Technology News: iOS: iOS Update Fails to Silence Battery Complaints

Even as one-dimensional as iOS devices are, there’s currently much hoop-la over the latest iOS update (5.0.1) which was recently rushed out. It specifically targets unusually high battery usage on the range of iOS devices (barring the Touch), and supposedly does not universally solve the problem. From a technology standpoint, there are some interesting things to note about this situation:

* These battery issues appear to be related to iOS5 itself, the version which introduces Android-like background notifications and widgets. Everybody knows these background tasks drain more battery, but this implementation was touted as being better: “Multi-tasking done right”.
* The A5 processor (the marketing name for Apple’s own dual-core Cortex A9 chip), is already de-clocked at 800mhz (vs 1ghz in the iPad2), in order to reduce battery consumption.
* In their defence, battery-life concerns are often extremely difficult to diagnose, without a system log dump or background system monitoring apps (but you’ll need to jailbreak for that).
* The 4S has an official lower rated 3G usage time than the 4, despite a slightly bigger .05wh battery. Presumably due to it’s dual-core architecture, and thirsty GPU (it’s PowerVR SGX 543 is listed in Wiki as being 65nm, where the SGX 535 is a 45nm chip).
* As we know, extended or spare batteries, alternative OS’s or alternative handset models are not an option.
* Job’s goal for end to end integration of the entire ecosystem has always been to ensure minute control of all components and their functions for a better user experience (see the turtle-paced evolution of the iPhone through the years). But, ONLY if it’s executed to perfection, which is where Scott Forstall needs to follow-through.
* I contend that for all their depth of employees, huge cash hoard and results-driven attrition-based corporate culture, that consistently, Apple has proven to be technically incompetent (especially in software/OS), a somewhat scary thought as they enter the realm of cloud computing. The problem for many end-users of course, is that they are unable to use an alternative.

If you’re interested, you can read some of the concerns on the official Apple forums here: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3391947?start=4170&tstart=0

Technology News: iOS: iOS Update Fails to Silence Battery Complaints

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