Saturday, October 29, 2011

iPhone 4S Poor Battery Life and Other Issues

The new iPhone 4S may be the best iPhone ever, with twice the CPU power and 7x faster GPU, but lots of users are finding a very annoying drawback: the iPhone 4S battery life took a severe hit, and can't even last a single day.

That's something I unfortunately found out as well. With the iPhone 4 I could go on from 7AM to the end of my day without worrying about it; even with more than moderate use I usually ended up the day having well over 20% battery left.

With the iPhone 4S, things are quite different: and not long after lunch my battery is already entering the dreaded "red zone" - forcing me to recharge my iPhone 4S whether I want it or not. And while that's no "biggie" for most of my days, things will be a lot harder whenever I'm away, far from a power supply.

That's something I was used to face with big powerful Android devices, which sometimes can "drain" all the battery due to misbehaving rogue Apps and background services - but that Apple proudly "solved" by limiting the amount of backgrounding Apps can do.

Even though there's a new notification center; the number of notifications popping up is exactly the same as before - so it shouldn't be attributed to that either.

My guess is that it has something to do with the new iCloud syncing stuff... and I hope Apple can find it and fix it soon. Fortunately, it looks like Apple is actively looking into it, and I hope we can soon have a fix, delivered via the new Over-the-air update method.

Also, we desperatly need a way to set the timing for those automatic iCloud backups - it makes no sense for my iPhone 4S to start backing up in the middle of the day while I forcefully have to recharge it at work - and using up amost of the available bandwidth(!) - or at some public place or friend's home. I want to be able to set it so it syncs only during a preset alloted time (say, from 2AM to 6AM)... and also the chance to limit it to just a list of allowed hotspots (so I can safely charge it at a Hotel, for example, without incurring in extra costs paid for WiFi use!)

There are also major bugs in the contacts section and Siri. For instance, after setting my "home" address, Siri works fine, setting reminders for when I get home... But then, a few days later it says it can't do it anymore because I have no "home address" set - and, without doing anything at all, it then starts working again the next day... So... what's up with that?
One friend of mine couldn't make it work at all, and had to resort to creating a different contact, called "master", with the exact same address it uses in his own contact info: and while Siri can't find his home address, it works fine when using the "master's home" address... Weird.

And while we're at it: it's also strange that Apple's own App store App works so badly! Besides not being actively notified of updates (why doesn't Apple use push notifications for it?), the badge count is often off: showing updates that were already installed, showing up blank pages, and lots other glitches that users shouldn't have to endure - particularly in one of the most "visible" and important App in the entire iOS ecosystem.

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