Why Passbook sucks your battery life down

philip in al

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 23, 2010
234
2
I've noticed that if you have ANYTHING saved in Passbook, whether it's a coupon, loyalty card, anything, that any time your lock screen is activated, Passbook also activates your Geo Location (via location services) and checks to see whether you have anything in Passbook that it needs to display (based on where you are).

The real problem with this is that simply turning on your screen is a major battery drain. What most people don't realize is that your screen turns on a lot more than you think. For example, some people have their email setup to display every time there is an incoming email. So if you were to get 50 emails a day, that's 50 times that your screen comes on (and 50 times that Passbook loads location services, in order to see if you are near anything stored in your Passbook). Couple this with how many more times your screen activates because of any other apps that notify or alert you via the lock screen and you have Passbook activating location services 100 times a day.

You can test this by placing any coupon etc in Passbook and then watching the top of your screen any time your screen comes on. You will see the blue triangle light (indicating location services is on). Now go back and remove EVERYTHING from Passbook. Now when your screen comes on, no more blue triangle and no more location services checking to see where you are.
 

oplix

Suspended
Jun 29, 2008
1,460
487
New York, NY
which is why the exclusion of a separate LED for alerts is mind boggling considering the emphasis on battery life efficiency.
 

Skika

macrumors 68030
Mar 11, 2009
2,923
924
So... Wouldnt turning off location services for passbook alone solve the problem?
 

philip in al

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 23, 2010
234
2
You're right, turning off notifications does nothing and turning off location services will fix the issue; however, you will no longer be notified when you arrive at a location that has a passbook coupon or card for you.
 

philip in al

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 23, 2010
234
2
The point being, if you have a passbook for something like Starbucks that you use on a very regular basis, it may be worth keeping it in passbook. But, if you have a simple coupon that you may or may not use and nothing else in passbook, you probably don't want to use it.
 

sectime

macrumors 6502a
Jul 29, 2007
530
0
How large is the battery drain for you? I don't see a change with using Passbook. If it would I would just charge my phone.
 

philip in al

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 23, 2010
234
2
I'm really not sure at this point. Last night was the first time that I figured this out. I'll let you know after a couple of days.
 

rever3nce

macrumors 6502a
Apr 6, 2011
567
5
The point being, if you have a passbook for something like Starbucks that you use on a very regular basis, it may be worth keeping it in passbook. But, if you have a simple coupon that you may or may not use and nothing else in passbook, you probably don't want to use it.
Its neat that it will pull up the coupon already for you based on location services, but its not very hard to unlock your phone and launch passport. much better than draining battery location
 

mrapplegate

macrumors 68030
Feb 26, 2011
2,818
8
Cincinnati, OH
Developers have access to three ways to determine location.
1. Use the built in GPS for devices that have it. This uses the most battery and is the most accurate.
2. Use triangulation using cell phone towers.
3. Use wifi location and a database lookup.
Numbers two or three uses less battery and it is probably what Passbook uses.
So battery drain should be minimal.
I use a weather app called Dark Sky which use location services 24/7 and it uses cell towers for tracking my location. I noticed no additional battery drain.

http://blog.filzhut.de/2011/12/06/i...tion-vs-wlan-wrong-location-due-to-wlan-wifi/

http://engineeringblog.yelp.com/201...r-location-accuracy-using-yelp-check-ins.html
 

Oppressed

macrumors 65816
Aug 15, 2010
1,265
10
If this is a big deal couldn't you just set your email notifications to not show in the lock screen?
 

Xenomorph

macrumors 65816
Aug 6, 2008
1,306
552
St. Louis
You can test this by placing any coupon etc in Passbook and then watching the top of your screen any time your screen comes on. You will see the blue triangle light (indicating location services is on). Now go back and remove EVERYTHING from Passbook. Now when your screen comes on, no more blue triangle and no more location services checking to see where you are.
I've had a Target coupon for a few days and the Starbucks card since yesterday. I've not once seen Passport use location services.

