I know that time flies when you’re having fun. Unless you’re Kermit the Frog, whereby ‘time’s fun when you’re having flies.’ But it does seem as if the technology industry has been promising giant leaps in battery life for a long, long time.
So far my iPhone lasts about a day. My iPad lasts about a day. My Watch lasts about a day. And my MacBook Pro lasts about a day. Yes, I bounce from device to device during the course of a day which helps conserve battery life.
Tell me, whatever happened to all those breakthroughs in battery life? A quick Google search says they’re coming soon, will charge in seconds, and power will last for months. But if you confine your Google search for keywords breakthrough battery life you’ll see similar promises from a decade ago.
As much as technology leaps forward it also leaps like a snail on a Chicago sidewalk after a summer rain. You can see them. They do go places. Eventually.
Imagine a revolution in battery life. Watch, iPhone, iPad, and Mac all last for about a day of use. Can you imagine how your day-to-day life might change if the battery charge would last for a week or a month and be recharged in minutes?
Such battery life is coming. Honestly. Maybe. Well, that’s what they say.
What is coming is more storage. Remember the original iMac from 1998? It had a whopping 4GB of hard disk drive inside. My Watch has 8GB, so in less than two decades we’ve seen a dramatic change in storage capacity. Price goes down, storage goes up. You can still buy a Mac with a hard disk drive; the one with moving parts and lots of heat, but it won’t be long and they’ll be gone.
Today, only the iMac and Man mini have ancient hard disk drives. Everything else Apple is SSD, or flash storage. Intel claims it has a new SSD that can store 1 petabyte of data. It’s an oddly shaped device so don’t expect it to show up in iPhone, iPad, Watch, or Mac anytime soon, but the handwriting has been on the wall for a couple of decades already.
SSD storage means capacity goes up, prices come down, so in the continuing future iPhones and iPads and Macs and everything else that needs storage will have more of it for less money.
What about those batteries?
As to the newest battery revolution that has yet to hit the market, the BEST battery– Bolt Electricity Storage Technology– uses a graphene-based supercapacitor which offers… insert drum roll here… high performance and low-cost energy storage. As soon as they can figure out how to make one.
The problem here is these revolutionary changes don’t happen overnight. In the meantime, my first world problem of watching the battery meter will continued, unabated. Also in the meantime, Apple hands out dividends and buys back billions of dollars in stock when it could be using some of that $200-billion pile of cash to speed up battery development.