personal feeling is that yes there is a problem, but it isn’t as big as you may be lead to believe by the media. For me, I’m satisfied with the outcome, but then again I don’t own an iPhone 4. I plan on waiting until I can get one on the Sprint network.
Apple has released a minor update to their iBooks application, 1.1.2. From what I can tell, the update has been released to address an issue that some customers were having installing the iBooks 1.1.1 update that was released just a few days ago.
You can download and install iBooks 1.1.2 on your iPad with iOS 3.2 and iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 4.0 or later installed. Hit the App Store icon on your iDevice or use the iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC to download the update.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve finally received my upgrade noticed for the MR4 Android update for my Verizon HTC Droid Eries. Android Central reported that the update began to trickle out to customers starting last week.
MR4 is a maintenance release that addresses the “silent call” issues with the Eris and other minor fixes. The update weighs in at just under 13MB and will take about 30 minutes to install on your device from the time you start the download to the time you finish installing the update.
You can check for the update by going to Settings > About Phone > System updates.
Apple has released updates to iTunes 9.2.1 and iBooks 1.1.1 today.
iTunes 9.2.1, available for Mac OS X and Windows PCs, is mostly a maintenance update that addresses bug fixes, performance issues, and will disable “older versions of some incompatible third-party [iTunes] plug-ins.”
I don’t use any plug-ins with iTunes, but if you do, you’ll want to double-check yours for iTunes 9.2.1 compatibility before applying this update.
iTunes 9.2.1 is available for download on Mac OS X and Windows PCs from the Apple Software Update control panel.
iBooks 1.1.1 for iPad, iOS 4 Devices
The iBooks update adds some nice features to Apple’s ebook reader. This update includes improved support for books and PDF files with images and adds support for books and documents with audio and video content, as well as additional performance tweaks and bug fixes.
You can download the iBooks update directly to your iPad or iOS 4 device by using App Store on the device or by downloading the update from iTunes and syncing it over to your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.
Amid the iOS 4.0.1 update hoopla yesterday, Apple also released iOS 3.2.1 for the iPad. I installed the iOS 3.2.1 on my 32GB Apple iPad this morning. The whole affair took about 20 minutes to download and install the software on my iPad.
The big fix in iOS 3.2.1 is to address the Wi-Fi connectivity issues that some people have been having since the Wi-Fi only model went on sale earlier this year. I’ve run into this problem once or twice since April 3rd when I picked up my iPad on launch day.
Unlike app updates, you will need to download iOS 3.2.1 by connecting your iPad to a Mac or PC and syncing it with iTunes 9.2. I had to select my iPad in the source pane and then click the “Check for Update” button.
The upgrade was painless, and I would expect nothing less from Apple. Using my upgraded iPad at work and at home, I did not notice any real differences between iOS 3.2 and 3.2.1; but then again I didn’t have the Wi-Fi issue at the house or office.