OG Apple Watch – Battery Draining :(

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I was one of the few, the proud, the crazy that purchased the original Apple Watch when it came out on launch day.  The picture above shows what it looks like now (I actually use the photo album watch face and not the one pictured) and I’ve upgraded the sport band to the link band (my wife is so awesome for getting it for me) and I use it every day at home and at work.  I’ve gone through all the different OS upgrades for the watch and its currently running on WatchOS 4.0.  The watch is starting to show its age since its kind of slow compared to just using my iPhone 7 but its still the best for notifications and maybe the quick text to someone.

Where I’m really starting to see some wear and tear is in battery life.  I’ve been using it for 2 years straight?  I can’t remember when I bought it but these days there seems to be a lot of battery drain and I have started to see “Power Save” mode pop up as soon as 7PM.    That means the watch is barely getting through a 12 hour day on its current charge.  Thats not really acceptable.  I keep a charger with me while on the road to charge it up but I don’t keep it with me in my bag, I leave it at the hotel so I can charge up then.  I’m not really lost without the watch, I always have my iPhone handy with me but its just a minor annoyance.  Doing work outs with the watch drains the battery further and frankly I only work out when I’m actually at home but still, it reduces battery life considerably when in use.

I don’t know what my solution will be if the battery starts to really stink.  My wife and I paid a decent chunk of change for the watch and I like the notifications and everything but I might be going back to a regular watch if it dies.  While I love having the ability to get those notifications or send a quick text, its not enough to buy another one at the price I paid.  I can technically use the same watch bands as any other Apple Watch as long as its a 42mm so there is some savings but I don’t think anyone will buy the watch from me.  I have scratched it up a lot over the years but it still works pretty well for a 1st gen device.  I haven’t explored replacing the battery but at that point I want to get a newer watch because the new ones are water proof, faster, and ummm…. I think thats it really.

Anyway, I’m going to continue to use it till it dies.  I’m hoping that they keep the watch humming along with software updates and start to get rid of more of the bloatware that seems to be creeping into Apple OS’s of late.  It’s only noon and I’m down to 70%, hopefully it will last the rest of the day and my work out tonight.

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The case of the dying iPhone 6

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It’s amazing how fast an iPhone battery deteriorates in only 3 or so years of use.  The photo in this post is from coconutBattery which is an app that I use to monitor the battery for my MacBook Pro.  The added benefit is that I can see the battery performance of an iOS device (it only works with the later ones, I tried it with an original iPad and didn’t get any data back).  Anyway, the phone above belongs to my wife and just this past week the phone would start turning off once it hit 40%.  Puzzled by this I decided to do some Googling to see what the problem could be.  This issue is pretty common with devices on iOS 10, especially the iPhone 6 and 6s.  I tried everything I could to see what was the matter and fix it short of blowing the entire phone away and reinstalling it app by app (its not my phone so I don’t want to do that).

The other thing we just tried today was to install the iOS 11 Beta 6 release.  This solved one problem which was to show the true battery level on the phone.  Now I can see that the battery level is at whatever percent and lets my wife know that she has to charge her phone up so it doesn’t turn off.  As the picture above indicates though, her battery is roughly at 50% of original capacity which translates into 5 hours maybe of web surfing and maybe 2 hours of talk time if she uses the phone.  Thats pretty shitty by any measure especially for an iPhone. Now the thing thats in her favor is that the iPhone event isn’t that far away, maybe a month and hopefully she can hold out until then so we can get an iPhone 7s or an iPhone 8 (depends on what Apple decides to announce in September).

As a stop gap measure we’re trying to remove data from the phone so that she can use my old iPhone 6s that I had for work.  The issue is that the memory on the 6s is half of what she currently has (64 vs 128) so when I try and do a restore iTunes doesn’t like it and decides to just stop doing the restore altogether.  Not very ideal, I wish there was a way to be selective on whats restored and you can do it via third party app but I have no desire to install more bloatware on my MacBook Pro if I can help it.  I’m going to keep plugging away at this issue, probably more this coming weekend during Labor Day since I’ll have some extra time and I’ll crack it by George or we’re getting my wife a new iPhone (well we’re doing that anyway, her phone is kinda OLD and she needs a better camera to capture those precious memories while I’m away).