Passport isn't even listed for me in Location services. It's never requested location information! I can open and close it, display coupons, switch between them, etc. It never once requested my location.

Now, the Target app and Starbucks app request my information (to local the closest locations).
 

philip in al

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 23, 2010
234
2
Mr. Applegate, the Starbucks app uses GPS (location services). Oppressed; no shutting off your email notifications does not change the fact that it opens and calls upon location services.
 

Surrylic

macrumors regular
Jun 26, 2010
201
86
If Passbook sucks so much battery life down, then does that mean location based Reminders do too? I use those all the time, and my phone doesn't have to be unlocked for it to know when I'm arriving at home or work... so since it is continually aware of my location you'd think that would drain far more heavily than if Passbook just checks when the screen turns on. Right? Maybe?
 

mrapplegate

macrumors 68030
Feb 26, 2011
2,818
8
Cincinnati, OH
Mr. Applegate, the Starbucks app uses GPS (location services). Oppressed; no shutting off your email notifications does not change the fact that it opens and calls upon location services.
That's bad then. Perhaps with enough of a backlash the developers will switch to a less battery intensive way to locate the user. Considering its use they don't need a precise fix just a general you are near me fix.
 

jpcarro

macrumors 6502
Mar 13, 2009
417
80
On your nine
Noticed this as well and simply disabled location services for Passbook. Don't need to have it auto-detect if I'm near a Starbucks.

However, after running 18 hours or so with it enabled, I really haven't noticed an increase in battery drain...and I'm in and out of my phone all day as well as mail, msg, ESPN, etc alerts all day long.
 

Pattycerts

macrumors 6502
Jul 4, 2007
275
0
Not trying to defend Apple, but this is pretty obvious.

If you want passbook to notify you when you're close to a location, it needs to KNOW YOUR LOCATION CONSTANTLY.

It's the same as the location-based reminders. If you're not going to be near a charger all day then you can't use these alerts.

I did, however, notice that the OS uses 'geofencing' for these apps instead of direct GPS, which I assume is a little better for battery life. I haven't tested it though
 

philip in al

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 23, 2010
234
2
Surrylic, yes those are bad. In fact, an old trick on the iPhone 4 and 4s (several os ago) was to go into the location services settings and disable many of the factory enabled settings like; compass calibration, diagnostics and usage, traffic, loc based ads, time zone support etc. it certainly made a difference. All of these consistently ping your location; which draws on your battery.
 

zone23

macrumors 68000
May 10, 2012
1,970
748
Xenomorph, Check settings, privacy. It should be there.
Ya I was in there digging around there other day and turned a bunch of stuff off. Passbook is cool but much like the S3 features I just wont use it enough to warrant the GPS activating every time I unlock my phone. I'll know when I'm at Starbucks..
 

philip in al

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 23, 2010
234
2
The good news is, it doesn't matter whether you have one item in passbook or a thousand, it's not going to draw any more power.
 

Senseotech

macrumors 6502a
Nov 23, 2009
773
14
NC
I've been running the Walgreens passbook card since iOS 6 was officially launched, so roughly 2 weeks, and never noticed a significant drain on my 4S or when I switched to the iPhone 5. Yes it uses battery, but its not enough to where I've truly noticed it.
 

GaresTaylan

macrumors 6502a
Nov 11, 2009
864
29
Hmm, i cant seem to replicate this issue. I have Walgreens and Target in my passbook. I stopped at Walgreens on the way home and it activated as it should.

I havent made any calls today, but I do have 2 exchange accounts pushing to the phone through the day. I took the phone off the charger at 6:30est this morning and as of now I'm at 81%. Passbook activated for Walgreens around 3:00.
 

kas23

macrumors 603
Oct 28, 2007
5,627
291
If anyone is worried about battery life with Passbook, just look to save battery life in other places. For example, kill email Push and set it to Fetch hourly.
 

Michael CM1

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2008
5,677
273
So what you're saying is by using another feature that activates certain functions of my phone, my battery life decreases?
 
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