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Old July 30th, 2010, 03:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Battery Drain due to Software Bug w/GPS?

Ok, let me try this again. I think I had a bad title and started out a little off track in my other post.

This seems important, to me, so hopefully people will see it this time.

After reading this post
http://androidforums.com/support-troubleshooting-droid-x/125440-how-battery-life-droid-x-2.html#post1261548
I decided to download Spare Parts
Spare Parts - Android app on AppBrain

When I ran it, my phone had been unplugged for about 12 hours and I found that Spare Parts showed my phone to have been Running (not sleeping) for 100% of that time.

After being methodical and getting data points after opening various programs, I determined that after I opened any program that accessed the GPS, the phone no longer would go into sleep mode.

To get the phone to start sleeping again, all I have to do is toggle GPS off and then back on again.

It's completely reproducible every time on my phone.

Now, I don't know what kind of effect this will have on battery life, but seems like it probably would have some effect.

If others can test this and see if it affect you at all, it'd be helpful to see if there's a potential major software bug here or if it's just something with my phone.

Easiest way to test is to start with a fresh reboot with GPS toggle on, install Spare Parts, plug in the phone for a second (to reset the counters), let it sit sleeping for a few minutes, then read the Running % in Spare Parts. Should be pretty low. Plug in the phone to reset the counters again. Then start Google Maps or any other program that will activate your GPS. Close that program and then let the phone sit idle for a few minutes. Check Spare Parts running time again and, for me, it's pegged at 100%.

It stays like that until I toggle the GPS off or reboot the phone.

Very curious to see if others get the same results.

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Old July 30th, 2010, 07:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Am I missing something? There are a million battery threads with people complaining about bad battery and, if this isn't happening only to my phone, we may have uncovered a major problem with the phone causing battery drain.

There's no one who can test this?
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Old July 30th, 2010, 07:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I will test this as soon as I possibly can [read: a few hours]. If this is true, it makes a ton of sense. I've been getting shoddy battery life with a small amount of usage and no other problems that I could find, but I do leave the GPS switched to "on."
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Old July 30th, 2010, 07:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I will play around with this one a bit as well. I always knew that that one horrible year of my life that I spent in Software Quality Assurance would come in handy at some point.

While I work on that, could you in return please explain the ramifications of enabling "aGPS" and "Use Wireless Networks" (in Location and Security settings) on battery life? This is assuming that I have my "True" GPS turned OFF.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 12:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hey lex, I toggled the GPS on/off and it allowed my phone to sleep when it wasn't before.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 01:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Ok, but can you also run my test to see of the same thing is causing you to run 100%. Since the fix is the same It'd suspect so.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 02:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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No luck. I did a reboot, charge a little, and put the phone to sleep. I didn't even unlock the screen. After a couple of minutes, I checked Spare Parts and my Running was at 100%. When I toggled the GPS on/off and left the phone alone, Running drops to 40% after a few minutes.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 06:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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What do you mean no luck? Seems like you may have replicated the issue. Did you ever run a program in there to start the gps? If not maybe something else at startup did? Did you ever see the gps icon come on?

anything from dabomb or kaleb yet?
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Old July 31st, 2010, 06:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yup same issue. Bad thing for me is i use Fancy Widget so it displays my Weather like HTC Sense and all. So it hits my GPS as soon as i boot up and ever 30 min. So i have to sit and do toggle GPS atleast every 30 min to counter the affect of this widget and after anything else that uses my GPS. That seems pretty damn lame.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 07:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoShineMM View Post
Yup same issue. Bad thing for me is i use Fancy Widget so it displays my Weather like HTC Sense and all. So it hits my GPS as soon as i boot up and ever 30 min. So i have to sit and do toggle GPS atleast every 30 min to counter the affect of this widget and after anything else that uses my GPS. That seems pretty damn lame.
Thanks for confirming my findings.

I also use Fancy Widgets and am having another issue with that. Maybe you can take a look at this?
Fancy Widgets updating

Anyhow, why not just change fancy widgets to "use my location" only and not "use gps location". Might not always give you the exact city, but certainly close enough.

So, back to this issue, what now? IF not having the phone sleeping is hurting the battery, then this is a potentially huge bug.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 08:33 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Also, I just tested this on a Samsung Vibrant and it still sleep after accessing the gps.

I'm really starting to think we have a serious bug here.

The next question is to figure out how big a negative effect this is on battery life.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 08:42 AM   #12 (permalink)
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How do I shut off my GPS? I'm so lost...
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Old July 31st, 2010, 08:50 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Settings, location & security, use gps satellites.
There are also widgets I you can put on your home screen to do it in one click.

Let's get a couple more confirmations that what I reported in my first post is occurring for others.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 08:54 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexluthor View Post
What do you mean no luck? Seems like you may have replicated the issue. Did you ever run a program in there to start the gps? If not maybe something else at startup did? Did you ever see the gps icon come on?

anything from dabomb or kaleb yet?
I misread your post. Yeah, I did replicated your results. I narrowed down the culprit to Fancy Widget which was using GPS location for weather. When I turned that off, my phone could sleep after start up. When I exit out of Navigation, the GPS icon is still on and keeps my phone up. So it does appear that the X is having trouble turning off GPS and drains battery if unchecked. Good find.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 08:59 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Not sure if this info will help you but... I have my gps toggle turned on. I leave it turned on for my google lattitude. I've been unplugged for 3 hours and my "running time" is 24.4% and im still at 88% battery life with mild-light use. says I've still got 13 hours of battery left
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Old July 31st, 2010, 09:18 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbert View Post
When I exit out of Navigation, the GPS icon is still on and keeps my phone up. So it does appear that the X is having trouble turning off GPS and drains battery if unchecked. Good find.
Just to be clear, my GPS icon is going away when I close a GPS enabled program. I can even end the task too.

