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Apple engineers working with iPhone 4S users to fix battery woes

post #1 of 99
Thread Starter 
Responding to complaints of battery life issues with the iPhone 4S, engineers from Apple are said to have contacted customers directly in an effort to solve any issues.

One user who spoke with the Guardian said that he was contacted by Apple, and was asked to install a monitoring program on his phone. Apple's engineers hope to be able to use the diagnostics to determine what is causing shorter battery life for some users, though the report said the problems are thus far "unexplained."

The person said they were contacted by a senior engineer at Apple who read a post they made online, and indicated that the company was contacting users to resolve the problem. The Apple representative also allegedly admitted that the company isn't "close to finding a fix."

"(He) asked lots of questions about my usage and then asked if he could install the file... and that he would call back the day after to retrieve the info," the person wrote. "I extracted the file from my Mac after a sync and mailed it to him. He was incredibly helpful and apologetic in the typical Apple way!"

Experiences of reduced battery life are supported by a growing thread on the Apple Support Communities website, where numerous users have found they experience significantly less uptime with the iPhone 4S. As of Friday afternoon, the thread as nearly 100,000 views and 1,300 replies.

"Glad to see people are talking about this," user 'telarium' wrote. "My 4S battery life is terrible... even worse than my 3GS, even though all the settings are the same."

Another user, 'Frenzi,' said they found some success by turning off many of the features on the phone, and only gradually re-enabling them as needed. Among the features disabled included sending of diagnostic data to Apple, automatically searching for Wi-Fi connections, automatic date and time, iTunes Ping, and even the Siri "raise to speak" feature. "The improvement has been nothing short of miraculous," they wrote.

Still another user on the Apple Support Communities website, "Snowwolfwarrior," said they spoke with an Apple technician who also gave them special software to install on their iPhone 4S. The software logs all of the usage from the handset over a 24-hour period, after which the user obtains the data and sends it back to the Apple technician.



When it was unveiled earlier this month, Apple claimed that the iPhone 4S had an increased battery talk time of eight hours. But standby battery time, when compared to the previous-generation iPhone 4, is advertised at 100 hours less.

In spite of this, the iPhone 4S does have a slightly larger battery than the iPhone 4, and includes an extra .05WHrs when compared to its predecessor. Apple also limited the amount of RAM in the iPhone 4S to 512MB, in an effort to conserve battery life.

The iPhone 4S includes the same A5 processor found earlier this year in the iPad 2. It is a dual-core chip that runs up to twice as fast as the A4, and includes graphics processing up to seven times faster with the SGX 543MP2 GPU.
post #2 of 99
The original iPhone was crippled by its lack of 3G data. The next two suffered from cases that would randomly crack and screens that would ingress dust. The next couldn't make calls if you held it in your hand and now we have a new one that runs out of juice over a normal day of use.

Will Apple ever make a phone that lives up to the "it just works" slogan?
post #3 of 99
No complaints about battery life with my 4S so far after a couple of weeks. The only thing I turned off was Ping - no particular reason other than I had it off on my 3GS.
post #4 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

The original iPhone was crippled by its lack of 3G data. The next two suffered from cases that would randomly crack and screens that would ingress dust. The next couldn't make calls if you held it in your hand and now we have a new one that runs out of juice over a normal day of use.

Will Apple ever make a phone that lives up to the "it just works" slogan?

I thought we would have gotten a few posts in before someone started with the "Apple sucks" trolling.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #5 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

cases that would randomly crack and screens that would ingress dust.

My son's 3GS case cracked. My 3GS got dust under the screen. We waited until a few days prior to the warranty running out, and we both got brand-new (refurb) iPhones at he Apple Store.
post #6 of 99
Can't imagine what the battery life will be like after they add 4G and enlarge the screen.
post #7 of 99
I turned off the app that sucks the dark matter from the universe and transforms it into electricity. Now my phone is getting much better battery life but scientists are noticing strange sun spot behavior related?
post #8 of 99
I have a battery life issue with my 4S. At 58% and been on wifi all day long. I have about 20 minutes of talk time.
Hard-Core.
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Hard-Core.
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post #9 of 99
with the iPhone 4s or my old iPhone4 I gave my wife. I gave my wife's old 3GS to my daughter to use as an iPod. No problems there either.
post #10 of 99
What's the batter issue ya'll speak of? It's better than my Vibrant...
post #11 of 99
Only if I browse the web does the battery life drops considerably, 4 hours tops is what I can get. Not too different from my old iPhone 3G, maybe an hour less but it is much faster I don't waste any time waiting for it.

iPod nano 5th Gen 8GB Orange, iPad 3rd Gen WiFi 32GB White
MacBook Pro 15" Core i7 2.66GHz 8GB RAM 120GB Intel 320M
Mac mini Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz 8GB RAM, iPhone 5 32GB Black

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iPod nano 5th Gen 8GB Orange, iPad 3rd Gen WiFi 32GB White
MacBook Pro 15" Core i7 2.66GHz 8GB RAM 120GB Intel 320M
Mac mini Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz 8GB RAM, iPhone 5 32GB Black

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post #12 of 99
I don't get it. I do most of what the article suggests anyhow, but get terrific battery life. And I text a lot, have 3 emails accounts, wifi, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Weather, Date/Time, etc. running at all times. I am on Verizon using the 16GB model.

