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Apple to patch iPhone battery bug with software update

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
A benign software bug is causing some of Apple Inc.'s iPhone handsets to reflect an incomplete battery charge when in fact the battery is properly charged to capacity, the company says.

Over the past two weeks, a significant number of early adopters have report that their iPhones will not indicate a full charge no matter how long they are left plugged into a power adapter.

"Your battery is fully charged, but the UI (User Interface) is just not correctly reflecting this," an Apple spokesperson told WirelessInfo. "We expect to fix this in a software update."

Apple, which has yet to publish any information on the issue publicly, declined to say when the software update would be released.

In following the issue closely, WirelessInfo reports on surveys that indicate the glitch may extend to over 60 percent of iPhones.

"We are still running tests to determine if this issue is really just a bug, but our early results seem to indicate [Apple] may be correct," the publication said. "After an intense series of charging/discharging sessions, the problem batteries on our test iPhones seem to be lasting for longer periods, so this may have been an issue with the batteries requiring some conditioning before they could hold a full charge."

In a related note, Apple's recent release of iTunes 7.3 prevents computers running the software from going into sleep (low power) mode when iPhone is connected via USB.

"This is to make sure iPhone continues to charge overnight," Apple said. "If you want your computer to go into sleep mode when iPhone is connected, you can manually set your computer to sleep. "
post #2 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In a related note, Apple's recent release of iTunes 7.3 prevents computers running the software from going into sleep (low power) mode when iPhone is connected via USB.

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It would be nice if iTunes could somehow detect when the charge is complete and then allow the computer to go into sleep mode..

I normally charge my iPhone at night and hate having to leave the computer awake all night.
post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by solsun View Post

It would be nice if iTunes could somehow detect when the charge is complete and then allow the computer to go into sleep mode..

I normally charge my iPhone at night and hate having to leave the computer awake all night.

Me too so I had to buy the $29 power supply.

edit: I meant that I bought a cable so I could charge it without having to unplug the dock from the computer. I did buy an extra power supply too but that was for my iPod.

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post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Me too so I had to buy the $29 power supply.

you could always have the computer go to sleep at a set time each night - eg 11:00pm

Sys Prefs -> Energy Saver -> Schedule...

The problem with it sleeping is that unlike an iPod, the iPhone uses power all the time it is in standby so it would not be fully charged when you woke up (unless you set the comp to turn on again just before you get up).
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by solsun View Post

It would be nice if iTunes could somehow detect when the charge is complete and then allow the computer to go into sleep mode.

Good idea.


Any takes when the first iPhone OS X update will be released? I'm putting down for Wednesday at 2pm EST.
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post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by thefunky_monkey View Post

The problem with it sleeping is that unlike an iPod, the iPhone uses power all the time it is in standby so it would not be fully charged when you woke up (unless you set the comp to turn on again just before you get up).

Charging like that reduces the life of the battery expeditiously (as does leaving it plugged in fully-charged).

The best option is to have it turn off at a certain time, as funky monkey stated, a couple hours after you typically go to bed.

-Clive
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post #7 of 27
But the battery level problem is one of many I've read about. I assume the first Software Update for iPhone will be nontrivial.
post #8 of 27
It really is quiet these days... After such a noisy launch and all the hype there's just too much silence. No exploits being released, no news on the unlocking side, no news regarding how many units they sell... it's too quiet.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck View Post

It really is quiet these days... After such a noisy launch and all the hype there's just too much silence. No exploits being released, no news on the unlocking side, no news regarding how many units they sell... it's too quiet.

Apple generally never release hardware sales numbers before the quarterly report..

The MacWorld announcement for 14 million iPods in 2006 was the exception..
post #10 of 27
Could you actually charge the iPhone using a powered USB hub instead?
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morris View Post

Could you actually charge the iPhone using a powered USB hub instead?

Or you could charge the iphone with the charger that's provided in the box.
post #12 of 27
The iPhone comes with a AC adaptor, why not use that? The old iPod Firewire AC adaptors will charge your iPhone as well.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Me too so I had to buy the $29 power supply.

Why? My iPhone did come with a free power supply.

Ok, noticed you corrected you post.. but basically, you didn't need t buy a separate cable, but you did because you don't want to unplug the other one...
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

Charging like that reduces the life of the battery expeditiously (as does leaving it plugged in fully-charged).

Really? I remember reading that in regards to the claim of "80% battery life after n charges" (don't remember what n was), a half-discharge and recharge uses, in effect, only one-half of one charge toward your n charges. So no reason to fully discharge the battery before plugging it in.

And I would seriously doubt that the phone is dumb enough to try to keep charging a fully-charged battery, or whatever it is you're picturing it doing.

In any case, I'm certainly not going to either a) refrain from topping off the battery in the hopes I don't run out of juice or b) Try to figure out when to put my computer to sleep so that the phone fully charges BUT doesn't keep charging past full. Especially considering that the best possible outcome of such diligence would be merely a delay of some months of your inevitable purchase of a new battery.
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckelly View Post

The iPhone comes with a AC adaptor, why not use that? The old iPod Firewire AC adaptors will charge your iPhone as well.

