Daily Authority: Battery life battles 🔋

🌄 Good morning! I’m back from hiking and I’ve shredded both my legs, and any perception that I might’ve been “kinda fit.” Also! I'm excited to tell you I learned many things about the Alps, including just how insanely loud the cowbells are on cows in the mountains, and that it’s always Christmas in the Alps. Always! Now, tomorrow, we get Apple’s iPhone 13 event, with the latest rumors for a 1TB storage iPhone 13, but no new iPads just yet...

Battery life

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 Battery

One of the everyday concerns we all have is battery life. Given you can’t fly here in Europe without either proof of vaccination or negative test results, having a flat phone is a pretty sure way of not being able to fly at all. 

  • All these years later, while battery technology has improved, the demands on battery life are higher than ever: huge displays with higher refresh rates, 5G modems, higher-powered devices, larger silicon, more cameras, and so on.
  • On the other hand, ROMs are better at load management, and SoC design has more low-powered CPUs available in newer models.
  • There’s also more careful charging, where batteries are loaded to 80% to extend lifetimes over the years, even if it means a few hours less standby time or screen-on time in use.

Fast charging at higher wattages has also been one of the answers: 

  • There’s no increase to how long your phone goes without a charge.
  • But if you only need a few minutes of plugged-in time to add 50% or more, you have fewer range concerns.

The problem:

  • Ultra-fast charging solutions will affect battery health over time.
  • The problem is chemistry: Faster charging generates more heat, which can more rapidly degrade elements of the battery chemistry, particularly in the electrodes.
  • No matter how many battery breakthroughs there are, most come with trade-offs around long-term battery life, how much charge can be stored, and so on. So many breakthroughs at a lab level don’t make it to production due to expense or yield problems.
  • We all remember the Note 7 disaster, and on a larger scale, the current GM's Chevy Bolt battery fallout with LG (Ars Technica).
  • Risk aversion is a very real thing for manufacturers, from smartphones to EVs.
  • Speaking of: there's been a breakthrough in battery technology thanks to sugar: Australian scientists have found that by using a glucose-based additive on the positive electrode (cathode) they have managed to stabilize lithium-sulfur battery technology. That could make batteries 2-4x more efficient, but development will take some five years or so (Tech Xplore).

Xiaomi’s latest:

  • Xiaomi is set to launch the Mi 11T series this week, a day after the next iPhone launch. 
  • The iPhone will probably stick with 18W wired charging as in the iPhone 12, though it could get a speed boost.
  • Xiaomi is bringing 120W wired charging to the Mi 11T Pro, which will provide something like a charge from 0 to 100% in 23 minutes or so.
  • But that generates heat, and may mean your lovely flagship just won’t hold a charge within a year or two.
  • Xiaomi, though, has given a clear picture: Xiaomi’s head of communications, Daniel Desjarlais has said Mi 11T owners can expect 80% battery capacity after 800 charging cycles at these speeds, which is about two years of plug-in charges.
  • He said: “Now, that 20% might sound like ‘oh wow, I’m losing 20%,’ but that’s quite standard across basically all charging tech. 800 cycles, for most people, it’s going to be two years roughly. So that’s quite solid.”
  • Is it, though?
  • Slower charging definitely means less degradation. If you believe competitors, Oppo has previously claimed that its 65W wired charging solution, which is still very fast, loses 9% capacity after 800 charging cycles.
  • It’s a trade-off. The ideal situation would be super close management: sometimes all you have is a few minutes to charge. Most times you’ll just charge overnight, though.

Roundup

🍎 To catch you up if you missed it: The Epic v. Apple trial saw Epic largely fail to prove Apple was unfairly monopolizing apps with its App Store rules, saying “success is not illegal,” with complications around the arguments centering on video games, not apps, meaning Apple won 9/10 claims. Epic had a win in terms of Apple no longer being able to force developers to use in-app purchases, which is something, and may see similar from Google in time on the Play Store (Android Authority). But Apple keeps its 30% tax, and doesn’t have to change its rules around third-party app stores, both much, much bigger problems than an alternative payment setup. But, the case moves on: Epic has filed an appeal against Apple with the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and Apple may appeal the one major decision against it, too (The Verge). Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has been tweeting, too (Twitter). The Vergehas a detailed look at the rules, credit to them for following the case so closely.

📉 The Realme 9 series is only coming in 2022 due to the chip shortage (Android Authority).

đŸ§± Import a Xiaomi phone? Look out, the company is disabling some imported devices, though custom ROMs are helping (Android Authority).

📅 Android 12 stable release date looks set for October 4, not during September (Android Authority).

🔒 WhatsApp will add support for encrypted message backups, which, in part, closes a loophole law enforcement used to view WhatsApp messages from backups (Android Authority).

📉 Nintendo lowers Switch price across Europe ahead of OLED model, dropping about 10%. No word on US yet (The Verge).

đŸ“ș Stop mounting your TVs above the fireplace: Why it's actually a terrible idea (CNET).

🍏 Apple has put out an official tech support note saying: Don’t attach your iPhone to motorcycles, mopeds, or scooters if you want the camera to last, as it can damage the gyroscope in the optical image stabilization. I’ve seen motorcyclists discuss this before, and there’s an industry devoted to vibration dampening, but some makes of smartphones are affected worse than others… (Gizmodo).

đŸŽ«You can now buy a $475 NFT ticket to see Beeple’s $69 million NFT at an IRL party (The Verge).

👟 Vienna Marathon winner disqualified for wearing banned shoes (Bloomberg).

📩 California Senate passes warehouse workers bill, taking aim at Amazon (Ars Technica).

đŸ€” A billionaire wants to build a brand new city in the American desert (The Hustle).

👂 “Why did it take 16 hours for the first message to cross the atlantic via a cable?” (r/askscience).

Monday Meme

🐱:

android turtle

Cheers,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor



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