Will a sleep tracking app shorten my phone's battery lifespan?

redryder

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 7, 2010
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0
I installed MotionX 24/7 and tried it last night without plugging in my phone. On a new Iphone 6, the battery drained by 30% after 7 hours of sleep. Given that there is a finite number of charges that a phone battery has, will using such apps shorten the lifespan of a phone battery?

Does leaving it plugged in help or make no difference?
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,054
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ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
I installed MotionX 24/7 and tried it last night without plugging in my phone. On a new Iphone 6, the battery drained by 30% after 7 hours of sleep. Given that there is a finite number of charges that a phone battery has, will using such apps shorten the lifespan of a phone battery?

Does leaving it plugged in help or make no difference?
I doubt it makes any difference. My iPhone 5 is plugged in nightly for no less than five hours with the screen on all night because I use it as a bedside clock. Sometimes it's more than ten hours.

While not exactly the same it's a similar use of the phone. Additionally, my screen is on for X hours straight so that in itself is also using battery. But since my phone is plugged in each night it's not a concern.

Use your phone and don't obsess about the battery.
 

Shadow Runner

macrumors regular
Jun 14, 2010
116
71
If you are going to use it over night like that you should have it plugged in. Avoid unnecessary battery use and you will thank yourself in a year's time.
 

Steve686

macrumors 68040
Nov 13, 2007
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Unplugged, yes. It will shorten the lifespan.

Your battery has a finite number of charge cycles(any starting % then charging a battery to 100% is PART of a cycle, not a full cycle) during its life.

Plug it in for sure overnight.
 

redryder

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 7, 2010
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Thanks for the tip.

Looks like I won't be using the app then. I don't have a convenient charging point near my bed. Dang, that's a dollar wasted buying the app.
 

Zinthar

macrumors 6502
Jul 10, 2006
285
0
I installed MotionX 24/7 and tried it last night without plugging in my phone. On a new Iphone 6, the battery drained by 30% after 7 hours of sleep. Given that there is a finite number of charges that a phone battery has, will using such apps shorten the lifespan of a phone battery?

Does leaving it plugged in help or make no difference?
The long answer is that ideal battery maintenance involves keeping the charge in the 40-80% range and minimizing the number of discharge cycles. At around 400-500 cycles, your battery will probably be around 80-85% of its original charging capacity.

But the short answer is: Don't worry about that at all. If the app is helping you, just keep the phone plugged in when you use it and ignore the battery implications. Regardless of how fastidiously you manage the battery, you're not going to see a significant difference in lifespan unless you almost never use the phone.

And at some point I suspect that iFixit will sell a full kit for $30-40 with all of the parts & battery to put a new one in should you want to do that.
 

Noble Actual

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2014
851
501
Use it if you want to.

Its pretty funny how in order to save battery life your just not going to use your iPhone.

:rolleyes:
 

Zinthar

macrumors 6502
Jul 10, 2006
285
0
Thanks for the tip.

Looks like I won't be using the app then. I don't have a convenient charging point near my bed. Dang, that's a dollar wasted buying the app.
You could consider buying an external charger that could sit next to the phone. It would also be useful if you know you're going to be away from a charging point at some point and want to make sure your phone doesn't die.

I bought one of these for traveling and general convenience and it gives me 4-5 charges on the 6 before it needs recharged.
 

redryder

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 7, 2010
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Use it if you want to.

Its pretty funny how in order to save battery life your just not going to use your iPhone.

:rolleyes:
Well, I use it all the time in the day and I don't bother about the battery.

But sleep tracking seems more of a novelty than anything at this point, and having 30% battery drain daily seems like too much of a cost vs the benefit of sleep tracking.
 

Ntombi

macrumors 68040
Jul 1, 2008
3,394
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Bostonian exiled in SoCal
I use Sleep Cycle alarm clock*, which I really like, and will soon be HealthKit integrated. It strongly recommends keeping it plugged in while it's monitoring sleep, but no biggie either way.

I'm trying to get a better handle on my sleep patterns, so the app is part of my master plan. :)




*when I remember
 

Steve686

macrumors 68040
Nov 13, 2007
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Well, I use it all the time in the day and I don't bother about the battery.

But sleep tracking seems more of a novelty than anything at this point, and having 30% battery drain daily seems like too much of a cost vs the benefit of sleep tracking.
with 30% drain on your battery, you are using a charge cycle basically every 3.3 days.

That is approximately 110 charge cycles a year, just for the sleep tracking app. If the device were rated at 400 charge cycles until lower battery performance is noticeable, you are using approximately 25% of these charge cycles just for one app which doesn't include normal use and charging.

Some may argue just use the phone and enjoy, but it's up to you whether that usage is going to degrade your happiness with the phone a year from now.
 

redryder

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 7, 2010
96
0
with 30% drain on your battery, you are using a charge cycle basically every 3.3 days.

That is approximately 110 charge cycles a year, just for the sleep tracking app. If the device were rated at 400 charge cycles until lower battery performance is noticeable, you are using approximately 25% of these charge cycles just for one app which doesn't include normal use and charging.

Some may argue just use the phone and enjoy, but it's up to you whether that usage is going to degrade your happiness with the phone a year from now.
Steve, thanks for doing the math. What I don't understand is the people who say that having the phone plugged in while the app is running would negate this issue.

Intuitively it doesn't seem right.
 

sixxmum

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2010
601
56
I started using this app last night while charging, but am finding it a challenge to figure out where to put the phone. I'm in a queen bed with a spouse and the space next to my pillow is so limited that I feel sure I will knock it onto the floor. Under the pillow seems unsafe when charging.
 

deeddawg

macrumors G3
Jun 14, 2010
8,910
2,732
US
Tangential question... I'm curious as to what your goals are in tracking your sleep? Once you have some data what will you do with it? The idea has fascinated me but I've never figured out what I'd actually ever do with the information (or how it'd be any more effective at telling me how I slept than my own sense of well being was telling me).

As for power near your bed, try this: http://www.amazon.com/GE-51954-feet-Extension-Cord/dp/B00178HJ6C :)
 

sixxmum

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2010
601
56
Tangential question... I'm curious as to what your goals are in tracking your sleep? Once you have some data what will you do with it? The idea has fascinated me but I've never figured out what I'd actually ever do with the information (or how it'd be any more effective at telling me how I slept than my own sense of well being was telling me).

As for power near your bed, try this: http://www.amazon.com/GE-51954-feet-Extension-Cord/dp/B00178HJ6C :)
I am using some of the health type apps, including this one, because I'm interested to see how what my body is telling me correlates with some quantitative data.
 

AppleP59

macrumors 6502
Feb 24, 2014
349
4
Use it if you want to.

Its pretty funny how in order to save battery life your just not going to use your iPhone.

:rolleyes:
It is like hiring an employee, but not giving them too much work because else they'll get tired and be not be productive in their work.
 

kacper1703

macrumors newbie
Sep 19, 2015
19
56
Tangential question... I'm curious as to what your goals are in tracking your sleep? Once you have some data what will you do with it? The idea has fascinated me but I've never figured out what I'd actually ever do with the information (or how it'd be any more effective at telling me how I slept than my own sense of well being was telling me).
I'm using it to find patterns that cause me to sleep better or worse, how much sleep do I get each night and it uses an alarm that wakes you up in a timeframe - so not on a specific hour but for example between 5:30 and 6:00 AM. As you sleep you enter different phases (more here: https://www.sleepcycle.com/how-it-works/). Such app can wake you up when you're in the light sleep phase, making it easier to get up in the morning. Also it can turn on the lights (Philips Hue) once alarm fires.
 

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