Tech Talk #208–July 8, 2023

iOS and battery optimization

The first generation of cell phone batteries were Nickel-Cadmium (NiCad) batteries. NiCad batteries were toxic (the Cadmium part,) heavy, had overheating issues, and developed a memory effect from charging cycles. This memory effect was the source of the old advice to drain your phone down to 0% battery before charging it again. Along came Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries. NiMH batteries got rid of the toxic cadmium, developed less of a memory effect, and got more power into a smaller space.

Currently, we use Lithium-ion batteries in phones. Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries pack a lot of power into a smaller, thinner space and don’t develop a memory effect. By the way, if you’re still following the old “drain it down to zero” advice with a Li-ion battery, you’re damaging it, so don’t do it.

While Li-ion batteries don’t develop a memory effect, they have a maximum charge cycle issue. You can only charge a Li-ion battery so many times before it loses charging capacity. If you charge your battery from 80 to 100% five days in a row, those 20% charges add up to one “full charge cycle.”

IOS includes a battery optimization feature to reduce the time your iPhone spends with a 100% battery charge. How? When your iPhone is on a charger overnight, an algorithm will hold the battery charge at 80% until just before you wake up. Your wake-up time is determined by alarms you may have set, the Battery Health app, and sensor activity. Just before you wake up, your iPhone will finish charging up to 100%.

Cellphone robocalls: don’t answer your phone

It’s not your imagination; robocalls are getting worse. By some estimates, nearly half of all cell phone calls are robocalls. All the major carriers are working with the FCC to solve our robocall problem.

While we wait on that, there’s an easy way to minimize the number of robocalls you get-if your call is from an unknown number, don’t answer the phone.

It can be hard not to answer the phone when it rings, but simply answering a robocall leads to more robocalls. And if you ever interact with a robocaller by answering their questions or something else, you’ll get even more robocalls.

Why? Results get separated into three piles: no answer, answered and hung up, and interacted. For the next campaign, which numbers do you think will get moved to the top of the list? People who answered and interacted, followed by people who answered and hung up, and the last numbers to call will be the numbers where no one answered.

And don’t forget that some of the worst robocallers are scammers who hope you’ll call them back. If you do call them back, you may be calling a disguised overseas 900 number that will hit your phone bill, hard.

Of course, not answering your phone for unknown numbers won’t make the robocalls stop, but it will help.

Not THAT waterproof…

Cell phones have completely ruined the fun of pushing a fully dressed person into the pool.

Do you have a computer or technology question? Greg Cunningham has been providing Tehachapi with on-site PC and network services since 2007. Email Greg at

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.