Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 29th Apr 2013 21:06 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Oh multitasking. That staple of computing that got thrown out the window with many modern smartphones. We got some rudimentary thing in its place - but even as multitasking on phone and tablets improves, its user-visible side remains cumbersome. Windows 8 has a neat implementation, and now it's time Android follows in it footsteps.
Thread beginning with comment 560119
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: comment
by Morgan on Tue 30th Apr 2013 06:05 UTC in reply to "comment"
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

The problem with that is battery life. Windows 3.1 laptops didn't have to worry as much about battery life because half the weight of the 7 pound device was the battery. I know, because my first x86 computer was an i486 based laptop with WfW 3.11.

On a phone, the battery is almost always a single cell, and every process running on the device is another few minutes of life leaked away. Every Android phone I've owned has suffered severe battery life issues after it's been in use for a few weeks, to the point that it would last no more than four to six hours on a charge. Even with a reflash and only default apps installed, the time between charges would get steadily shorter every day.

In contrast, the iPhone 4S I'm using right now will sometimes last me two full days between charges. Having also had my wife's iPad in the house since we got married last month, I can only conclude that iOS's method of pausing most backgrounded apps is the reason. I say this because, if she is playing a game or using an app on her iPad that continues to run in the background (there are a few it seems), her battery life suffers similar to that of a typical Android tablet. Just browsing the web, or Pinterest, or Facebook barely touches the battery. On my iPhone, streaming audio over WiFi or playing certain games will have a bigger impact, but using more static apps and browsing the web just sips power marginally. On the Android (Samsung Nexus S with a new battery) I could take it off the charger, never take it out of my pocket, and four hours later I'm at 30% battery.

My usage patterns haven't changed; I use the same apps I used on my Android phone and I actually use this phone more than the other, possibly because I've discovered it will last much longer. Yet I get significantly better battery life.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: comment
by pandronic on Tue 30th Apr 2013 06:33 in reply to "RE: comment"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

Well, I understand the battery issue as I've had an SGS for the past 2 years. It wasn't that bad as you described your experience - I usually got about 1-2 days of use out of my phone, but I was very careful about the way I used it (I always force closed apps and services I didn't use at the time + no data and GPS unless I really needed them). On the other hand on my new WP8 device I get about the same battery life with data and GPS always on, which is amazing. Still I can't shake the feeling that while the Android device was almost a real computer, WP8 and iOS devices are glorified feature phones.

I don't mind doing the battery management myself, always keeping track of my opened applications and closing them as needed. I also doubt that the average user would know or have the interest to do that, so I say - make true multitasking an advanced option for the power user.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: comment
by No it isnt on Tue 30th Apr 2013 23:00 in reply to "RE[2]: comment"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Force closing applications won't save your battery under Android. They'll just restart whenever they feel like it anyway. Turning off the radios will help a lot, but naturally, the GPS isn't normally used when it isn't used. So you don't really save anything from turning it off. Data, on the other hand, will drain a lot. Then again, if you don't want data, you don't want a smartphone.

tl;dr: you're doing it wrong.

I get at least two days out of my Nexus 4, and that's with Google Now tracking my movement.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: comment
by hollovoid on Tue 30th Apr 2013 10:42 in reply to "RE: comment"
hollovoid Member since:
2005-09-21

Not sure what phone you had but my droid X got a day easy, and my Razr Maxx HD has pushed 3. This is with a good amount of usage, on LTE, and no babysitting background tasks. But not all phones are created equal, I read reviews and study up on my potential purchases, to see if it is going to do what I want it to do. If it has horrible batt life, just dont buy it!

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: comment
by Morgan on Wed 1st May 2013 05:21 in reply to "RE[2]: comment"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

The Razr Maxx has one defining killer feature: Battery life. That is the single most important design decision for that phone, and it's top-notch in that area. I also have friends with that model and they love the fact that they don't have to carry around a charger all the time.

However, that phone wasn't on the table for me, for two reasons. The most important one is that I'm on Sprint and I would go without a phone before I'd choose Verizon as a carrier. They are simply terrible in my area. The other reason is that I wanted a "pure Google" phone if I was going to go back to Android, so I chose the Nexus S above other, better phones.

Now that I've seen how well the iPhone fits my current need for a reliable, solid mobile device, I think I'm done with Android for the foreseeable future. I'm getting to a point where the hobby of tinkering with my phone's OS has to take a back seat to having a device I can count on. I honestly think that even if I had ended up with an HTC One or Note 2 I would have ultimately been frustrated and let down.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: comment
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 30th Apr 2013 20:34 in reply to "RE: comment"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I have the opposite experience. The 4s I have access to lasts barely 1 day. The SGS III lasts maybe a few hours more. I think it wildly varies on Android phones, because the hardware is so different. You'd need a device that was supported by both OS' in order to do a fair test. With out that, I'd guess the IOS method was better, but can't say that definitively.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: comment
by Morgan on Wed 1st May 2013 05:11 in reply to "RE[2]: comment"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

All I know is, I could reflash the Nexus S to a stock image, lock the bootloader and log into Google services, charge it fully with a battery that was just a few weeks old, set it down on my desk, and come back a few hours later to around 50% battery at best. That's with zero third party apps installed on a "pure Google" OS.

With my iPhone, I can charge it fully, set it on my desk and come back a few hours later to ~95% charge remaining. And that's logged into Google+ and Voice, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and all of Apple's services including iTunes and iCloud.

The only way I can make the iPhone drain like an Android device is by streaming audio or video over Sprint's horribly inefficient 3G, or running certain graphics-heavy games for hours on end. Since I don't actually do those things much at all, I get the best smartphone battery life I've had apart from my HTC Arrive WP7 phone. I'd say the iPhone is on par or slightly better than that phone on battery life.

I didn't even intend to get an iPhone though; I was due for an upgrade and I couldn't afford the Note 2 I really wanted. I was going to go with the HTC One but they were still on pre-order status. I needed a working phone and the iPhone was affordable, so I figured I'd try it. The last time I owned one it was a first generation model on AT&T back in 2008. It's definitely come a long way and I'm actually enjoying it so far.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: comment
by Luminair on Wed 1st May 2013 15:13 in reply to "RE: comment"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

have you seen how thin modern phones are? batteries can get bigger if necessary to support multitasking. not that I believe this is the case -- most of the battery is there for the screen...

Reply Parent Score: 3