Apple aims to keep your iPhone juiced based on your behavior

Two freshly-published patent filings describe technologies that could conserve your iPhone's battery power based on how and when you use it.

CNET

How often does your smartphone conk out before the day is even done? Apple has proposed a couple of ideas to keep the juice flowing.

Published Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, a patent called "Inferring user intent from battery usage level and charging trends" suggests a way to preserve battery power by determining how and when you use your smartphone.

The technology envisioned would keep track of when you use and don't use your smartphone, when you charge it, and for how long you charge it. The phone could then have the smarts to turn off certain features or decrease the performance in an effort to prevent the battery from draining too quickly.

For example, your phone could figure out that you use its cellular connection during your morning and evening commutes but not during the day when you're at work. It could also determine that you use your phone more on weekdays than on weekends. The phone would also take into account your charging patterns. Are you charging your phone because the battery is low or do you simply keep it plugged in all day when you're at your desk?

As defined in the patent, Apple dubs this notion "long-term power budgeting."

One could imagine the user being happy with a slightly darker screen when in a dark room if it means that more power can be given to the GPU and the performance of the game increased. Long-term power budgeting is concerned with ensuring that the device's power usage over time does not deplete the battery and interrupt the user.

Another patent published on Thursday, "Predicting user intent and future interaction from application activities," has a similar power-preserving goal in mind. But this notion would monitor the apps and other tasks you run on your phone and adjust the power consumption accordingly.

The word "monitoring" sometimes strikes fear into the hearts of smartphone users. We don't like anyone keeping tabs on how and when we use our devices. But I wouldn't mind sharing a few details on my smartphone use if it meant the phone could survive longer on a single charge.

(Via Cult of Mac)

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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