The battery from Tim's Surface Laptop is starting to swell. Leo says that indicates that the battery is about to fail. Tim wanted to call in to say that Microsoft's service was fantastic for him.
Brad and his wife both have iPhones and they shut down with 15% left. What gives? Leo says it's a software thing. In essence, the phone is making a guess and as a phone gets older, it has less capacity. So that estimate can get more inaccurate the older the phone gets. Batteries can be recharged about 500 times, and as it gets closer to that number, it gets more inaccurate. Brad doesn't want to buy a new phone, though, and Leo says he doesn't have to. He can go into Apple and request they replace the battery. It's about $100. Can he do it himself? Leo says maybe.
On Friday, Tesla launched its more affordable $35,000 car, the Model 3. The thing that's been keeping these cars so expensive is because of the batteries it requires. Teslas have a long range of 200+ miles, which means it needs bigger batteries. Tesla has put batteries in the chassis for this, which is a good place to put them because it gives the car more stability and keeps it out of the way. The price of these batteries has been dropping considerably, though.
Nabeel has a first generation MacBook Air and he can't turn it on, even when plugged in. Leo says that it's likely that the battery has died and that it blocks the current going to the computer. He can remove the battery and use it as a desktop, but to replace the battery is only about $99. So why not just get more use out of it by replacing it? Apple can do it.
Ed gave a friend his old iPhone and it's stopped working. He suspects it may be the battery. Can he get a replacement? Leo says yes! Apple can replace the battery, and it's about $99. Third party shops could also do it. It requires a good toolset and it will void any warranty the phone has left, though.
If you have a pile of batteries, this gadget from the Giz Wiz is for you. Ohuhu® Battery Storage Case keeps all your spare batteries organized and easy to see. It holds up to 72 batteries with a handy removable battery tester to quickly see if a battery still holds a charge. Hang it on a wall or slide it into a drawer or on a shelf for easy access. It's a nice deal at $10.99 (as of 5/20/17) and Amazon Prime, so free 2-day shipping for Prime Members.
Igor has been hearing about battery issues on the iPhone. How can he find out if his is part of the recall? Leo says that Apple has a site that he can check here. Chances are, it may not be part of it. In the end, batteries do fail. They wear out after 500 full recharges. Also, he won't want to run them down and then recharge every time. He should plug it in when he's not using it.
A student researcher has taken a jell and coated the inside of a lithium ion battery with it, that will enable it to cycle hundreds of thousands of times. The result is that if commercialized, there could be batteries that could last forever. It doesn't improve capacity, but it does eliminate the wearing out issue.
Leo says it isn't harmful at all, and Apple even sells an external battery for the iPhone 6/6s. In general with these charging cases, when you charge the case it will also charge the phone. On the Mophie cases, there's a switch for when you want to switch to the battery. When it comes to Lithium Ion batteries, though, the best thing to do is keep it charging. The battery will last longer if it stays charged vs charging and discharging. It's definitely not good to let it fully drain.
Leo says he can get lipstick sized chargers that contain 3350mAh batteries. Anker makes them for $10, and it charges via USB. It would fully charge it one and a half times. He can get larger ones as well that can charge the phone several times.