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C'mon Apple...How Effing Hard Is It to Measure a Battery's Voltage?

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  • C'mon Apple...How Effing Hard Is It to Measure a Battery's Voltage?

    I checked my messages and my iPhone had a battery level of about 80%. Then about an hour later, I took a walk. I brought my phone with me to take some pictures of the fog and mist coming of the local lake to send to my daughter...it looked so cool.

    Pulled out the phone - wouldn't turn on. Just showed me a non-helpful picture of a charger plug going into the phone. Well, okay, maybe I'd unknowingly had it download several gigabytes of something before taking the walk. Bummer.

    Got back, plugged in the charger it showed 78% charge. Being curious, I Immediately unplugged the charge and let the phone sit for about an hour. I came back and it said 75%.

    Mike Rivers with a $10 Radio Shack voltmeter could tell me the battery's charge, but apparently thousands of engineers working on a multi-hundred dollar phone can't. What's worse is I've had this happen before (and yes, I'm on the latest OS). What if I had to make an emergency call? What if car had broken down?

    I dunno...2016 was not a great year for Apple. No one wants their watch, their iPad Pro is an underachiever at that price, no desktop updates for the past three years, and the MacBook Pros have that touchbar that doesn't seem very popular, ports that make your hardware obsolete unless you want to turn your computer into a dongle farm, and less battery life. Although to be fair, maybe it has MORE battery life, but just doesn't measure it correctly.

    Here I am with a desktop Mac, MacBook Pro, iPhone, and iPad...none of which i feel any desire to update. A Google Pixel for a phone and a Surface Pro Studio for a computer are looking awfully good right now...
    Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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  • #2
    Maybe you're holding it wrong

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    • #3
      Don't hold back, Craig; tell us how you really feel!

      Best,

      Geoff
      Enthusiasm powers the world.

      Craig Anderton's Archiving Article

      Comment


      • #4
        aah, jefe, you have come to the point of balance where you see the arrogance of Apple's marketing and engineering kaballah vs the advantage of less 'amazing' products that don't sport fruit as their logo.
        Many years ago I managed the West Coast third-party repair depot for Apple, and was quickly able to see that they were already building themselves into a corner. Tim, for all his business savvy, is not the brilliant entrepreneur that Steve was, and now, having marginalized their tech guru, the Woz, they have no direction, and lack a visionary leader.
        I was finally done with Apple when I found that any mechanical interfacing you wanted to do, you had to order the 'camera kit'...although I saw this coming with the iMac, which had no CD drive...so everything had to be downloaded...through iTunes...and now the Apple store...
        "We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminate period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

        Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally used up and worn out, shouting '...man, what a ride!'
        "The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively" ~Bob Marley

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        • #5
          I'll tell you what... They've screwed up the desktop version of iTunes beyond repair. It should get the lifetime achievement award for complication of a simple task. They should strip-out all of the advanced functionality and just make it a simple librarian.
          144 dB
          Just Finished: Two Button Press
          Working on: Condensation, The Jupiter Bluff
          Main Axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurzweil PC361

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 144dB View Post
            I'll tell you what... They've screwed up the desktop version of iTunes beyond repair. It should get the lifetime achievement award for complication of a simple task. They should strip-out all of the advanced functionality and just make it a simple librarian.
            I'm using Groove Music on Windows and you wanna know something? It's simple, it works, I hear music. Admittedly it doesn't sync with anything and my phone has no clue what it is, but whether I want to hear Bach or Nine Inch Nails...done. And now with the tweaks to WASAPI mode, I can have SONAR open, and Groove Music, and YouTube if I'm so inclined, with 10 ms latency. Hmmm...

            I suppose the first post comes off as a rant against just one aspect of the "Apple Ecosystem," but it's more about death by a thousand cuts...Jobs may have been a jerk, but he knew what people wanted: simple, elegant, intuitive in the dictionary sense of the word, not the marketing one.

            There was a very interesting article in an industrial design magazine several months ago (which I could remember the link) that analyzed what went wrong with Apple's navigation. At the time when I read it, I thought that surely, it was a blip and the ship would right itself. I'm not so sure it will. This isn't to say Windows makes it easy...there's still that nightmarish swamp known as the Registry. But they're getting better at hiding it. The smartest thing Microsoft ever did was get rid of the team that did Windows 8, and bring in the mobile team to do Windows 10. They understood what it was like to have a compact UI that needed to be obvious. They're not where I want them to be yet...but they're getting there.
            Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

            Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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            • #7
              I don't have anything Apple. Too much of a walled garden. Microsoft is trying to do the same thing (hence the Windows store). When it comes to tech, lock-in is the name of the game!
              The Mandolin Picker

              "Bless your hearts... and all your vital organs" - John Duffy

              "Got time to breath, got time for music!"- Briscoe Darling, Jr.

