iPhone “On screen” battery metric

jcorbin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 18, 2011
765
27
D.C.
I was looking at my battery usage over the last 8 days and noticed that the phone app has an on screen time of nearly 5.5 hours. I’m assuming this metric doesn’t mean that my screen stays on whenever I’m on the phone but rather the phone app is in the foreground for the amount of time listed. Can anyone confirm?
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,557
16,055
I was looking at my battery usage over the last 8 days and noticed that the phone app has an on screen time of nearly 5.5 hours. I’m assuming this metric doesn’t mean that my screen stays on whenever I’m on the phone but rather the phone app is in the foreground for the amount of time listed. Can anyone confirm?
On screen is supposed to correspond to the screen actually being on if I recall correctly, at least for the overall counters, while the app ones might be using similar wording but treating it a little differently (not sure why there's a difference like that).
 
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C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,557
16,055
Phone calls and pretty much everything else currently comes under On Screen Time too.
If the screen is actually on. If the screen is off during a call then that should be part of the screen off counter. At least that's the case for the overall counters, the app counters seem to be a little different it seems.
 

aakshey

macrumors 68000
Jun 13, 2016
1,681
686
If the screen is actually on. If the screen is off during a call then that should be part of the screen off counter. At least that's the case for the overall counters, the app counters seem to be a little different it seems.
But it’s too buggy and doesn’t work like that right now.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,557
16,055
I’m talking about the per app activity
Yeah, that seems to be somewhat different for some reason as far as how it treats on screen (and doesn't even show with screen off). A little odd in the sense of how the usage stats on the same page are presented differently and can mean different things.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,313
1,696
All phone use falls under "on screen".

Phone is always "on screen" when in use. Keep in mind even when you have another app running in the foreground phone is still showing at the top of the screen. The app doesn't have a background API for it to activate the timer for "background" use like many other apps.

As counter intuitive as it sounds even if the screen is off the phone will still be clicking away as "on screen" time used. It will display "low signal strength" though if its burning through battery maxing out its power output for a phone call.

I found that even if the screen is off and an app is running (like music) it still displays 'on screen' unless you literally put it in the background.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,557
16,055
All phone use falls under "on screen".

Phone is always "on screen" when in use. Keep in mind even when you have another app running in the foreground phone is still showing at the top of the screen. The app doesn't have a background API for it to activate the timer for "background" use like many other apps.

As counter intuitive as it sounds even if the screen is off the phone will still be clicking away as "on screen" time used. It will display "low signal strength" though if its burning through battery maxing out its power output for a phone call.

I found that even if the screen is off and an app is running (like music) it still displays 'on screen' unless you literally put it in the background.
Sounds like terminology isn't quite right there and the way things are counted for apps (which have no screen off counter) seems to be different than the overall counters which are for screen on and screen off.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,313
1,696
Sounds like terminology isn't quite right there and the way things are counted for apps (which have no screen off counter) seems to be different than the overall counters which are for screen on and screen off.
Because they are different metrics, I believe anyway. Saying this is convoluted is an understatement.

Activity is actual time based with a blue and light blue chart that shows you the amount of time the device wasn't idle. Blue being time the screen was using battery, light blue being the time screen was off using battery and the remainder of the time being idle.

Activity by App is how long specific apps used battery. Since iOS can multitask these numbers can't be added together because you'd get a number greater than the elapsed time.

Here is a screen shot from my iPad.

IMG_0468.png


To simplify it I selected 3am to 4am.

The on screen time adds up to the Screen On time. However this doesn't always have to be the case with multitasking, if I was in safari for 1 hour while watching Prime Video picture in picture for 1 hour that would add up to 2 hours of app use in a single hour. Background task can happen concurrently with foreground task, background task, with each other or any combination.

I used that as a specific example of background task since at some point background and on screen activity were happening from the same app.

I've never paid much attention too it but I just assumed when using the phone the screen was technically on, turning the LCD off at times based on time or proximity sensor but not locking it thus indicating Screen On and on screen time. I'll have to check it tomorrow though.
 

imagineadam

macrumors 65816
Jan 19, 2011
1,261
449
I was looking at my battery usage over the last 8 days and noticed that the phone app has an on screen time of nearly 5.5 hours. I’m assuming this metric doesn’t mean that my screen stays on whenever I’m on the phone but rather the phone app is in the foreground for the amount of time listed. Can anyone confirm?
Yeah I’ve noticed this too. While on a phone call even if the screen is off when it’s up to your face it counts all of that time as screen on time even though it truly isn’t. It’s clearly an oversight and hopefully it will be addressed in a future update.
[doublepost=1544801596][/doublepost]Another thing I’ve noticed is that screen time for a whole day reports a slightly different number than screen on usage in the battery section per day of overall usage. They should match up exactly but they never do for some odd reason. I’ll attach and example.
 

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