Anyone who has ever used an iPhone (or a smartphone for that matter) has experienced the phone’s battery dying at not such a good time. And is it just me, or does it seem like most of the time we’re nowhere near a charger when it happens? Since an iPhone with a dead battery is little more than a fancy-looking paperweight, Apple is in the process of trying out different ideas to make your battery last as long as it can before it bites the dust. And I have to admit – the thinking behind this is pretty neat.
Apple recently published a patent called “Inferring user intent from battery usage level and charging trends”. That’s a big title for such a basic idea: they’re trying to figure out when people are most likely to use their phone, and when they’re most likely to charge their phones. Then, once they figure that out, they can devise a way to make the battery last until it finally gets plugged into the wall.
Could The iPhone Be About To Get Even Smarter?
Here’s how this process could work in one instance: if your phone notices that you regularly use 4G data when you’re going to and coming from work, it could automatically switch off the wi-fi on your phone and turn it back on in the afternoon/evening when you’ll most likely be connected to wi-fi. It would also figure out when you routinely use your phone the most and save its “big” power for those times.
Besides observing your usage patterns, Apple is also interested in figuring out when people charge their phones and for how long at a time. If it’s plugged in most of the day, obviously only slight (if any) changes will have to be made to make sure the battery lasts all day, whereas if it only gets plugged in at the end of the day, bigger adjustments will have to be made to keep the juice from running out.
I don’t know how you feel about this – it could be a good thing – or it could just be more information than Apple really needs to know. What do you think?
[Image via ubergizmo]