Because you can also sync when you charge from the USB port....

It's just easier to make it a one step process rather than having to sync from the usb port and then charge from the AC adapter.
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by solsun View Post

I normally charge my iPhone at night and hate having to leave the computer awake all night.

An alternative would be to use Energy Saver to sleep the monitor after a few (say 15 mins) of non-use and yet leave the Computer awake indefinitely. This way you could install Folding@Home (see http://folding.stanford.edu/) and put the amazing levels of processing power your Mac (or PC) has to socially good effect by joining in this excellent research project!
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Universe Man View Post

Really? I remember reading that in regards to the claim of "80% battery life after n charges" (don't remember what n was), a half-discharge and recharge uses, in effect, only one-half of one charge toward your n charges. So no reason to fully discharge the battery before plugging it in.

And I would seriously doubt that the phone is dumb enough to try to keep charging a fully-charged battery, or whatever it is you're picturing it doing.

Memory Effect explains the effect of overcharging. I can't find anything on the partial charging. So I might not be right about the partial charging thing, but I the overchanging is documented.

-Clive
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post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

Memory Effect explains the effect of overcharging. I can't find anything on the partial charging. So I might not be right about the partial charging thing, but I the overchanging is documented.

-Clive

I'll see your wiki article, and raise you another wiki article.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_ion_battery

The article you quote generally refers to Nickel Cadmium batteries with regards to memory effect. Lithium-Ion batteries, such as the one in the iPhone, don't suffer this effect.
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...when iPhone is connected....

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AN iPhone...AN iPhone...For Gods sake it is a device, an inanimate object, and it is the general name of a device, not a specific one: if for lord knows what reason, you name your iphone....lets just say, chips: then you would say "when chips..." but if it is just a general product, you say "when an iphone..."


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post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Me too so I had to buy the $29 power supply.

$600 for a cellphone and they didnt GIVE YOU a power adapter?!?!?!?!?!? I think you got HOZED...dont you feal...i dunno...violated?
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post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

$600 for a cellphone and they didnt GIVE YOU a power adapter?!?!?!?!?!? I think you got HOZED...dont you feal...i dunno...violated?

My iPhone came with a power adapter; USB cable and dock. More than Apple usually gives bundles with their products, except for the Mac line.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by trragan View Post

My iPhone came with a power adapter; USB cable and dock. More than Apple usually gives bundles with their products, except for the Mac line.

Apple got rid of the power supply with the FireWire cable, I think. I don't mind these cost savings, but I do wish i could still sync via FW.
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post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Apple got rid of the power supply with the FireWire cable, I think. I don't mind these cost savings, but I do wish i could still sync via FW.

All iphones come with the power supply. Don't know why this seems to be an issue. Yes, if you want to have two cables you need to buy another cable - reasonable. Also, as has been pointed out, if you have an old iphone charger, either FW or USB is works on the iphone.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by physguy View Post

All iphones come with the power supply. Don't know why this seems to be an issue. Yes, if you want to have two cables you need to buy another cable - reasonable. Also, as has been pointed out, if you have an old iphone charger, either FW or USB is works on the iphone.

I guess I wasn't clear. I was referring to the iPod's lack of a power supply, lack of FW (it originally came with FW, then with both FW and USB, and then only USB) and the inability to sync via FW.
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post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

Memory Effect explains the effect of overcharging. I can't find anything on the partial charging. So I might not be right about the partial charging thing, but I the overchanging is documented.

Most popular assumptions about battery behavior is outdated, memory effect is with battery chemistry that is two or three generations old.

As far as I can tell, the main thing you need to worry about with lithium based batteries is to not overheat them (as in a baking car-sauna) or let them be discharged for too long.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

AN iPhone...AN iPhone...For Gods sake it is a device, an inanimate object, and it is the general name of a device, not a specific one: if for lord knows what reason, you name your iphone....lets just say, chips: then you would say "when chips..." but if it is just a general product, you say "when an iphone..."


I am far from a grammer nut but I see this all over the net and it pisses me off

Clearly you aren't a grammar nut, or else you'd know how to spell grammar.

There's noting incorrect about referring to a product without its article, whether it be iPod, iPhone, iMac, Macbook Pro, etc. It's pretentious, to be sure. But not incorrect grammar. It's just a marketing technique to make something sound more important than it is.

"Say hello to iPhone" sounds more majestic than "Say hello to the iPhone."
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Most popular assumptions about battery behavior is outdated, memory effect is with battery chemistry that is two or three generations old.

As far as I can tell, the main thing you need to worry about with lithium based batteries is to not overheat them (as in a baking car-sauna) or let them be discharged for too long.

Also, you don't want to recharge LI or LiPo soon after discharge as they're still hot and could puff if you're not careful.
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