David got a Google Nexus 5 phone and he's concerned about battery life. Leo says that's the main problem with modern mobile phones -- they don't last through the day, which is why he likes phones that have removable batteries. What about killing programs and tasks that are running? Leo says that today's modern phone operating systems don't require task management anymore.
Daniel wants to know how "Hey Siri" in iOS 8 can affect battery life. Leo says it always listens, so it's going to affect battery life, which is why it only works when the phone is plugged in. The good news is, he can turn it off. But it doesn't listen how he thinks it does -- it's comparing wave forms and if the wave form matches the wave form of "hey siri," then it wakes up. So it's not really eavesdropping on him, per se.
Dave has a generation 1 iPad and he's getting a message that the iPad doesn't support the charger that came with it. Leo says that it could be a short in the cable, so he should try another one. Or it could also be the connector itself. Connectors take a lot of wear and tear and it may be starting to wear out. Since it's an iPad 1, the battery is likely about to fail as well since they only have a life of 500 recharges. It's past time to upgrade. The chatroom says that Costco has some great deals on iPad Airs.
John has a Mac Mini with a USB hub, but he can't charge his iPad with it. Leo says that the iPad requires 10 watts to power and re-charge it. Standard USB ports have about 5 volts, but the amperage varies. Apple broke the standard for charging with the iPad. The older ports won't charge iPads because they don't get 10w or power. Apple's own chargers work fine, and if he has a late model iPad Air, he should be able to. But for now, get an 11w charger and that'll do the job.
Jeff's old Android phone is dying really quickly. Leo says it's likely because it's nearing the end of it's rechargeable life. Phone batteries have a limited number of charge cycles, at about 500. After which, it will die pretty quickly and won't take a charge anymore. That's why it's best to leave the phone plugged in all the time unless he's out. It will preserve that limited amount of charge cycles, and it's perfectly safe to do so. If it's not holding a charge, it's worn out and the battery needs to be replaced.
Wesley has a friend who's phone is fairly new, and it drops to 30% really quickly and shuts down. Leo says that's not right. If it's still under warranty, he should take it back. That isn't the sign of a bad battery. Batteries either work or don't work. What uses the battery most is a screen. So an app really wouldn't kill it so suddenly.
John says his smartphone's lithium ion battery doesn't have very good battery life at all. Leo says that is an odd development. Batteries are limited to about 500 charging cycles. You keep about 80% of your capacity throughout the life of the battery. Go with manufacturer brands. Anker, though, is a good third party brand.
Tiff wants to know if it hurts the phone to keep it plugged in after it's done charging. Leo says it actually doesn't hurt it at all. Cellphones use Lithium Ion batteries and there's a limited number of full charge cycles. Keeping it plugged in when it's not being used preserves and improves the lifetime of the battery. It also has circuitry that prevents overcharging.
Tom has a Carbonite account and when he runs it, it really drains the battery. Leo says that could be because that initial backup will keep going and not allow the laptop to go to sleep. But once it does, it may not be as drastic. Leo also says that the battery indicator isn't exactly accurate either. It's more a general idea and Leo thinks it gets better over time.
Disclaimer: Carbonite is a sponsor.
Jeff is having trouble with his Dell XPS laptop because he can only get an hour and a half of battery life. Leo says that the XPS is considered a "desktop replacement," and an hour and a half really isn't that unusual. It's likely that if he looks for the "fudge words" in the ad, he'll see that his mileage may vary. That's why Leo advises never to buy a new piece of hardware without reading legitimate reviews. An ad is always going to stetch the details.