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Daily Archives: 18 June 2011
This post is especially earmarked for Jason Kitcat, Green Party councillor for Regency ward in Brighton and Hove (and cabinet member) who has not replied to my tweet about how wrong he was to blow the trumpet for a medical study which he hadn’t read or understood. You don’t have to reply to me Mr Kitcat but you do need to decide which side of the debate you are on: the evidence based side or the side of the scaremongerers. Here’s another way of looking at the issue:
It may seem facile to write an entire post about one phone’s battery display meter but this is much more useful than much of the techie stuff I know and would otherwise be sharing with you today. Back in the 20th century, phones typically displayed battery life in bars, allowing you to know how long your phone would continue to last in 20% intervals. Hmm, useful. The only way you could see if your battery was rapidly draining through some complex data task was by seeing a whole bar drop off the display. Even then you didn’t really know if a lot of battery had been used or whether it was just about to cross that particular bar’s threshold anyway. It was only if a second bar unexpectedly dropped off the battery display meter that you could realise what was going on.
Then we got display icons with no bars so that if you had really good eye sight you might be able to perceive small differences. It was an improvement but not much. Eventually the solution came along: the percentage battery display! No longer relying on symbols, mankind had realised that good old language was more useful – the language of mathematics.
So long as you could see the numbers inside the tiny battery icon, you were informed. Clearly, there was still room for improvement. Improvement came along with the circular battery icon. Here’s the one I use, on a Samsung Galaxy S:
It’s easy to read. The colour changes with the battery power. The percentage is clear because it isn’t competing with the battery icon itself. This is really useful. It allows you to make intelligent decisions about what you can do with the last few drops of battery juice from your phone. You will know whether you have enough power to make that call or whether you should restrict yourself to text messages. This battery display icon comes with Darky’s Rom, which is firmware developed by a young Dutch hacker, called Darky. He and his crew have invented something here really useful and beaten all the manufacturing giants in the process. Here’s the really groovy bit – his firmware is free! In my next post, I’ll explain how to put it onto your Samsung Galaxy S.
Needless to say, if you’re using an iphone you cannot currently have the benefit of this piece of shared knowledge. You can only have what Apple is willing to sell you.