I guess I am one of the lucky ones after reading a lot of these issues.

Best,

Al
MacBook Pro (early 2011)
2.3 GHz, 8 GB ram.
iPod Classic
iPhone 4S
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MacBook Pro (early 2011)
2.3 GHz, 8 GB ram.
iPod Classic
iPhone 4S
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post #13 of 99
I've got not-great battery life, but this is my first iPhone, so I don't have much to compare to... My girlfriend's seems to be worse than mine. Neither of us can comfortably make it through a day. I usually hit ~10% by EOD, and she has to stop using it in the evenings to make it to bedtime, or plugs it in when she gets home... I'm at ~50% at the moment. Charged it overnight last night. Maybe I should get on that Apple forum. I'd be happy to install something that would help them fix the problem.
post #14 of 99
I was initially surprised at the speed with which my battery seemed to originally drain.
I found that a LOT of battery sucking features are enabled by default, and I took the opportunity to go through and disable notifications and location for 90% of my apps (apps, btw, that I didn't WANT broadcasting my location), and that along with a couple of 0% drains seem to have pretty much dealt with the issue. My battery life seems quite good now.

Still, I'll watch this space for more developments. Better can never hurt.
post #15 of 99
No Flash- so what gives? Every iPhone I've ever had only keeps a charge for one day- no different here. Move on.
post #16 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

The original iPhone was crippled by its lack of 3G data. The next two suffered from cases that would randomly crack and screens that would ingress dust. The next couldn't make calls if you held it in your hand and now we have a new one that runs out of juice over a normal day of use.

Will Apple ever make a phone that lives up to the "it just works" slogan?

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #17 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by [Greg] View Post

I've got not-great battery life, but this is my first iPhone, so I don't have much to compare to... My girlfriend's seems to be worse than mine. Neither of us can comfortably make it through a day. I usually hit ~10% by EOD, and she has to stop using it in the evenings to make it to bedtime, or plugs it in when she gets home... I'm at ~50% at the moment. Charged it overnight last night. Maybe I should get on that Apple forum. I'd be happy to install something that would help them fix the problem.

It's possible you have a bad battery or there is something wonky with iOS 5.0, but it could also be the way you are using the device compared to previous dumb and smartphones. You may not even realize that you're using your iPhone a lot more frequently than any previous device which is draining the battery faster.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #18 of 99
Ridiculous. Reading the people with problems, most of them don't understand their settings -such as turning on iCloud which during first backup will use lots of battery as it uploads your data to apple which will use battery on wifi!

Otherwise, people need to stop doing restores and do "setup as new phone"

6 hours since last full charge i am at 77% left with occassionally email etc.

Overnight, lost about 8% charge.

All great to me.
post #19 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by iKol View Post

No Flash- so what gives? Every iPhone I've ever had only keeps a charge for one day- no different here. Move on.

Your trolling is weak. Please, try harder.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #20 of 99
Give us the option to turn-off 3G. This will make a big difference to battery life.

On my iPhone 3G I only turned it on when I needed to surf the web and I wasn't in a wifi hotspot - then turned it off when I finished.

Shouldn't be too difficult...
post #21 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoXoM View Post

Give us the option to turn-off 3G. This will make a big difference to battery life.

On my iPhone 3G I only turned it on when I needed to surf the web and I wasn't in a wifi hotspot - then turned it off when I finished.

Shouldn't be too difficult...

You really need to take the 3G out to the pasture and shoot it.
post #22 of 99
I myself would say hell no if someone contacted me claiming to work for Apple in this sort of situation. It sounds like a great scam for getting folks info.

They have built in diagnostic info already that they can retrieve if you go in for help. Supposedly there is a way they can do it over the phone as well. and it seems more Apple to ask them to go back to the store and trade their bad phone for a new one so the engineers could get the dud in their hands.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #23 of 99
I turned off syncing calendars from iCloud and disabled ping and battery life has increased somewhat. All Apple is going to do is ask them to install the power profile on their phones and return the results.
post #24 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacInsider2 View Post

Ridiculous. Reading the people with problems, most of them don't understand their settings -such as turning on iCloud which during first backup will use lots of battery as it uploads your data to apple which will use battery on wifi!