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              • #8
                Okay, I recently went through some issues with my old iPhone 5 - I pulled it out of my Otterbox case to clean it and the screen appeared to be bulging out because the battery was swollen.

                I replaced the battery myself with a kit from this company:

                http://www.scanditech.co/

                It was maybe twenty five bucks for the whole thing, including the tools. Well worth the few extra bucks it cost vs the battery-only options I could have picked instead. Amazon sells them for all of the later model iPhones. It took all of about five minutes to install the new battery. Their instructions are well-written and come with good illustrations too.

                I also got this free battery meter app, which gives you much better info than the Apple battery percentage indicator.

                http://itunes.apple.com/app/id1166884133

                The app should be able to tell you if you need a new battery or not... it sounds like you might though, based on your description of what the phone was doing.
                **********

                "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                - George Carlin

                "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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                • #9
                  Battery science, as you might surmise from recent occurrences, isn't as exact as we wish it could be. It's possible that designers simply don't spend enough time with all the details of batteries and measuring them.

                  And they like to sell new batteries.

                  The power supply for my FiOS service has a built-in UPS. About two years after it was installed, it decided that it needed the battery replaced. Generally that's about half as long as I get out of those sealed lead acid batteries in other UPSs around the house (it's a common size and capacity), so I pulled the battery out, checked the open circuit voltage and it was fine. I discharged it to what I figured was about 50% using a resistor, re-charged it from a bench power supply, and it took as much charge as I expected. I put it back in the FiOS power supply and it was happy - for about a month, almost to the day, then it started beeping again.

                  This time, I just unplugged the battery, left it disconnected for a couple of hours, and plugged it back in. Again, it was happy for another month, then it started complaining again. So it's become a monthly routine. Not long ago, I had a power outage for about 6 hours. The battery is supposed to last for 4 hours, and about 5 minutes before the power came back on, it started beeping and the Low Battery light came on. So that was a good test that the battery was still usable.

                  Then one day I called Verizon with a question on my bill. The automated answering system, when I pressed "1" after asking if I was calling from my own phone number, responded with "I see that your FiOS battery is due for replacement. Press "1" if you'd like to order one now." So Big Brother is watching me. I wouldn't be surprised if they aren't getting battery data from my unit.

                  My Samsung tablet went through a phase where it seemed to have trouble charging. I'd plug it in overnight when the indicator got down to about 40% and in the monring found it showing only about 50%, and, sure enough, after using it for a while and the indicator reached 30%, it went into "power saving" mode, whatever that is. What I discovered was that if I turned off WiFi when it was charging, it would fully charge in a reasonable amount of time, and work like it was fully charged. A life lesson, I guess.

                  I did complain to TASCAM, and mention it in my review, that the battery indicator on my DR-44WL wasn't very useful. Whether using alkaline or NiMH batteries (and setting it accordingly), it went from three bars to two within the first hour of recording, then drop to 1 bar after a bit more than 2 hours, and then run like that for about another 8 hours before finally quitting. So if it's reading one bar, I don't know how much battery life I have left. The lesson there is to start a session with freshly charged batteries and I know they'll last 10 hours, probably longer than I'll last.

                  One of the things that complicates battery charge indicators is that they only measure the terminal voltage. The discharge curve (voltage with time) isn't completely predictable. It depends on discharge rate (current with time), temperature, initial charge state, and the phase of the moon. Since they don't want you to run out of battery, they tend to err on the conservative side, rather than not bothering you until you're only minutes away from shutdown.

                  That being said, it wouldn't be difficult, with today's technology and processing horsepower (it doesn't take much) to measure the number of amp-hours going into the battery when charging, and the number of amp-hours going out when discharging. With more than about five brain cells, it could adjust the point at which it warns you about a low battery as the cells age and lose capacity. But they'd rather give me an obtrusive automatic volume control instead, which, fortunately, I can turn off.

                  --
                  "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
                  Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

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                  • #10
                    I had issues with Apple long ago. Besides for the fact that they keep making connectors and such that offer no improvement but are designed for one reason only, to keep you straying from the Apple clan into compatible territory.

                    But my big beef was this.

