Push, NuevaSync, and iPhone battery life

I’ve been having some procedural issues with managing my calendars. The big problem is, I’m not a big fan of iCal, and entering calendar info on the iPhone is a bit of a pain in the ass because I can’t set the event name and its time all in the same screen. I much prefer Google’s calendar, where I can just click where the event occurs and type in its name.

The problem is, getting the Google Calendar to the iPhone with a minimum of hops. NuevaSync is beta testing a service that will sync your iPhone and Google calendars via push. I signed up for it, and it works great. However, starting late last week I noticed my battery life went to hell in a hand basket. In the “I can’t make it through the work day” bad. Last Friday my battery died around 8pm. Sunday wasn’t much better. Yesterday it died at 5pm. While that sucks, it’s not difficult for me to work around. I can keep it charged at work, and my truck has a charger for it, too. However, next week at Dragon*Con, poor battery life is going to be a big, big problem.

I saw this thread over at Arstechnica, where someone was complaining about poor battery life with push via Exchange. There was a key line in there:

So, I asked one of our IS guys to have a look at our Exchange HTTP logs, and here’s where it gets interesting. My phone was hitting the web server every five seconds. Now, we have about a dozen staff with iPhones, and mine is the only one exhibiting this behaviour.

I began to wonder if I was having a similar issue. For now, I’ve turned off NuevaSync entirely — for the record, I don’t think this problem is on their end, but some wonkiness in the iPhone software. If I can get through the day with amazing battery life I’ll know at least where the problem is.

However, that poses a problem with calendaring. Given my dislike of iCal and iPhone’s calendar, getting my Google calendar to the iPhone is going to take some monkeying around. I tried using the CalDav Google linkup, but I can’t edit the calendar on the iPhone. There’s a few things I’m going to need to test:

  • Do more testing and see if it’s just the push technology hosing things up, and set NuevaSync to fetch and not push — right now, push is completely disabled on my iPhone. However, that’s going to end up being a problem when they come out of beta and announce their pricing scheme — it may be too damn expensive.
  • Look into a solution like SpanningSync to sync iCal to Google. While I’ve spent $25 on worse things, it’s another process running and another point of failure.
  • Look into MobileMe. Given how crappy that’s running, and paying $100/year to just sync my calendars seems a little much.

It’s probably going to be either the first or third options. I just know as soon as I drop the money on SpanningSync, Google is going to announce some sort of push technology.

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3 thoughts on “Push, NuevaSync, and iPhone battery life

  1. Interesting…. I’d like to know if it’s NuevaSync since I love that service. My battery doesn’t seem that bad though.

  2. I don’t think that’s the problem. With no scientific data to support this, “something with push was wonky.” Even my Yahoo account, which I had set to fetch still looked like it was pushing. It’s almost like some setting got stuck open.

    I’ll post more about this in the next few days, but I’m going to try testing NuevaSync as a fetch tomorrow.

  3. I have found that sometimes, my phone gets into a weird state of constant battery drain. A reboot solves it. (it’s happened 1-2 times since I’ve gotten it).

    When it is doing that, I think it’s push related.

    I know the tricks of turning off location, and turning off 3g (and wireless). That does not help when it gets into mondo-drain mode.

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