iPhone 4 phantom usage (on time)

JulianL

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 2, 2010
1,142
126
London, UK
I was pretty sure that the usage figures shown in "Settings/General/Usage" on my iPhone for "Usage" (i.e. not "Standby") didn't tally with my usage so I just did some experiments. I made a note of the usage at 15:00 on Monday when it showed 1h 18m of usage. I then left my iPhone totally untouched for 24 hours and checked it again at 15:00 yesterday and the usage showed as 1h 37m so, even though I hadn't switched my iPhone on at all, the system showed 19 minutes of "phantom" usage. I do not have any push services enabled at all, I don't allow any apps to use notification, I don't have location services on and I don't even have any email accounts set up on the phone at all.

I then thought that something running in the quick dock must be draining battery (as is being discussed in another thread here at the moment) so yesterday I then went to the quicklaunch dock and closed every single application so that, when I then switched off my phone, the dock was completely empty. This took a minute so the usage showed as 1h 38m when I switched the phone off at about 15:00 yesterday. A few minutes ago (i.e. at 15:00) I switched on my phone after another 24 hours of not touching it and the usage now shows 1h 57m, i.e. exactly the same 19 minutes of phantom usage time that is clearly not relating to any apps in the quicklaunch dock (since there weren't any).

I guess that it's not a big deal but 19 minutes in 24 hours means that the phone is actually switching itself on in some way for about 1.3% of the time which actually seems a lot, especially with no push services or polling of email set up.

Do other people see this? Does anyone have any thoughts as to what might be causing it?

- Julian
 

maturola

macrumors 68040
Oct 29, 2007
3,863
1
Atlanta, GA
I guess that it's not a big deal but 19 minutes in 24 hours means that the phone is actually switching itself on in some way for about 1.3% of the time which actually seems a lot, especially with no push services or polling of email set up.
- Julian
19 mins on 24 hours is normal, smart phones are never totally dead, I actually think that 19 mins is extremely good, Smartphone connects to the cell towers once in a while just to let them know that it is alive (kind of, is more complicated than that, but it will illustrated the example). The receive/transmits power of the radio is determined by the tower, when the tower is in low traffic it may decided to lower the power so it will notify all devices within range. At this time your phone will become active for a few second to acknowledge and them come back to low power. This can happen several times in a 24 hours window.

There are many others cases, tower being too full and sending low power devices to a farther aways tower, load tests, etc.

You seen to have read the others post, your 19min is best case, i left my phone for 6 hours on the desk, same settings and it showed me 2hours and 15 min usage after only 6 hours. :(
 

Bear Hunter

macrumors 6502a
Aug 10, 2008
598
0
Mail app fetching mail? You need to go into settings as it has nothing to do with the icon in fast app switching.
 

JulianL

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 2, 2010
1,142
126
London, UK
maturola said:
19 mins on 24 hours is normal, smart phones are never totally dead ... At this time your phone will become active for a few second to acknowledge and them come back to low power. This can happen several times in a 24 hours window.

There are many others cases, tower being too full and sending low power devices to a farther aways tower, load tests, etc.

You seen to have read the others post, your 19min is best case, i left my phone for 6 hours on the desk, same settings and it showed me 2hours and 15 min usage after only 6 hours. :(
Wow, that's terrible (2h 15m in 6 hours). I guess I should stop complaining.

Regarding the usage for tower interfacing, that's interesting. Personally though, if I was a smartphone manufacturer (in this case Apple) I wouldn't log that time against the usage statistic, I'd leave the usage number to truly represent the time used by user interactions. The phone knows why it's become active so it's presumably entirely down to the operating system as to whether it increments the usage time after having been woken up to negotiate with a cell tower. I think it would be more intuitive for most users if this time wasn't shown as usage.

Bear Hunter - it's definitely not fetching email. I don't have any email accounts set up on my phone. I don't want to be constantly connected to email, if something is really urgent then people know to call me. I use Google mail so if I really need to access my email on the go then I log in via the browser, do what I have to do, and then log off. The iPhone mail app has no accounts at all set up in it.

