Let’s face it. Anyone can benefit from a boost in their cell phone’s battery life, with the use of social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the daily connectedness of email, texting, FaceTime, and selfies, it’s a surprise if our cell phone batteries last a day—which most often they don’t. Cut to, Apple’s newly released smart battery case that extends the life of their latest iPhones: the XS and XR.
According to the Inquirer, the addition of the case brings the iPhone XS’s talk time, internet use, and video playback up to 33, 21, and 25 hours from 20, 12 and 14 respectively, whereas the XS Max jumps to 37, 20, and 25 hours from 25, 13 and 15.
Still, the iPhone XR and smart case duo offer the most impressive battery life that includes 39 hours of talk time and 22 hours of internet use, dropping down to 25 and 15 hours of battery life without the smart case addition.
Extending cell phone life has been a focus of researchers and scientists for some time. According to The Washington Post, smartphone battery life is actually getting worse. Phone makers have claimed to have tackled this battle by including more-efficient processors, low-power modes, and artificial intelligence to manage app drain, but it’s no secret to the battery industry that the lithium-ion batteries in smartphones have hit a plateau. However, cell phone power consumption continues to grow at a faster rate than lithium-ion battery technology can keep up—and so our cell phone life suffers.
Scientists and engineers in the battery field continue to work hard to push lithium-ion battery limits. In doing so, it’s important to look back at the history of batteries, and learn from the lessons of the past as we look to the future.
George E. Blomgren, the author of “The Development and Future of Lithium Ion Batteries,” one of the most-read papers in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society, discusses the evolution of batteries in his paper. In 1991, “Cells under test would show indications of dendritic lithium shorting (observed as negative voltage spikes during charge) followed by occasional and unpredictable cell explosions,” which frightened people. As such, Blomgren says the fact that Li-ion batteries success was not guaranteed by any means is a lessons researchers can apply today as they work to improve them.
“It took a lot of development and very strenuous attention to detail to make lithium-ion batteries a reality,” says Blomgren in a Q&A with ECS. “And so, I think that’s a lesson that anybody can learn in a new technology area. The things that are obvious in looking back were not at all obvious at the time of the original development.”