iPhone 4: A Personal 24 Hours of Woe
I recently left the nest of my family’s family plan, branched away from my Droid and saddled up with AT&T for 2 years to get the iPhone 4. It’s really a beautiful smart phone. It does everything it’s supposed to, and no, I don’t have death grip issues. But for the last 24 hours battery life has been abysmal. Read on for the details…
I wonder: Have I purchased a lemon from Apple?
I’ve had an iPod touch and I have an iPad, so I’m fairly familiar with how battery life should be on these little gizmos. The iPad works as 10 hours advertised plus more, and even my first generation iPod touch could go a solid two days on a charge towards the end of its life.
The first couple Google searches into why my iPhone 4’s battery life was dropping — visibly while playing with it — suggested I just return the darn thing and request a replacement device. The ‘issue’ is common enough, and Apple has been willing to swap them out.
But I’m not about to make that drive to the Apple store. So I dug deeper.
It’s Not The Phone, It’s The Apps
Naturally, I shut off WiFi. I figured that was causing the majority of the drain.
Then, the first thing I stumbled upon was a few forums saying that GMail, Push and Google Sync over Exchange are the real trouble makers and that Google’s Push service ping the phone too much. I turned off Push for an hour on my phone. Percentage points were still dropping.
But web forums are equally loaded with people saying the real culprit is iPhone 4’s multitasking feature. Apparently, if you never tell an App to stop running, it literally will just hang out waiting for you to come back. You can ‘end’ apps manually inside iOS 4’s multi-tasker menu to make sure they’re not running. I did that. My battery was still dropping. I kept watch over it with the Notes App:
- 2:23PM 75% (The phone was unplugged at 11AM, and I used it for nothing more than a few emails, downloading one app, and checking the weather.)
- 2:42PM 74% (20 minutes have gone by, the phone is in standby and I lose an entire percentage point?)
- 2:51 PM 73%
- 3:32 PM 64%
- 4:25 PM 61%
- 4:55 PM 59%
- 5:16 PM 58%
- 6:36 PM 43% (After a half-hour use of XM Radio, at the time of writing this article)
It’s Not the Apps, It’s Apple
There are claims that Apple’s 4.01 software update is the culprit, but I’m not so sure. However, I’d truly like this to simply be a software glitch. The next step for me is to completely restore the iPhone 4 back to factory settings and re-sync all my apps. I have a sneaking suspicion that because of a canceled sync, there could be something floating around running while it shouldn’t. I have reset the phone a few times to see if that’s the issue, but it doesn’t seem like that’s done much of anything.
Lastly, I’ve found in my house that 3G service is poor, but EDGE service is stellar. I’ve switched off 3G in hopes that poor service was just eating my battery. I’ll report back with what I find.
But please, Dear Reader, tell me what you’ve experienced. What works, what doesn’t? My iPhone 4 battery life hangs in the balance.