Tech Stuff

More on iPhone 4S battery issue

In my last report on this I noted that an Apple phone support person (Patrick) had me completely reset my iPhone: back it up to iTunes, reinstall iOS5, then sync my stuff back onto it.

When I did this yesterday it seemed to be helping, a single full charge lasted all day and while I wasn’t using Siri heavily (Siri was down yesterday) I did various things with the phone during the day.

Last night when I went to bed I noticed that the phone was at 78% charge and I left it unplugged to see if standby mode would wipe it out again. The phone was connected to our wifi network and to our AT&T macrocell so I assume that it’s nightly maintenance connections got made and it was active during the night.

The good news is that this morning it has a 76% charge on it, only losing 2% overnight.

No doubt the update to iOS 5 will improve battery life even more but there is now no doubt in my mind that completely resetting the phone helped a lot and people who have this problem should at least do this step, it can’t hurt.

I may eat these words in the next few days: I’ll be in New York tomorrow and I have a friend coming to visit who’s an iPhone user and who will want to mess with this new phone. My phone will get a good workout and we’ll see if Patrick’s “fix” is what I think it is. But I’m a lot happier today than I was yesterday, and this is a good thing. Of course, having electricity in the house (finally) doesn’t hurt.

Possible fix for iPhone 4S battery issue

I’ve only had my iPhone 4S for a week but I noticed early on that it was sucking battery juice much more rapidly than my iPhone 4 with the same apps and iOS 5 on it. Unfortunately, we lost power for almost a week so it was tough to get it charged regularly to test various things. Today the power came back and I was on the phone with Apple and we made the appointment for me to get down to the Danbury Apple store to swap the phone for a new one.

But, Patrick, my excellent Apple phone support person asked me if I’d tried backing up the phone, then using iTunes to restore it to factory settings minus my apps and data. In other words, clean it off and reinstall iOS 5 from scratch. No one had recommended I do this and he thought if I did it it might give me a baseline to see if the problem with battery was my apps sucking juice, iOS 5 sucking juice, or underneath it all a problem battery.

It was worth a try so while we were on the phone I backed it up again, then reset the phone to factory settings reinstalling iOS 5 in the process. I did not migrate my stuff back.

I got on our network, got it on our AT&T micro-cell, got it up and running, charged it to 100% and put it to sleep and went outside to carry the bags of now defrosted tomatoes from our garden to the trash (boo, we lost all our frozen vegetables).

I came back in an hour later and the phone was still at 100%. This was a good enough sign for me and I then synced all of my apps and stuff back on, checked things out to make sure the sync worked correctly, charged back up to 100%, put the phone to sleep and went outside again.

Two hours later the phone is at 97%. This is a great sign.

I may still have a problem phone and given my calls to Applecare I’m sure I’ll be able to swap it for the next month, but, I’m going to stick with it for a while and wait for the iOS 5 update to come out and see what happens.

The short of it is, if you’re not getting what you think you ought to out of a charged battery try reinstalling the system, it may help. It can’t hurt.

Ask Different

Ask Different

Ask Different is a brilliantly built discussion site that allows people to ask questions about their Apple products and get a variety of answers and tips from others.

I first heard about it back here and I decided to subscribe to its RSS feed for a while to see what kinds of questions and answers were being put up.

In short order I figured I might be able to answer a few of the questions so I registered and posted an answer. That led to another and pretty soon I was hooked, less on being a know-it-all (I know much less than most people posting there) but on the challenge of attempting to explain in words the answers to various questions (one can also post screen shot images there).

Questions and answers are rated, much like Amazon or eBay reviews might be and in this case it’s less about a popularity contest, more about helping folks find the credible sources and to support well written questions and answers. Brilliant.

I’ve learned quite a bit from this feed, not just answers to my own technical questions but also about the types of questions and problems people are having in the Apple world. Ask Different could easily turn into a more up to date and fluid source than Apple’s support area or Wikipedia (Apple products) for these types of things. Certainly a parallel source for more specific questions.

Many of my Mac and iOS using friends who read this blog could easily become addicted to this so I’m warning you, be careful.

Video of a man making a vacuum tube

These two videos take some time but if you like this kind of view of fabrication you’re gonna love it. The piano music goes well with it but gets long after a while. Turning sound off helps but then you miss the occassional sound of the fabrication tools.

Note: I originally posted this on January 8, 2008 with a link to video but I’m re-posting today with embedded video.

[via Justin Blanton]

[via Product by Process]

Assistant

Apple’s ‘Assistant’ Seen as Key Feature for New iPhone Hardware

Apple has been thinking about virtual assistants for years. Some of you may remember their mock up called Knowledge Navigator that included a visual person in the form of a guy with a bow tie. That bow tie guy is an assistant who understands natural language and figures stuff out.

We’re starting down that path with this new assistant.

Apple is using speech to text technology from Nuance Siri to power Assistant. Here’s Siri’s demo I posted about earlier. Apple’s assistant technology will be built into iOS 5.

My guess is this kind of assistant will be part of all Apple products at some point.