Smartphones are very power-hungry devices, traditionally giving their owners just enough time to run for the nearest charging ports. The iPhone is just one of the offenders in this regard, along with its updates which drain the battery out of older iterations of the device.
After failing to fix this with several software updates over the years, Apple has now patented a new battery saving method for use in the iPhone. This method works based on recognising user patterns over a period of time, and adjusting power consumption during periods that are assumed to be idle accordingly.
For instance, if the iPhone user tends to travel a lot between 7pm, and 9pm, going to bed around 11pm, the device would presumably "learn" these patterns and automatically go into a low power state automatically to conserve battery. Ironically, this method is based on GPS which was one of the culprits of battery drain on older iOS devices.
The lengthy patent description outlines the method of power saving:
The method includes determining by, a processor of the mobile electronic device, an estimated use of the mobile electronic device during an upcoming time period; using the estimated use, determining, by the processor, whether an internal power source of the mobile electronic device has sufficient power to continue operation of the mobile electronic device in a first state during the upcoming time period; based on the estimated use and the internal power source, if the internal power source does not have sufficient power, adjusting the one or more characteristics to reduce a power consumption of the mobile electronic device during the upcoming time period.
Windows Phone 8 users may recognise this feature as being similar to the battery saver mode which is automatically activated when the battery level falls to twenty percent, the key difference being that Apple's method works based on location. The patent was filed last year, which could mean we'll see this technology debut on the iPhone 5S, along with a bigger battery and perhaps even the previously patented finger print scanner.