The iPhone 3G is an incredible device. I recently took a ten day trip with my iPhone, and used it every single day in dozens of different ways (including as–go figure–a cell phone). It has become an essential tool in both my digital and real life.
As I wrote in last week’s Kibbles & Bytes newsletter, I do wish the battery in the iPhone had a little extra stamina. I’m getting the “TruePower extended battery”:http://www.smalldog.com/product/73133 for iPhone 2G/3G/iPod touch before my next extended trip.
In the meantime, here are twelve tips suggested by Apple and learned from our experience that should help wring a little extra juice from an iPhone or iPod touch battery.
*1.* Always make sure your iPhone has the latest software from Apple, as engineers may find new ways to optimize battery performance. You can update to the latest software with iTunes 7.7 or higher.
*2.* Turn off Wi-Fi: If you rarely use Wi-Fi, you can turn it off to save power. Go to *Settings > Wi-Fi* and set Wi-Fi to Off. *However,* if you frequently use your iPhone to browse the web, battery life may be improved by using Wi-Fi instead of cellular data networks.
*3.* Turn off Bluetooth: If you rarely use a Bluetooth headset or car kit, you can turn off Bluetooth to save power. Go to *Settings > General > Bluetooth* and set Bluetooth to Off.
*4.* Use Airplane Mode in low- or no-coverage areas: Because your iPhone always tries to maintain a connection with the cellular network, it may use more power in low- or no-coverage areas. Turning on Airplane Mode can increase battery life in these situations; however, you will be unable to make or receive calls. To turn on Airplane Mode, go to Settings and set Airplane Mode to On.
*5.* Turn off 3G: Using 3G cellular networks loads data faster, but may also decrease battery life, especially in areas with limited 3G coverage. To disable 3G, from the Home screen choose *Settings > General > Network* and set Enable 3G to Off. You will still be able to make and receive calls and access cellular data networks via EDGE or GPRS where available.
*6.* Adjust brightness: Dimming the screen is another way to extend battery life. Go to *Settings > Brightness* and drag the slider to the left to lower the default screen brightness. In addition, turning on Auto-Brightness allows the screen to adjust its brightness based on current lighting conditions. Go to *Settings > Brightness* and set Auto-Brightness to On.
*7.* Fetch new data less frequently: Applications such as Mail can be set to fetch data wirelessly at specific intervals. The more frequently email or other data is fetched, the quicker your battery may drain. To fetch new data manually, from the Home screen choose *Settings > Fetch New Data* and tap Manually. To increase the fetch interval, go to *Settings > Fetch New Data* and tap Hourly. Note that this is a global setting and applies to all applications that do not support push services.
*8.* Turn off push mail: If you have a push mail account such as Yahoo!, MobileMe or Microsoft Exchange, turn off push mail when you don’t need it. Go to *Settings > Fetch New Data* and set Push to Off. Messages sent to your push email accounts will now be received on your phone based on the global Fetch setting rather than as they arrive.
*9.* Auto-check fewer email accounts: You can save power by checking fewer email accounts. This can be accomplished by turning off an email account or by deleting it. To turn off an account, go to *Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars, choose an email account* and set Account to Off. To remove an account, go to *Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars, choose an email account* and tap Delete Account.
*10.* Minimize use of location services: Applications that actively use location services such as Maps may reduce battery life. To disable location services, go to *Settings > General > Location Services* or use location services only when needed.
*11.* Minimize use of third-party applications: Excessive use of applications such as games that prevent the screen from dimming or shutting off or applications that use location services can reduce battery life.
*12.* Lock Your iPhone: It may seem obvious, but you should lock your iPhone when you aren’t using it. You will be able to receive calls and text messages while it is locked, but nothing happens if you touch the screen. To lock iPhone, press the Sleep/Wake button. You can also set the Auto-Lock interval so your iPhone will turn off more quickly after a period of inactivity. To set Auto-Lock, go to *Settings > General > Auto-Lock* and set the interval to a short time, such as 1 minute.
*Bonus tip:* Use iPhone Regularly: For proper maintenance of a lithium-based battery, it’s important to keep the electrons in it moving occasionally. Be sure to go through at least one charge cycle per month (charging the battery to 100% and then completely running it down).
Finally, the iPhone 3G is stated to offer up to five hours of talk time on 3G, ten hours of talk time on 2G, five hours of internet use on 3G, six hours of internet use on Wi-Fi, seven hours of video playback, or twenty-four hours of audio playback on a full charge at original capacity. The iPhone features up to 300 hours of standby time.

