Four Ways to Make Your Battery Last Longer – NYTimes.com

May 23, 2011, 1:48 PM

Four Ways to Make Your Battery Last Longer

A good friend of mine had been complaining that her iPhone 3GS battery was holding less and less of a charge. When we got together at 5 p.m. one recent day, it was at 5 percent full — and it had been fully charged that morning. She had barely used it all day. The phone was apparently running itself dry simply by being turned on.The single biggest battery consumer is the screen brightness. But it wasn’t especially bright on this phone.So I suggested that she take the phone to an Apple store to get the $60 battery replacement service. In fact, there was an Apple store only two blocks away, so I accompanied her — and found out, upon arrival, that there is no $60 battery replacement service! There’s one for iPods, but apparently not for the iPhone.There are plenty of do-it-yourself and third-party battery-replacement services that advertise online, but the Apple store Genius, named Nicole, said none of that would be necessary. She tested the battery and found that it was perfectly fine!Instead, Nicole pointed out a few things that were contributing to my friend’s rapid battery depletion. I took notes and thought I’d pass them along.

Push e-mail. This, I believe, was the big one. My friend has seven e-mail accounts, and her phone was checking each of them every 15 minutes. If you turn off the “Push” feature, and set it to Manually instead in Settings->Mail, Contacts, Calendars->Fetch New Data, then your iPhone checks for e-mail only when you actually open the e-mail app. Your battery goes a lot farther.If you have a corporate Exchange account, your calendar and address-book data will similarly be updated only when you open those apps.

GPS checks. In Settings ->General->Location Services, you’ll see a list of all the apps on your phone that are using your phone’s location feature to know where you are. It’s a combination of GPS, cell-tower triangulation and, on some phones, Wi-Fi hotspot triangulation. All of that checking uses battery power, too. My friend had dozens of apps with Location Services turned on, many of which didn’t really need to be on. She turned most of them off.

Notifications. Similarly, in Settings -> Notifications, you see a list of apps that are allowed to display pop-up notifications those blue text bubbles that look like text messages. To do that, they have to monitor what’s going on with your phone — and that takes juice. Turn off the ones you don’t really need.

Background apps. Nicole the Genius discovered that my friend had a huge number of apps open — maybe 40 of them. She maintained that they were using battery power, too, in the background.Now, I kept my mouth shut. But I’d been led to believe that background apps are generally frozen into suspended animation precisely so that they don’t use battery power. In fact, Apple was criticized when it introduced “multitasking” in the latest iPhone software, precisely because apps don’t actually keep operating in the background. Only a few sanctioned features keep running in the background Internet radio playback and GPS tracking, for example.Even so, Nicole quit all 40 of the apps that were still open. To do that, double-press the Home button to open the multitasking app switcher. Hold your finger down on any icon until they all start wiggling. Tap the little X close boxes to manually quit open apps.

Did the Nicole treatment work? Very well indeed. The next day, my friend’s battery, by the same time of day 5 p.m., was still at 80 percent!So there you go: How to make your iPhone battery last a lot longer. For free. You’re welcome.

via Four Ways to Make Your Battery Last Longer – NYTimes.com.

Droid and PDANet

Now that you have the Droid, go to the Android market and download PdaNet,
the free version should work for you. Then take your computer and go to the
same site and get the PDANet for WIndows or Macintosh. Set them up and hook
up a USB cable to your laptop and VOILA…you have tethered broadband on
your laptop for no additional monthly fee.

Copied from Bounder Group.

macosxhints.com – Use a Sanyo 4900 phone as a wireless modem

macosxhints.com – Use a Sanyo 4900 phone as a wireless modem
The LG 5350 ($50 or so more than the Sanyo) via USB (if you can get the Sprint Cable – the LG has built-in USB and is recognized as a Qualcomm CDMA modem) also works, in this case “out of the box” though I use normal dialing with #777 in the phone number.

The LG also supports a serial port (more about that below), but no Sprint phone I know of has IrDA or BlueTooth. The PCMCIA card isn’t covered in the same plan, it is $99/month for unlimited usage.

One note: Many people (including me) are reporting only getting 4 kilobytes per second or slower downloads. It depends on the location. Still, this is as good as many wired dialups and works almost anywhere.

The USB cable from sprint uses the USB standard colors (Red, Green, Black, Red and Shield) directly to the phone connector pins (5 pins including the shield). This cable either charges or maintains the LG’s battery as well.

The LG also supports Serial (at 19200, 115200, and 230400) via a different cable (with electronics within), so it works with my Zaurus which I can turn into a wireless access point with some extra programs.

The LG doesn’t support any kind of downloading or uploading of things like ringtones or images (Apparently the Sanyo can), nor does it have a speakerphone, but does have a monitor. Downloading can be done wirelessly if you can set up a server (or have your ISP add a thing or two to the mime types) and you read the developer’s area of sprintpcs.com. The LG has well over 2 megabytes for such things (I have a 400K midi file from the classicalmusicarchives.com which plays on the polyphonic synth – the sound is good for a phone).

Conversely, the LG does support data calls and outbound (don’t know about inbound) FAX, but these aren’t included in the plan and are $0.35/minute. I.e. if you have a modem to your private network (or even ISP), you can do ATDT12345678901 and if a modem is found it will connect. Or if you have FCLASS 2.0 fax software on your computer it can similarly dial and transmit a fax. It can also receive data calls (there is a “data in” mode), i.e. a modem can dial YOUR computer. (this may also work for inbound fax, but I haven’t got this working). This may or may not work on the Sanyo or other models.

Also, the charging cradle for the LG (a clamshell design – does data connection when closed) allows plugging in the data cable – apparently the Sanyo doesn’t.

Other features like voice dialing or the voice memo recorder can be found from the manual – do a google search or go on sprintpcs.com for the PDF.

FYI, 777 is “PPP” on the keypad.

I’ve had some trouble with the serial, either having to turn DNS off or disabling VJ Header compression.

One other quirk is that it will “sleep” after about 20 seconds of inactivity. This can happen when a web page request takes longer than this to respond, or if you have an SSH session and don’t type anything for a while. When “asleep”, it will only wake up from the local end, so you may have to ping or tweak pppd to check the link more often to this to keep the pipe open, otherwise the remote end is likely to timeout.