Saturday, December 30, 2017

Battery issues and the 4th & 5th R

In the last week Apple showed us how not to 'extend' battery life in a machine.  There will be a lot of experts and Apple fans who will debate both sides, but, here is my observations of the issue.

  • Batteries in all devices degrade over time.  Give the users a tool to allow them to select the power options and explain in simple terms the implications of using them. I have an Android device and when I unplug the machine I turn on the power saving options so I can get a longer life out of the device until I plug back in.  I was informed of the power options for my phone and tablet and I was given a choice to make use of that option!
  • Don't make system changes in the background hoping the users won't notice, they will!  Be up front and explain the issue as there are enthusiasts who will find out and let the whole world know.  If there is an issue that requires changing hardware settings let us know, communicate the issue and what the options are.
  • Don't overcharge us for parts.  I understand and agree you need to make a profit, but, the prices at times seems to be set so it is cheaper to buy an new device.

Everyone knows what the three 'R's are.  Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.  I believe there are two others.
  • Repair.  Don't make it difficult to repair and only at the authorized dealers with over inflated prices.  Nothing is a bigger turn off in my not so humble opinion than being forced into this option.  Make it a bit easier to repair the devices and open up who can make repairs to those devices.  You can set up training and certification (at a reasonable price) for this and then let them compete based on price, service and quality.  As a side effect of making it easier to repair it also will make it easier to recycle the device as it can be more easily disassembled into parts for recycling.
  • Replace.  Make it easy for us to replace the batteries and screens in our devices.  Replaceable batteries is one of the first things I check for when I buy a new device.  I do this not just for phones, I also do this for ALL devices (tablets & laptops especially) that have batteries.  I don't want to buy a device and when the battery is failing either go for an expensive repair or forced to buy a new device as we cannot get a battery.
Over the years I have done various upgrades and repairs to my laptops and cell phones.  It was a simple thing to pop out the old failed battery and then replace it.  For my netbook it gave me the option to do a major upgrade for the battery and I replaced it with a much bigger battery that allows me to work on the machine for most of the day unplugged. 

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