Sunday, June 12, 2011

iPod Touch Battery Life: 75 Min Skype Video Call; Apple Should Find A Way To Make Battery Life Even Better for 2012 Version

I spent all morning talking to an online friend on the other side of the world on Skype since about 7am this morning.  It was a Skype video chat lasted about 75 minutes which forty minutes in got disconnected but I quickly dialed back.  As you know by now, I'm obsessed with battery life.  How power did this call chew up?  40%?  50%?  

At the start of the call, I had read a little bit on iBooks and made a few queries about today's weather and the movie times for Super 8 on Siri.  In all, I had been using the iPod touch for about 30 minutes before making the Skype calls.  

In all, the call took about 33% of battery life.  

Is that good?  Well, it's better than I expected.  At the end of the call, I expected to see the battery indicator closer to midpoint of the icon than the  two-third point by my estimation.  

The reason I am sharing this is because I do have a full day until 5PM PST when Game 6 of the 2011 NBA Finals start.  Until I can safely get home with the iPod touch plugged into a socket, I reckon it should hold me over through the rest of the morning and the afternoon where two hours of time, I'll be watching Super 8. 

My iPod touch is the fourth generation model.  This is by far the fastest and most powerful non-phone mobile device on the market, Apple really has not done much to improve its battery life.  Given its thin form factor, Apple has done a great job even squeezing out the battery life out of the touch.  Impressed as I am, I cannot help but think that had Apple given the touch an extra millimeter or two, adding an extra half ounce to its weight, it might give us an extra fifteen to twenty percent more battery life.  

On Apple website, the iPod touch is rated at 40 hours of music playback and 7 hours of video.  The iPhone 4 has the same 40 hours of music playback and is capable of playing 10 hours of video on one charge.  Apple also states the iPhone 4 can provide up to 10 hours of Internet use on Wi-Fi.  Though no information is provide regarding the touch's battery life under Internet use, we can safely that it is nowhere near 10 hours.  I would say that it is 7 hours at best.

On top of that, I normally do not sit there in silence.  Even now, I am listening to a podcast and before, that, I was streaming Science Friday from NPR.  With such an use combination, it's likely I will would have likely achieve closer to 5 to 6 hours of battery life.  

I consider this decent for a device this small and light.  For a non-phone device, I think nothing comes close to what Apple has achieved with the iPod touch.  However, I hope Apple seriously bump up the battery life on the next touch update.  We are increasingly relying upon our mobile devices and smartphones for our daily computing and social needs.  

Be it Apple, Samsung, or Google, these tech companies need to realize that our mobile habits have changed greatly even from a year ago.  What constitutes heavy versus moderate use has to change.

Note: Even though iPhone's 6 hours of Internet use over 3G is pretty good, I would like to see Apple really bump that up to 10 hours somehow. 

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