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This week we posted a few new videos on our “YouTube Channel”:http://www.youtube.com/user/smalldogelectronics, including an “overview/review of the new 4GB iPod shuffle”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-Hr3X7pwj8. One of Small Dog’s certified Apple technicians purchased the shuffle as soon as it was released. He shares his hands-on experience with the new form factor, including the controversial in-line headphone controls and tiny form factor.
We’re making these videos based on customer feedback. We have five more reviews taped (including of the new 17-inch MacBook Pro). These will be up early next week. We’re still figuring out how much time to allocate to this new project, and how much of our own personality to inject into the videos. No matter what, the videos are fun to make. We also like that we can share behind the scenes footage of Small Dog behind the scenes.
You can see our YouTube channel by “clicking here.”:http://www.youtube.com/user/smalldogelectronics
Jump right to the new iPod shuffle overview “by clicking here.”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-Hr3X7pwj8
We also have the iPod shuffle review posted on “Vimeo.”:http://vimeo.com/smalldog
If you have suggestions for videos, please send an email to “Ed@smalldog.com.”:mailto:ed@smalldog.com

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I was starting to rethink the keyboard character sequence for ° (Degree symbol) from last week’s Mac Treat, and a bunch of you were on top of it! Here are some of your responses clarifying the situation, and as such, an amendment to the original keyboard command for the Degree symbol:
As Michael L. notes:
__”PopChar indicates that the degree is Shift-Option-8. Option-0 is described as a ‘masculine ordinal indicator’ and Option-K as a ‘ring above.'”__
Hugh H. writes:
__”I don’t know whether or not this is ‘officially’ correct but I have always used ° (option-shift 8) for the Degree symbol. That was from Robin Williams book ‘The Mac is not a Typewriter.’__ Upon further checking, he wrote, __”I find that Option-K (˚) indicates a circle above and Option-0 (º) indicates a Masculine Ordinal Indicator, while Option-Shift-8 (°) is the degree sign. I hope this is of some help. I enjoy trying to track these obscure things down.”__
Of course! Leave it to Robin Williams… I should have recalled that, since she’s a legendary Macintosh writer and one of my favorite go-to gurus for Mac tips!
Thanks to those who wrote in!
P.S. “If you read the Mac Treat above, download this iCal instead…”:http://baltimore.orioles.mlb.com/schedule/downloadable.jsp?c_id=bal

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iCal is the built-in calendering application included with every version of the Mac operating system since OS 10.2. I admit that until the release of the newest version of iCal (included with Mac OS 10.5 Leopard), I wasn’t a big fan of the application. However, the newest version of iCal has a much cleaner look, and iCal is easier and more efficient and use. I now depend on iCal daily–especially since it syncs beautifully with the iPhone.
One feature I’ve always enjoyed is the availability of free, easy-to-download iCal-compatible calenders. These calenders cover a wide range of topics, including astronomical events, sporting schedules, national and international holidays, school schedules, music tour dates, and many more.
You can find public, shared calendars at Apple’s website “by clicking here.”:http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/calendars/ You can also find over 2400 downloadable iCal ready calenders on iCalshare by “clicking here.”:http://icalshare.com However, many of the calenders on “iCalshare.com”:http://icalshare.com are out of date.
I usually just use Google to find iCal calenders. For example, I was looking for the Red Sox schedule and simply Googled “Red Sox iCal.” That brought me directly to a Red Sox page that lists three different iCal compatible calenders: the complete 2009 schedule, the home schedule, and the away schedule. “Click here to download the 2009 Red Sox schedule in iCal format.”:http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/schedule/downloadable.jsp?c_id=bos
Once I subscribe to these calenders, I can then sync and share them on all my Macs and my iPhone with MobileMe.
Apple has a comprehensive iCal page, “which you can see by clicking here.”:http://www.apple.com/support/ical/
Enjoy!

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_Dear Friends,_
I was able to get out and ride this past weekend as the temps got into the 40s and 50s. The melting snow has revealed a bunch of work to do, but Hammerhead has found a few of his toys that were buried all winter–including his favorite soccer ball. He may be the only soccer-playing Bulldog. He loves the ball and I found a new way to distract him from his itching. I simply say “where’s your ball?” and he’ll look frantically for the ball until he finds it and dribbles it around the room, finally grabbing it in his huge mouth and jumping onto the couch.
I am asked frequently about the basis for Small Dog Electronics’ commitment to socially responsible business practices. We measure our success on the basis of our triple bottom line of people, planet and profit. When a company “incorporates” it “creates a body” (etymology courtesy of my 4 years of Latin in high school). That body has a greater footprint than any individual and with that goes a greater responsibility. We take each of these bottom lines very seriously with equal weight in judging how successful we are at doing our job as a business.
This is the new (old) way of doing business where businesses are contributing members of their communities rather than being a burden upon those communities. When profit becomes the only measure of success, when customers are just ways to generate more profit, and when greed replaces customer service and community, you end up with the mess that we have in our banking system and an out-of-control Wall Street that is costing us and our children so much money.
I have been active in the socially responsible business movement for some time and the question is frequently asked, “how will you know if you have succeeded?” The answer from a group of the original founders of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility is “when we are irrelevant and all businesses are socially responsible.”
Back to the “profit” bottom line for a minute… 😉 there has never been a better time to buy an iMac than right now. We have a great supply of the recently discontinued iMacs at prices as low as $999.99 and they’re in stock. With our bundles of AppleCare and free shipping for as low as $1149.99, the iMac is the most versatile and powerful desktop personal computer available!

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