iPhone “On screen” battery metric

Discussion in 'iOS 12' started by jcorbin, Dec 12, 2018.

  1. jcorbin macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    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?
     
  2. C DM, Dec 12, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018

    C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #2
    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).
     
  3. aakshey macrumors 68000

    aakshey

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    #3
    Phone calls and pretty much everything else currently comes under On Screen Time too.
     
  4. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #4
    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.
     
  5. aakshey macrumors 68000

    aakshey

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    #5
    But it’s too buggy and doesn’t work like that right now.
     
  6. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

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    #6
    Are you talking about the overall screen on and off counters/stats in the battery section, or something else?
     
  7. aakshey macrumors 68000

    aakshey

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    #7
    Battery section yes.
     
  8. jcorbin thread starter macrumors 6502a

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  9. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

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    #9
    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.
     
  10. cynics macrumors G4

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #10
    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.
     
  11. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

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    #11
    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.
     
  12. cynics macrumors G4

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #12
    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.
     
  13. imagineadam macrumors 65816

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    Jan 19, 2011
    #13
    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.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 14, 2018 ---
    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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