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Perhaps my iPhone 3G’s Exchange is draining the battery?

iPhone exchange

I’m wondering if one of the primary reasons that my iPhone 3G is draining it’s battery at a shocking rate whenever it’s unplugged is due to the Exchange integration?

I was delighted when I was able to configure my device with my calendar, contacts and whatnot. It just sucked down all my data and whenever I add a contact or calendar entry on my desktop — woosh — it appears nigh-on immediately on my iPhone.

But that must account for some kind of overhead, right? It’s apparently ‘pushing’ to the device. I’m thinking of changing it to ‘pull’ (although I’m not quite clear on how I actually ‘pull’ data down. Maybe a ‘sync’ button appears?).

We shall see. Has anyone else been using Exchange on their iPhone whilst the battery drains before their eyes?

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

29 replies on “Perhaps my iPhone 3G’s Exchange is draining the battery?”

Same thing with the E71. I used it with Roadsync set to manual and the battery lasted 5+ days. Wednesday I set it to push and the battery drained after 36 hours. My iPhone will barely last 8 hours on a single charge with Exchange Activesync activated.
Can't do without Push email though…

There must be a better way….<thinks>……maybe use SMS to advise you of the title and first 140 charachters of a new email/calendar event, then you can decide if you want to actually fire up the PIM client and get the whole thing.

Anyone offer a check-and-notify-of-new-email-by-SMS service, that uses your bundled SMS allowance? This can't be a new thing, surely….

I had that set up in 97 I think. New emails triggered an SMS pushed through one of the free network SMS gateways they all had at the time (alas no more). Then just pulled the messages using the handset's POP/IMAP client. Infinite Interchange – was a great product.

Can't do without Push email though…
erm, you can – honest – really.

joking aside – its interesting that your moaning about the E71 only having 3 days of battery life!

iPhone is lucky to make it to lunch 🙂

Your quite right of course, but I like gadgets, and push email is just another one of them.
Saying that though, OpenHand is a polling email client, yet customers were not willing to wait even a minute for an email…
My Nokia 7710 lasts about a week, bigger screen than the iPhone, though a tad less elegant.

Exchange push has always been an inefficient process. The problem is that it maintains a TCP connection back to the server, v.expensive as must keep data link open at all times.

BlackBerry have this one nailed, using out-of-band signalling, ie a message is sent to the device over the mobile network telling it to go and get some data. That way BlackBerry just establishes data connection when needed. I suspect that they might do something funky with the data stack as well, though that is pure speculation.

I've resorted to buying a Proporta mobile charger (http://www.proporta.com/F02/PPF02P05.php?t_id=2…). Keep it in my bag and I'm never far away from a top up. It does my Nokia as well.

It's been a while since I did anything with it so this is all from vague memory but you can, on Symbian at least, tell an app to listen for class 3 SMS and take action on it… the user is entirely unaware of any SMS arriving and the SMS can, in this example, then be interpreted by the app as a trigger to go and fetch mail.

This is similar to the way the little voicemail & fax indications work.

Without a doubt, battery mgmt is an issue even on the 2g. The 2.01 code seemed to help with the hesitation/stuttering with application spawning and data entry…but I don't see any improvement re: battery usage (although not even sure if there was anything meant to address this as I had hoped). Overall, I think the enablement of the data push has cut the daily battery life to less than half of what I normally experienced…1-2 days on usage that consisted mostly of data via edge with wifi on occasion.

I have no push services on (use IMAP and Google Apps For Your Domain account) and battery life is still terrible, so while it probably makes it worse, there are definitely other issues…..

I suffer from same problems.

On my old Palm device the ActiveSync implementation allowed for “push” or to set a polling schedule (e.g. every 10 minutes the phone would pull). I used the pull method for years and had no issues. Alas, this configurability is not available on my iPhone.

I'm considering switching off ActiveSync, but I really need my calendar sync'd to the exchange version — and I can't be without the accept/decline for meeting invites I can get to my corp mail through IMAP/POP, but don't know how to maintain calendar in sync — any thoughts?

Lastly, why does the iphone implementation ping the server EVERY time I go to a mail message? (often even if the message has been previously opened?) This seems like a particularly chatty implementation and many times it takes as long as 2 to 3 seconds just to open a mail message. If the connection is slow (Edge) then it can take even longer (again, for a message that has come in several hours prior…).

Also,

Same here,.. it really sucks,. with 3G and GPS turned off, mail set to pull once every hour and exchange (only calendars) on I get like 6-7 hours of battery without calling and messaging,..

It really sucks!

I see the same thing. In addition, the phone is constantly warm and the phone rarely rings when people call. At first, I thought something had happened to the phone. The Apple Store in town actually swapped it out thinking the battery had gone bad. Same battery drain/heat with the replacement phone. I could tell from my computer speakers that the phone had become unusually chatty behavior which had changed from the first 5 months I owned it. In doing some research, I also learned that when the network is busy (2G in my case…probably same for 3G) the phone cannot recieve/place calls. I theorized that something was just talking on the data service a LOT. I removed all my apps. No change. I decided to delete both my Exchange and IMAP account on the phone…and voila! The phone was no longer chatty, reasonable battery life returned, and I had no email. I went without for a couple of days, then added the Exchange account back in….but, for whatever reason, I decided to try email only and leave calendar/contact syncing off. The phone worked great. Message push worked great and battery life remained more than acceptable. After a couple of days, I turned on calendar syncing. I turned it off 1 hour later after losing 30% of my battery charge. Thing is, it did work at one time. I suspect something happened either in my calendar or with the Exchange server….although that's simply a hunch.

I see the same thing. In addition, the phone is constantly warm and the phone rarely rings when people call. At first, I thought something had happened to the phone. The Apple Store in town actually swapped it out thinking the battery had gone bad. Same battery drain/heat with the replacement phone. I could tell from my computer speakers that the phone had become unusually chatty behavior which had changed from the first 5 months I owned it. In doing some research, I also learned that when the network is busy (2G in my case…probably same for 3G) the phone cannot recieve/place calls. I theorized that something was just talking on the data service a LOT. I removed all my apps. No change. I decided to delete both my Exchange and IMAP account on the phone…and voila! The phone was no longer chatty, reasonable battery life returned, and I had no email. I went without for a couple of days, then added the Exchange account back in….but, for whatever reason, I decided to try email only and leave calendar/contact syncing off. The phone worked great. Message push worked great and battery life remained more than acceptable. After a couple of days, I turned on calendar syncing. I turned it off 1 hour later after losing 30% of my battery charge. Thing is, it did work at one time. I suspect something happened either in my calendar or with the Exchange server….although that's simply a hunch.

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