I’m trying to figure out if there is something wrong with my new iphone 4S.
I’m using it with Strava, a cycle computer app that uses the GPS to calculate distance travelled and speed. Unfortunately the battery is only lasting long enough to do a 120 km ride, so about 4 to 4.5 hours. I’m turning everything off that isn’t necessary such as wifi and bluetooth and the only app running is Strava, everything else is closed. I’ve tried turning 3G and cellular data off as well but it makes no difference.
To start with I thought the poor battery life was just a limitation of using a smart phone for a cycle computer instead of a dedicated unit like a Garmin and that I’d have to just get used to it but my girlfriend’s iphone doesn’t have a battery problem running Strava.
As an example we both rode 120km on Sunday. We both had iphones running Strava and both phones had 100% charge. The only difference is that hers is an old iPhone 4 while mine is a 4S, also her network provider has better cellphone coverage than mine does. After riding 60km we took a break and my phone was down to 55% while hers was still in the 90s. I had to recharge my phone to ensure it’d last the distance while she could comfortably finish the ride with hers and have it available for phone calls for the rest of the day. Most rides I do I don’t have the luxury of recharging my phone halfway through.
With the battery life I’m getting it seems to just cope with 120km as long as it starts with a full charge, but I’m planning on doing rides up to 200km over the rest of the year and although I’ll probably end up getting a dedicated cycling GPS in the future I’d rather not be forced into it.
Some things I’ve tried. I’ve installed the latest iOS 5 update, I’ve deleted and reinstalled Strava, and I’ve tried minimising other services as described above. The only thing I haven’t tried yet is using it in airplane mode. I’ve seen photographic evidence that the phone’s GPS is still available in airplane mode but I’ve never had any luck getting it to work.
I’m thinking I need to return it to Apple but I’m not sure they’ll accept that the phone is faulty, I’m thinking they’ll say “GPS apps suck battery” and won’t accept my comparison with the other iPhone.
So, any ideas on whether this is normal? Is the difference between my phone and my girlfriend’s because mine is a 4S? Could it be because we use different service providers and my provider has a smaller coverage area and so the phone is spending more time searching for cell towers? Has anyone had any luck using an iPhone GPS in airplane mode?
Edit: Now I see from the Apple website that airplane mode disables the GPS. I have definitely seen a screen shot of an iPad in airplane mode with a GPS working but it may have been an external GPS.