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Is the New iPhone Too Hungry For Power?

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The new iPhone appears to have a shorter lifespan than its predecessors, at least where its battery is concerned.

Frustrated customers have taken to message boards to vent about the apparently faster-draining battery, and though Apple has so far been mum, some speculate that a bug in the new operating system may be partly to blame. The Guardian reports that Apple engineers are quietly contacting some iPhone 4S owners to try to solve the problem after some customers saw “dramatic drops” in battery life; Apple asked one customer to install a “monitoring program” to help diagnose the problem.

One possible cause may be that power-hungry location services run in the background even when they shouldn’t, leading some to suggest shutting off the feature for “setting time zone.”

Siri – the voice-activated feature on the iPhone 4S – has a soothing voice, but proved unhelpful in addressing the power drain. When Pay Dirt asked Siri, “How can I conserve battery life?” she responded, “I found 12 battery sellers: 11 are fairly close to you.”  Asked “why is my battery draining so fast?” – she suggested, “Would you like to search the web for: ‘Why is my battery draining so fast?’” (Apple did not respond to requests for comment.)

The company downplayed the shorter battery life when it unveiled all the new phone’s bells and whistles earlier this month. The standby time for the iPhone 4S is 200 hours versus 300 for the iPhone 4 and 250 hours for the vintage iPhone that was launched in 2007.

One iPhone 4S customer told the Guardian: “My battery life was extremely poor: 10% drop in standby every hour. I noticed that the usage figure was roughly half that of standby, even when the phone was not being used, so I assumed something was crashing or running in the background.”

Corrupted contacts may also contribute to the problem: Those imported from Apple’s MobileMe or iCloud services, or from Google’s Contacts list. The Guardian recommends deleting and then reinstalling them sometimes seems to fix the problem.

Other solutions to conserve battery life: reduce screen brightness, turn off applications like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G, and location services to applications such as Google Maps, Facebook and Skype.

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    • By WebOsPublisher

      Kinetic Creations has updated their desktop enhancement software for displaying animated icons,Kineticon. The latest version fixes bugs and improves its interface.
      Animate Your Icons With An Update – The Mac Observer


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      Animate Your Icons With An Update
      3:00 PM EST, Mar. 26th, 2001 · Michael Munger · News
      Kinetic Creations has updated their desktop enhancement software for displaying animated icons, Kineticon. The latest version fixes bugs and improves its interface. According to Kinetic Creations:
      Kinetic Creations, Inc. has released Kineticon version 2.0, a major update to the Mac OS System Extension that allows users to replace their static icons with icon animations.
      Kineticon selectively replaces icons displayed by your Mac with icon animations. Wherever the Mac OS would normally draw a regular, static icon, Kineticon can replace it with an icon animation. Included with the Kineticon package is an icon animation editor. This editor allows you to create your own animated icons and includes drag and drop support between itself and the Mac OS Finder and 3rd party graphic or icon editors.
      Kineticon version 2.0 incorporates the following changes from version 1.7.2:
      Kineticon Editor has be renamed to, simply, “Kineticon”
      Kineticon (Editor)is user interface has been greatly simplified
      It is no longer necessary to copy and paste icons in the Finder – Kineticon handles this for you
      The “Kines (Disabled)” folder is no more. All Kines are now stored in the “Kines” folder
      Other minor bug fixes
      The Mac OS X version is not ready yet.
      Kineticon is available for US$14.95. A full download or CD version (both including many extra, professionally rendered animations) is available for $19.95 and $24.95 respectively. You can find more information at Kinetic Creations Web site.
      Michael Munger
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    • Brandon if youre gonna disable siri why the hell did you even upgrade to the 4S…

    • I upgraded from iPhone 4 to iPhone 4S and I have the same problem. Disabling Siri from the setting helped somewhat, but that’s not enough.

About Pay Dirt

  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to quentin.fottrell@dowjones.com or tweet @SMPayDirt.

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