The MacBook Pro is finally dead

After 2 days of struggling with my Early 2011 MacBook Pro, I’ve finally given up on trying to fix it.  I keep on getting the green Apple log and then the white screen of death without being able to get into the OS.  I’ve tried everything I can short of buying parts but I don’t think its worth it at this point to pour more money into an almost 6 year old computer.  I decided to open it up and take the things that I wanted to keep from the computer, mainly to sell or to reuse.IMG_5643

There are still some good parts within the MacBook Pro in my view.  About a year or so ago I put in a new battery and SSD into the computer.  I know at the very least I can keep the SSD and put it in an enclosure and use it as an external hard drive for travel.  This is especially awesome since it has no moving parts and its a lot lighter than a spinning disk hard drive.  I’m going to reformat it as exFAT so that I can use it with Windows and Mac so I don’t have to worry about NTFS drives or junk like that.  The battery I have no idea what to do with.  It’s only had 4 full load cycles so it has something like another 996 load cycles before its dead.  I just need to find a way to sell it because I hate to have to recycle it especially since I paid so much money for it in the first place.

I think I’m going to get another MacBook Pro but this time I’m going to get a 13″ model so its a bit more portable than my 15″ MacBook Pro.  I’m probably going to miss the real estate on the screen but I am moving to a retina display.  All the reviews I see say the new MacBook Pro isn’t really a Pro machine compared to last years computer but my computer is 6 years old so the next computer should be screaming fast.  It also won’t be bogged down by all the crapware of my corporate computer.  I’m going to be a little more selective on the apps that I install too, there was a lot of junk on my MacBook Pro that I never used but I still might have to do something like use MS Office but Office Online might be just good enough.  I also might go with lower specs than my 15″ in terms of hard drive space, I might only go with the 512GB drive but I might kick things up to 16GB of RAM to get that extra speed for when I start doing things with iMovie.

Its time to wait and see what sales are going to come up because this thing is pretty expensive.  The 13″ is slightly more expensive than my 15″ from 6 years ago.  In the mean time I won’t be able to backup any of my devices or change music on my playlists until maybe at least Memorial Day.  Thats when I expect some of the more awesome sales to take place.  I think I’ll be fine with the Skylake processors, Kaby Lake sounds cool but for my day to day shit, this should be just fine.  And yes, I am choosing Mac over PC because even though Windows 10 has made vast improvements, its still a major pain in the ass to use and configure even on the best of days.

iPhone 6 Battery is Great

I just finished taking a trip to Disney with my family for the holidays and it was the first time that I had taken my iPhone 6 with me after keeping my iPhone 4S for the last 3 years. One of the problems that my wife and I had when going to Disney was that our phones would never last the entire day while we were at the park. We don’t carry a camera anymore and normally just use our phones as our cameras but they always ran out of juice in the middle of the afternoon and normally we would stay the entire day and into the evening as well but with nearly discharged iPhones.

Our iPhone 6’s were more than adequate for our recent trip to Disney. I had my bluetooth engaged for our child tracker so that was draining my battery and I was also taking a ton of pictures too. The battery on my phone was able to last the entire day without having to be charged or even be concerned about conserving battery power. I’ve also noticed that it retains a charge better than my iPhone 5S but that might be due to it being a year old or something.

I need to do a better job of training my battery not to drain so fast but it takes a long time to discharge. I will probably end up keeping this phone for another 3 years or so like I did my 4S since its not really necessary to upgrade so often. I gotta say, this will definitely help on those vacations where we spend the entire day out without a way to charge our phones. I hear the 6 Plus battery is even better but I don’t want anything that large to carry around with me.

IHeartRadio is a battery killer

I have been a fan of iheartradio for a while now since I can listen to a lot of my New York radio stations, and Hawaiian ones for that matter, on my iPhone while I’m at work or at home. I’ve used it a lot while I’ve been at the playground with my daughter as well but there are two issues with the app, and one of those issues is not the massive amounts of data that it consumes when I use it.

The first issue that I have is the battery life. When I use my Music app on my iPhone I can barely notice any battery drain after spending an hour or so at the playground with my daughter. I went out again to the playground and this time I decided to use iheartradio instead and man did the battery get killed. I think I went from around 90% to almost 30% in the time I was at the playground with my daughter. On top of that, my phone got really hot as well which I’m sure isn’t a good thing either.

The second issue really was the heat aspect. Since the battery was draining so fast, the phone got really hot in my pocket. My iPhone runs pretty cool most of the time but this time it felt like I had been running the GPS app on my phone for a road trip which was the only other time that my iPhone ever got that hot. The heat really wasn’t a concern but more of an observation. I like using the app but since these problems occur I only use the app now when I can be plugged into another computer or at a wall jack.

All in all it’s good stuff, I used to have to listen to my Hawaiian music through Internet explorer but now I can listen to it on an app on my phone and not a computer.