These days manufacturers are starting to get a bit smarter when it comes to managing battery life on smartphones. Some, like Samsung, have opted for ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture which basically has less powerful cores managing smaller tasks, while the more powerful cores engage in more strenuous tasks.
Apple, too, have come up with a method of their own which was recently patented and discovered by the folks at AppleInsider. However instead of a hardware solution, this patent calls upon a software solution in which the system would be able to monitor a user’s usage habits, monitor the charge and discharge cycles of the battery, and use all that information to predict what the user might be doing at that time.
Based on that, the system would then be able to tell the phone to perform certain tasks only at a certain period of time, which would ultimately lead to a more efficient use of battery life. For example if it detects that you perform a lot of battery intensive activities during the mid-day, it might adjust screen brightness, CPU clock speed, and so on, which could either help to conserve battery life or to optimize the activity.
Another example provided by the patent talks about using apps like Passbook to purchase drinks at a coffee house. “This coupled with GPS location largely staying the same would suggest that the user will be enjoying their drink in the coffee house for the next 20 to 30 minutes. If they should be using their device in that time period they are likely to be doing so intently, (reading the news, playing a game, etc.), such that they would like their device to be particularly responsive.”
Assuming that is the case, the system would then tell the phone that for the next 20-30 minutes, perhaps sacrificing battery for performance would be preferred. Basically if the phone knows what you’re planning on doing, and when you’re planning on doing it, it will be able to adjust itself accordingly which could lead to longer battery life overall.
There’s no telling if Apple will ever make this patent a reality, but it sounds like a pretty nifty idea and we’re sure iPhone/iPad users won’t mind if this system made its way into future iOS products.
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