- Julian
 

maturola

macrumors 68040
Oct 29, 2007
3,863
1
Atlanta, GA
Wow, that's terrible (2h 15m in 6 hours). I guess I should stop complaining.

Regarding the usage for tower interfacing, that's interesting. Personally though, if I was a smartphone manufacturer (in this case Apple) I wouldn't log that time against the usage statistic, I'd leave the usage number to truly represent the time used by user interactions. The phone knows why it's become active so it's presumably entirely down to the operating system as to whether it increments the usage time after having been woken up to negotiate with a cell tower. I think it would be more intuitive for most users if this time wasn't shown as usage.

Bear Hunter - it's definitely not fetching email. I don't have any email accounts set up on my phone. I don't want to be constantly connected to email, if something is really urgent then people know to call me. I use Google mail so if I really need to access my email on the go then I log in via the browser, do what I have to do, and then log off. The iPhone mail app has no accounts at all set up in it.

- Julian
I agreed with you, but to he honest, in order to do that, the phone would have to "analyzed" the type of "action" being taken by the radio (is it the tower, or is itthe user) that would result on a some how complex process and end up using more battery, I think it wouldn't worth it. As i said...19min of 24 hours its not really that much. (about 1.3%)

also depend a lot on your location (and many other factors, weather, traffic, etc). in some places that process happen maybe once every 12 hours, so your usage in those low key areas would be maybe 1 or 2 minutes.
 

bstpierre

macrumors 6502a
Mar 28, 2008
541
155
Look at your data usuage online at AT&T, you will see a transfer during the night. That has been going on for a while, definitely pre-4.0.
 

Sebby

macrumors 6502a
Dec 20, 2008
666
32
London, UK
The same thing has started on mine recently, and I am trying to find the cause at the moment. I would say that over half the reported usage on mine is this phantom usage. It is running my battery down very quickly and it's starting to annoy me.

I've just removed my 2 Exchange accounts and will see how it goes.
 

DipDog3

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2002
1,182
675


It is like this all day and all night.

I have not idea what is causing all the data charges.

Anyone have any idea????

Update (most recent):
 

DipDog3

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2002
1,182
675
Different on iPhone 3GS vs iPhone 4

I have an iPhone 4 on a 200MB plan & it has the phantom usage which uses 7KB-13KB every 10 minutes or so. This occurs all through out the day & night.

My iPhone 3GS is on the unlimited plan. It does NOT have the phantom usage at all. The iPhone 3GS has been updated to 4.0 as well.

The settings on the two phones are the same with the same apps.

WHY THE DIFFERENCE? :mad:
 

Sebby

macrumors 6502a
Dec 20, 2008
666
32
London, UK
I delete my Exchange accounts last night, did a network settings reset, charged the phone to 100%, then took the phone off charge and did not touch it over night. The phantom usage is still there, so it's not Exchange accounts that are to blame.

Quite honestly, there isn't anything else it can be other than the firmware itself.
 

DanggxAmanda

macrumors regular
Jul 2, 2010
194
0
Yeah this happens to me too. I make sure I take of all the apps on multitask and have emails on manually push. don't touch the phone all night and when I wake up the usage has an extra hour on it. wth
 

ToroidalZeus

macrumors 68020
Dec 8, 2009
2,300
871
I have an iPhone 4 on a 200MB plan & it has the phantom usage which uses 7KB-13KB every 10 minutes or so. This occurs all through out the day & night.

My iPhone 3GS is on the unlimited plan. It does NOT have the phantom usage at all. The iPhone 3GS has been updated to 4.0 as well.

The settings on the two phones are the same with the same apps.

WHY THE DIFFERENCE? :mad:
Rumor has it that the new data plans allow AT&T to charge/monitor the data differently.
 

JulianL

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 2, 2010
1,142
126
London, UK
If it's anything to do with AT&T then it's not just AT&T because I'm in the UK (Orange) and I leave data services switched off 99% of the time (thanks Apple - it was a very welcome iOS 4 addition to allow total disabling of the data connection without needing to put the phone in aeroplane mode).

- Julian
 
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