Apple Seeks Answers To iPhone 3.1 OS Battery Killer Mystery

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Is iPhone 3.1 OS a battery buster? Apple is attempting to head off a spate of bad publicity for the iPhone 3.1 OS software update, following word among the Apple iPhone faithful that despite new and exciting features, iPhone 3.1 OS puts a severe drain on the smartphone's battery.

That's the word from The iPhone Blog and other sources reporting that some iPhone users have been contacted by Apple with specific questions on battery life. Apple discussion boards have been so overwhelmed with complaints, apparently, that AppleCare has also sent users a list of 11 follow-up questions, asking about everything from push e-mail to whether the battery indicator itself might be on the fritz.

The iPhone blog reports that AppleCare also included an attachment to help users log battery life -- an unsigned battery life logger which syncs battery data from a user's phone to iTunes and sends it to Apple for review.

Apple launched iPhone OS 3.1 as part of the announcements at its Sept. 8 media event in San Francisco. Available as a free download for iPhone and iPod Touch users, iPhone OS 3.1 includes a "Genius" feature -- a recommendation system for Apple's App Store -- and also adds ringtones from major record labels.

Whether it's a battery killer or not, the iPhone OS 3.1 is undoubtedly buggy and earning Apple some frustrated reaction from users. Everything Channel's own CRN Test Center, for example, has seen a number of problems and a range of bugs that, according to Test Center Managing Editor Edward Moltzen, "are thwarting advances the company had been talking up."

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