Ping the Merciless

Although I’ve been generally happy with iOS 4.3.1, I was among the many folk who noticed a significant degradation in battery life in both 4.3 and 4.3.1.

Given that I have most traffic-and-battery-slurping features disabled (no push e-mail, no notifications, no location services, no nothing), I initially ascribed it to “new toy syndrome”, but over time I found it annoying.

Little did I know how annoying the cause would turn out to be… Making a long story short, what I initially believed to be voodoo turned out to be demonstrably effective.

Ping, Apple’s dubiously useful music service (and something I or my wife don’t use at all), wastes battery life regardless of:

  1. whether or not you listen to music (I don’t)
  2. have it enabled on iTunes (I don’t, not on the machine I sync my devices with), and
  3. whether you’ve ever used iTunes at all (my wife doesn’t).

After a week of turning it off in Settings - General - Restrictions, all our iOS 4.3.1 devices (2 iPhones, 1 iPad and 1 iPod Touch) have gone back to having decent battery life, which makes Apple QA look like a failure.

So my advice to you folk is to both switch it off now and complain to Apple about a service whose only purpose seems to be to waste battery life, regardless of whether or not you actually use it.


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