Otherwise, people need to stop doing restores and do "setup as new phone"
6 hours since last full charge i am at 77% left with occassionally email etc.
Overnight, lost about 8% charge.
All great to me.

Yeah exactly my thoughts. iCloud and Siri alone is probably stealing a great deal of precious CPU cycles. If you turn off all these great features, turn off 3G, turn off Notifications, iCloud, Siri (can you turn her off?), push e-mail, GPS, "find my iPhone" etc.. it'll probaby last for a week on one charge!
The same with the iPad. Turn off all these features and it'll last forever.
post #25 of 99
I've had major problems with my iPhone 4S' battery life, drains about 10% an hour in idle. This morning I dropped 20% in one hour with 45 mins idle and 15 mins light web browsing....

iCloud is turned off and I rarely use Siri, signal was strong the whole time.

Really weird, never had an issue with my 3GS, serious case of buyers remorse right now!
iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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post #26 of 99
When I first got my iPhone 3G, the battery life seemed awful and I panicked and bought one of those external batteries that you can plug in to charge the iPhone's battery, but in 2 1/2 years, I've only used it about five times.

I turned down the brightness, shut off Bluetooth except when I'm in the car and using a headset, shut off notifications, shut off push and shut off location services, except when I'm outside.

I can always go one full day without recharging, sometimes two.

I suspect making the same settings on the iPhone 4 might help.

The other thing I've found (and I found this with traditional phones before I got the iPhone as well) is that in a crowded city like New York, where the phone is always hunting for a cell, battery life is much worse than when I'm "on the road". I'm always amazed how much better the phone works (and the battery lasts) when I'm in other cities, like San Francisco, Chicago or London. (My iPhone works especially great in London...it was like having a new phone.)
post #27 of 99
I had this problem, but it doesn't do it now. It turned out to be a calibration issue for me. I have pretty much every feature you can think of turned on. Bluetooth, Siri, push email, etc. I use them all, so turning them off kind of defeats the purpose, imo.

Anyway, to recalibrate:

1) Drain the battery until the phone shuts off on its own.

2) Charge it non-stop back to 100% (Should take 2 - 3 hrs)

When I first started draining the phone, I was losing about 5-7% per hour in standby. As the battery drained, the rate the percentage was dropping got slower and when it got to 1%, it sat there for almost an hour. Then it finally shut itself off. I recharged back to 100% in one sitting, and now it's got the same or better battery life my 3GS had that I was upgrading from.
post #28 of 99
My 4s battery goes down about 1% per hour on standby, with everything enabled including bluetooth, wifi, notifications and location services. I have my brightness turned all the way up. With regular usage, I'm usually down to 30% at the EOD so a nightly charge is definitely required. But then again, it's always been this way with all the iphones I've owned.

I do suspect something with the ios5 software that's causing some people to experience faster battery drain though. And I think it involves the mail app. The ones who had the battery drain issue that I've troubleshooted for had their mail app stuck on updating. For the most part, deleting the mail accounts, resetting the network settings, then re-adding the accounts fixed the problem.

One one particular iphone I worked on, no matter what I did, the yahoo account was stuck on updating. I finally decided to add an icloud email account to that phone, then yahoo. After that, I deleted the icloud email account and the yahoo was then working normally and the battery drain was fixed.
post #29 of 99
Overall, my iP4S seems to last longer on a single charge than my iP4. Usage has not varied.

My iP4 had the occasional tendency to heat up and lose 90% of charge within 1 hr. This has not happened with the 4S.
post #30 of 99
I noticed some network activity that I couldn't explain, and which was very repetitive, like every other second.
I tracked it down to iCloud documents.
I went into the system settings, iCloud, and unchecked "Document and Data".
my iPhone 4S used to go from 100% at night to around 60% in the morning, and now it's in the 90s.
AND (most of all), the iPhone doesn't send the tcp/ip messages every second on my lan like it used to.
(I tracked it down when I saw connexion logs from ubsd all over the place).

Try it !

(please forward to the apple engineers if you talk to them)
post #31 of 99
I'm sorry, but to those of you who are saying there is no problem, you are wrong. As has been established in numerous threads and even in this article, SOME users are experiencing reduced battery life with the 4S. It's not a matter of how we use it, and it's not because we refuse to put it on the charger when we go to bed at night (in fact my phone is dead or so close to it by 11PM that I don't have a choice). I have actually been using my 4S less than I used my 4 because I worry about the battery dying before I get home from work each day. With the 4, I usually only had to charge it every other day. The drain is happening in standby mode as well. I charged my phone up enough that I could leave it off the charger last night. When I woke up 6.5 hours later, it had drained 18% doing nothing but receiving 5 emails and a text message. That's not my imagination running wild because I'm using the phone more than normal. That's a real problem, as it means I will lose around 48%(!!!) of my battery to standby alone over the course of a 16 hour day.

