It happens all the time: smartphone users become frustrated when their iPhone battery dies on the train ride home or while trying to surf a few sites before bed. Sure, many users forget to charge their phones at night or use them enough during the day that a secondary evening charge is required, but more than one of Apple’s devices have come under fire for batteries that underperform over the long term. In an attempt to remedy the issue, the company has filed patent applications for intelligent iPhone batteries that conserve power based on a user’s phone usage habits.

By the Power of Apple!

Apple recently filed two patent applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cover new technology “inferring user intent from battery usage level and charging trends” and “predicting user intent and future interaction from application activities,” CNET reports. The first patent tracks how the iPhone is used and adjusts battery consumption accordingly. For example, if a user doesn’t make calls during the day, it could decrease cellular performance to retain power; if in a dark room, the phone could automatically lower screen brightness. Apple calls this feature “long-term power budgeting,” which makes sure a user always has the power they need, when they need it.

The company’s second patent takes the concept of intelligent iPhone batteries a step further by predicting how users interact with their smartphones over time. By monitoring which apps are used most often, the phone could keep power in reserve for when its owner absolutely needs to finish a level, send an email, or make a call.

A Common Complaint

Battery life is a familiar subject for iPhone users: In a recent GottaBeMobile article, author Adam Mills discusses seven things he’d like to see in the new iPhone 6 when it’s announced. Number seven on the list? Amazing battery life. While he acknowledges that Apple has made improvements in battery function with the iPhone 5 and 5s, there is more room for change. Most smartphone users agree: Longer battery life is often worth the trade-off, even if it results in a heavier phone.

Apple’s new patent filings indicate that the company may be aiming for intelligence rather than bulk with the iPhone 6, and will presumably patch this functionality into previous generation iPhones if successful. The leap to intelligent iPhone batteries makes sense; Apple already relies on context and prediction for services like Siri voice recognition and text AutoCorrection. Why not extend this to battery life and give users more power?

Do you think intelligent power prediction is a must-have feature?

Image courtesy of Flickr


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