While the PlayBook itself has received a mixed bag of praise and criticism, RIM has been lauded for making good on its promise to update the PlayBook OS early and often. It appears, however, that there has been an unwanted side effect to those updates: decreased battery life.

PlayBook users have been reporting the problem since installing the most recent update, which brought expanded BlackBerry Bridge apps and video chat to the tablet. According to RIM, part of the problem is that some of the new apps may run in the background post-install until a user taps through and accepts any license agreements. RIM also suggests that users who have experienced the problem try to condition their battery — by letting the device deplete its charge and then fully re-charging it several times.

Another thing to check is under your PlayBook’s general settings. If your Application Behavior is set to showcase (which keeps applications in an active state when they run in the background), that will have a definite impact on power consumption.

Somewhat curiously, it’s also been commented that PlayBooks with higher internal storage capacity are yielding longer battery life. Of course, that’s according to reports from “some users,” so it’s hardly a clinical examination and the statement should be taken with a grain of salt.

via GottaBeMobile

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Lee Mathews

Computer tech, blogger, husband, father, and avid MSI U100 user.

4 replies on “BlackBerry PlayBook OS update shortening battery life”

  1.  Isn’t ‘conditioning’ a polymer lithium ion battery actually really bad for it’s overall health and longevity?  I was pretty sure they don’t like being charged when they’re under 5% used, and they REALLY don’t like full depletion/deep cycle charging.

    Didn’t you yourself Brad publish an article on this?  Like optimally draw the battery down below 25% before charging, but avoid going below like 75-80% for maximum battery life?  Or was that someone else?

    1. I myself Brad didn’t write this article. As our resident PlayBook expert, I asked Lee to take a swipe at this topic. 

      It’s also not clear that RIM is saying this is a universally good thing to do with batteries — but rather that it may help with this particular situation. Or maybe RIM’s grasping at straws. It’s too soon to tell for certain. 🙂

    2. That is correct to a point – however cycling the battery at least once a month conditions it and the software for the appropriate capacity readings.  So while you want to keep the battery as close to maximum at all times, it needs to be conditioned at times.

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