Your future iPhone might be able to last much longer on a single charge — if the tech in Apple's patent application ever makes it to market. A newly published patent application details a system in which an iPhone would be able to use contextual clues about your behavior to preserve its battery.
The iPhone's software would monitor daily battery usage to learn the "charging pattern" of the device (i.e. how often you charge your phone), according to the patent.
The software would then "perform power management actions" based on the "user intent," likely meaning it would intelligently adjust certain settings to preserve battery life.
This could theoretically include turning down its screen brightness, turning off Wi-Fi when you're not at home or at work, or adjusting the processor clock speed.
For example, if you typically charge your phone overnight and disconnect it at the same time each morning before leaving the house, your iPhone could be able to learn the duration of your workday. It could use information like this to learn when you typically use your phone the most, therefore preparing for when it will need the most power.
The device could also leverage your phone's GPS location and app activity to draw conclusions about how you may be using your phone. The patent cites a specific example saying that if you're in a coffee shop and use Apple's Passbook app to purchase a drink, your iPhone could be able to guess that you'll be using your phone intently to read the news or play games while sipping coffee.
"This sort of information could tell the power management system that for the next 20-30 minutes it is in the user's best interest to sacrifice some battery life in favor of improved performance," the patent reads.
The technique could provide a means of improving the iPhone's battery life without having to actually enlarge the battery's size, which would prevent Apple from compromising the iPhone's design in any way. Such a system would be especially useful in phones like Apple's that don't have a removable back for adding a larger battery.
There's no guarantee that we'll actually see this tech appear in future iPhones or versions of iOS, but it provides evidence that Apple might be exploring new power management options.