Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Apple iTouch Battery Woes and iOS 4

iTouch is a great smartphone without the phone bill.

Like many other iTouch owners, after updating my iTouch to iOS 4 my battery goes from full charge to 20% in less than an hour of use (browsing the web, using the device with the screen on, etc.).  It used to stay charged for hours, even during heavy use.  I used to watch full length feature films on it and have plenty of power for the rest of the day. Nowadays, I browse the web for a half hour and get warnings that my battery is low.

The iOS 4 update also affected iPhones.  Apple has fixed the battery problem for the iPhone owners since however with subsequent iOS updates.  Meanwhile, the unlucky iTouch owners are left to running our devices in spurts broken up with trips to the charger.

If you go to the Apple help and iTouch web pages they illustrate all kinds of ways that you can maximize your iTouch battery life.  You can employ these techniques to the point that your iTouch no longer serves any purpose at all.

Apple's Maximize Your iTouch's Battery Life Tips 

  1. The first suggestion Apple gives us is to turn off the device itself.  No, I lied.  The first piece of advice they give us is to, "update the device to the latest software", which is frankly why the iTouch owners are having issues in the first place.
  2. Use iPod Regularly.  Yep, but that's tough to do these days unless you are near a generator or a wall socket.
  3. Hold and Pause.  Turn it off when it is not in use (can't argue with that, though it is mostly off now anyway).
  4. Under "Optimize", Apple tells us that, "Wi-Fi consumes power even if you are not using its features to connect to a network. You can turn it off to save power." The list goes on and on.
So, apparently Apple fixes the iPhone and decides to let the iTouch folks deal with a busted OS, and ultimately a broken device.  It kind of feels like Apple doesn't want to fix the iTouch.  I mean it is basically an iPhone without the phone part (no, an iPhone without the contract and monthly bill).  Some of us can use the iTouch as a phone with applications like Skype, but you can run Skype on an iPhone as well.  Would Apple sabotage the iTouch so everyone is forced to migrate to the iPhone or an iPad?

I like my iTouch very much.  Despite the battery issues it has been a solid device.  I just bought the MLB At Bat 11 app for it recently and it is amazing to see live MLB games on my iTouch (great quality too).  I am usually always in a wi-fi enabled environment so I don't need the iPhone.  For the in between times I have an Android HTC Aria work phone, which is ok but not as easy to use as the iTouch.

I am thinking of buying the iPad2 because I think I am getting carpal tunnel from the small screen, but I feel as though I am being pushed to do it by Apple and I don't like to be told what to do by consumer electronics companies.  It has been almost two years since I bought the 3rd gen iTouch. I believe 2 years to be the average lifespan of any Apple product before it self destructs or fails to be relevent anymore.  The thing is, this iTouch works just as well as the day I bought it and has the same functionality of the new Apple products (sans the rapid power loss). 

Maybe the outcry from iTouch users cannot be heard by Apple, or they are just choosing to ignore it. They are on to bigger and better things and slyly telling us lowly iTouch users to hurry up and buy their new shiny devices.  I am not sure I want to buy into this Apple type of situation again though. This is my 3rd iPod and in the past I have only upgraded due to monumental changes in the device (video, wi-fi, etc.). 

*Information contained within these pages do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Schreiner University.

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