There is a battery drain problem. It's not affecting everyone. Nobody knows if it's hardware or software related yet (I'm leaning towards software though). But, the people who are affected by this issue have a right to be irritated that the battery is performing well below Apple's specifications. I totally understand that a dual core processor means I'm going to see a small reduction in battery life. However, I should not have to worry about the phone dying before I get home even when I'm hardly using it.

[edit]On the topic of this article, I am thrilled to hear Apple is at least tacitly admitting there is a problem here. I hope they can get a software update out soon![/edit]
post #32 of 99
The first few days my new 4S had HORRIBLE battery life, I needed to recharge mid-day even when it just sat on my desk. Worse than the 3G it replaced and much worse the the 4 has ever been.

Seems to have figured itself out, though: this week battery life has been fantastic. I'm on my third day of charge right now, though I just got the 20% warning.

Battery Break In?
iCloud server overload issues causing phones to over-connect?

Or, the simple answer - I'm using it less.
post #33 of 99
I've had a problem with my iPhone 4 (not the S) since I installed iOS5. I find that I have to significantly curtail the location services and even iCloud. If not, the phone gets very WARM to the touch and the battery gets sucked down in a couple of hours. I was thinking my phone was hosed, but now it appears to be a software problem. I guess that's kinda good news...
post #34 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacInsider2 View Post

You really need to take the 3G out to the pasture and shoot it.

I already have!

I love my new iPhone 4S (big jump from the 3G) but battery life is a big problem at the moment. I'm confident Apple will provide a solution very soon...
post #35 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by palegolas View Post

Yeah exactly my thoughts. iCloud and Siri alone is probably stealing a great deal of precious CPU cycles. If you turn off all these great features, turn off 3G, turn off Notifications, iCloud, Siri (can you turn her off?), push e-mail, GPS, "find my iPhone" etc.. it'll probaby last for a week on one charge!
The same with the iPad. Turn off all these features and it'll last forever.

Siri's a woman, of course not!
post #36 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by CGJ View Post

Siri's a woman, of course not!

You can always stuff something in her mouth....
post #37 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by [Greg] View Post

Neither of us can comfortably make it through a day. I usually hit ~10% by EOD, and she has to stop using it in the evenings to make it to bedtime, or plugs it in when she gets home...

I would find that to be completely unacceptable. Likely if you go to an Apple store, it (both of them, I guess) will be replaced with ones that are not defective.
post #38 of 99
I was also contacted & had a 24-hour log installed after making some postings in the Apple community boards. I thought it was great that Apple was following this issue so closely; I only wish the log had been active when I had my most extreme battery problems (96% to 4% in 12 hours with fairly minimal usage). By the time they'd contacted me I had turned off push and most notifications, was linking to only one email account (work) only in the evenings, etc.

I hope they come up with an OS fix or partial fix; I really like my 4S, but feel like I shouldn't have to turn off half its features to have a reliably charged phone.
post #39 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maltz View Post

I had this problem, but it doesn't do it now. It turned out to be a calibration issue for me. I have pretty much every feature you can think of turned on. Bluetooth, Siri, push email, etc. I use them all, so turning them off kind of defeats the purpose, imo.

Anyway, to recalibrate:

1) Drain the battery until the phone shuts off on its own.

2) Charge it non-stop back to 100% (Should take 2 - 3 hrs)

When I first started draining the phone, I was losing about 5-7% per hour in standby. As the battery drained, the rate the percentage was dropping got slower and when it got to 1%, it sat there for almost an hour. Then it finally shut itself off. I recharged back to 100% in one sitting, and now it's got the same or better battery life my 3GS had that I was upgrading from.

Why don't they do that at the factory, before selling the phone? Is QA really that lax?
post #40 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacInsider2 View Post

Ridiculous. Reading the people with problems, most of them don't understand their settings -such as turning on iCloud which during first backup will use lots of battery as it uploads your data to apple which will use battery on wifi!

Otherwise, people need to stop doing restores and do "setup as new phone"

6 hours since last full charge i am at 77% left with occassionally email etc.

Overnight, lost about 8% charge.

All great to me.

It's not clear from your post what you did in those 6 hours. If you lost 23% in 6 hours on standby, while not using the phone, I don't think that's anything to be pleased with. But if you were using the phone a lot over the course of 6 hours, then that's probably a reasonable drain.

I tend to lose 4% overnight, and then about 20% in the 25 minutes I'm on the train, checking news sites (via apps, not Safari) via Sprint's 3G. Battery usage then slows down again once I'm at work & on wifi.
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