                    I write aftermarket styles for Band-in-a-Box. Two things irritated me:
                    1. I paid for pro tech support. In old versions of Apple, their files needed an extra header consisting of two qualifiers (I forget what they were). Apple File Exchange used to do this. When they upgraded from System 9 to OSX (pronounced: oh ess sex - good marketing) AFS no longer worked. I explained to the tech, and he responded that Apple no longer helped people with non-Apple software and that there was no way to put a Mac header on a Band-in-a-Box file. With one query in a Mac forum, I found a few non-Apple freeware apps that allowed me to write the proper abbreviations in the header. Not only did Mac want to keep me in the Apple Hardware environment, they didn't want me to use a non-Apple app either.
                    2. A while after Apple upgraded to Oh Ess Sex I needed a new Mac, so I called. I thought about a laptop and the saleswoman at Apple told me Band-in-a-Box wouldn't run on a laptop because the program was too big and complicated. So she sold me a big beautiful e-Mac. A month later Apple went to Intel chips and my big beautiful e-Mac was obsolete. She could have told me to wait a month, and later I found out BiaB runs just fine on the laptops of the day. In other words, she lied to me to get a bigger commission and sell old, soon to be obsolete stock.
                    I no longer need an Mac computer, so I gave the e-Mac to Goodwill. BiaB files are now compatible without a Mac Header. I use ThinkPad computers exclusively now. I use them on stage too. I do one-nighters, the computers sit on a rocking keyboard stand all night, suffer from extreme temperature changes from the hot vehicle to an overly air conditioned club, or a gig by the pool in Florida, and my original 2002 ThinkPad is still working fine. My other 2002 IBM ThinkPad developed connection problems causing the display to have horizontal lines on it, but still works, so I replaced it with a Win7 model after its long life and the Win 7 Lenovo ThinkPad is still humming away on the gig. They are built to last. (I have no affiliation with IBM or Lenovo).

                    The only thing I have Apple now is my iPod, and if I could find a competing player with as big of a hard drive as my iPod that played mp3 files, I'd buy it. I hate iTunes so I use CopyTrans on my desktop to manage the iPod. I liked my old Archos Jukebox much better with a drag and drop File Explorer type interface.

                    The only place I use the iPod is in the car, so pristine sound is not required, a 128kbps mp3 does fine, and I have over 10,000 of them on my iPod.

                    On a different note: you can't tell the condition of a good or questionable battery with a voltmeter. Without a load on the battery, even a poor but not dead yet battery will register good on a voltmeter.

                    Weird battery story. I have an older Galaxy phone. The battery started dying way too soon (about 2 hours), so I ordered a genuine Samsung replacement. I read on a forum that someone dropped his battery, and it revived it. Now I know enough about batteries not to do this with a battery in good shape, but I figured, why not? So I gave it a 3 foot drop on an indoor/outdoor carpet and the battery holds a charge better than it ever did. At the end of the day it's still over 75%. Weird I have no explanation as to why.

                    Insights and incites by Notes
                    Bob "Notes" Norton
                    Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
                    Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
                    The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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                    • #11
                      Here's something.
                      https://www.extremetech.com/mobile/2...attery-drained
                      Originally posted by Unconfigured Static HTML Widget...







                      Write Something, or Drag and Drop Images Here...

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                      • #12
                        Interesting link...seems more like a battery issue that no company has really figured out yet. So I'll re-phrase the question... How Effing Hard Is It to Measure a Battery's Voltage?

                        Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                        Subscribe, like, and share the links!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          As it turns out, it is surprisingly difficult...

                          http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/a...tate_of_charge

                          https://www.reddit.com/r/explainlike...ining_battery/
                          Last edited by philboking; 01-11-2017, 07:45 AM.

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                          • #14
                            I remember when I could check my car battery with a hydrometer, in fact I think I know where my hydrometer is. That's a great idea. Put a wet lead-acid battery in your phone and carry a glass tool about the size and shape of a turkey baster to check your battery.

                            It wouldn't be difficult to monitor the battery current (either going out or going in) and integrate current over time. The problem, as anyone who has ever used a rechargeable battery knows, is that the capacity of a battery reduces with age, number of cycles, and of course, the rate of charge and discharge. But you can determine how much charge you can put in, and know that you can't get any more out than you put in.
                            --
                            "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
                            Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Waiting for Teslas to display this behavior.
                              Originally posted by Unconfigured Static HTML Widget...







                              Write Something, or Drag and Drop Images Here...

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