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Nextbit claims it can 'significantly' boost battery life with software tricks

The company says the next version of its operating system will give Robin phone owners "peace of mind."

Josh Miller/CNET

The Nextbit Robin may last a bit longer after the company's next big software update.

Josh Miller/CNET

Nextbit made waves last year with a phone that used the cloud to radically bolster the amount of movies and apps you could store on its Robin phone. The startup now believes it can use some of those same capabilities to extend its battery life too.

The company, which funded Robin through Kickstarter last year, said it will use software tricks to enhance the battery life of the phone in the next version of its operating system, which will come out in the fourth quarter. While it wouldn't quantify just how much longer it would last, CEO Tom Moss said it would be significant.

"We can achieve peace of mind," he said in an interview on Tuesday.

It's the latest development for the startup, which garnered interest due to the pedigree of its key executives. Moss and co-founder Mike Chan were part of the original Android team at Google, while Chief Design Officer Scott Croyle came from HTC, where he designed the original metallic HTC One. Their combined experience, as well as the unique nature of how they funded their phone, made it harder to ignore.

Indeed, Chan ran the original power management team for Android at Google, and Moss touted his institutional knowledge as critical for digging into the mobile operating system to find software tweaks that help with battery life.

"It's home court advantage," Chan said.

Nextbit's use of software runs counter to the industry's typical solution to the power problem: adding a bigger battery. The software enhancements means existing phones benefit from the update, fulfilling a vow that Moss made about making its existing products better over time.

Nextbit, however, is a tiny player going up against juggernauts such as Apple and Samsung. The phone, which drew interest on Kickstarter, appeals more to gadget enthusiasts than mainstream customers, many of whom have never heard of the company or its product.

Moss wouldn't comment on the prospect of a new product. He also declined to comment on sales of the first phone.