But, still, my phone doesn't sleep once the GPS has been activated and until I turn off the GPS in the settings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ECFfighter7232 View Post
Not sure if this info will help you but... I have my gps toggle turned on. I leave it turned on for my google lattitude. I've been unplugged for 3 hours and my "running time" is 24.4% and im still at 88% battery life with mild-light use. says I've still got 13 hours of battery left
Sure, even if it doesn't back up my findings, it helps. Are you sure lattitude is accessing the gps and not using cell towers/wifi to get your location? Do you actually periodically see the GPS icon? Are you determining running time using spare parts?
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Old July 31st, 2010, 10:03 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexluthor View Post
Sure, even if it doesn't back up my findings, it helps. Are you sure lattitude is accessing the gps and not using cell towers/wifi to get your location? Do you actually periodically see the GPS icon? Are you determining running time using spare parts?
I'm using "batteryleft" which shows the same breakdown as spare parts. and yeah I have lattitude set to use GPS not cell/wifi. The gps icon pops up every now and then. I think I saw an option somewhere (I dont remember where though) to only use gps when its requested from a program (i.e. lattitude) but I have my Beautiful Widgets and WeatherBug Elite set to draw from Cell/wifi. I think one issue is there are so many programs that MAY ping the GPS so the settings in each program you have have to be set just right, ya know?
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Old July 31st, 2010, 10:06 AM   #18 (permalink)
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ECFfighter7232,

Well, thanks for helping so far. Good info.

Let's try and keep our tests similar.

Can you run my test at the first post just as I did? Instead of lattitude, open google maps and make sure the gps icon comes up them. Maybe certain programs don't properly close the GPS?
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Old July 31st, 2010, 10:30 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Couldn't it be an issue with google maps?
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Old July 31st, 2010, 10:42 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexluthor View Post
ECFfighter7232,

Well, thanks for helping so far. Good info.

Let's try and keep our tests similar.

Can you run my test at the first post just as I did? Instead of lattitude, open google maps and make sure the gps icon comes up them. Maybe certain programs don't properly close the GPS?
Yeah I use maps pretty regularly with the traffic overlay because I have a 110 mile round trip commute 6 days a week in DC traffic. So most of my ride to and from work I am checking maps to see how/where the traffic is
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Old July 31st, 2010, 11:20 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Couldn't it be an issue with google maps?
No. same thing happens with different gps programs. I tested with poynt too.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 05:36 PM   #22 (permalink)
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i got 100% percent running too. my battery last literally 5 hours....with little use...little as in maybe a 5 min phone call...a few emails...and a map or 2....im not joking.


im on my second battery
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Old July 31st, 2010, 06:48 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Lex - I think you've explained my poor battery life, too. I was running at 100% with my normal usage -- having GPS turned on and using Google Maps intermittently during the day. Today, I'm testing with GPS turned off and I'm running at 27% with much better battery levels.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 08:05 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Yes, after 2 days of use, I think I can say my battery life improved as well. It's just so hard to really tell and yesterday I was in a bad signal area a lot of the day, but today it lasted pretty long.

Can some others run the exact test at the end of my first post?

If we determine a problem, is there anyone who has a Verizon or Motorola contact that this can be reported to?
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Old July 31st, 2010, 08:32 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I can pretty much confirm it to. I noticed it happening whenever i use the camera...with gps geotagging turned on. If i open the camera, close and kill it, i think the gps stays active. The icon is gone, but the phone never goes to sleep and android system climbs like crazy in spare parts.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 08:33 PM   #26 (permalink)
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If I use maps, foursquare, or yelp I don't see this issue with sleep times. Something makes the Android System use a bit more of the sensor than normal on certain days but nothing really shows up in GPS and maps tend to stay fairly low.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 08:38 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Ekyle,

Could you kindly follow the exact procedure noted at the end of my first post and report back.

I'm almost convinced this is a fairly major and widespread issue that Motorola needs to know about.

The only other thing I can see is maybe spare parts is reporting wrong, but I don't think that's it.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 08:43 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Ekyle,

Could you kindly follow the exact procedure noted at the end of my first post and report back.

I'm almost convinced this is a fairly major and widespread issue that Motorola needs to know about.

The only other thing I can see is maybe spare parts is reporting wrong, but I don't think that's it.
I'll give it a shot tomorrow. I fell asleep while my fiancee was playing with yelp and she drained the battery haha.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 11:00 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I was able to replicate the problem as well. GPS ON>reboot>charge for 2 minutes>off charger>sleep>100% usage. GPS Off>reboot>charge for 2 minutes>off charger>sleep>28% usage. I am also using Fancy Widget and just disabled the GPS option. I think I will set up Tasker to turn on GPS with Maps, Foursquare, etc. then turn cycle GPS off when the program exits.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 11:17 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Good job pinpointing this!
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Old August 1st, 2010, 07:47 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Add another test confirming that it is defintely the GPS staying active when it shouldnt...

I got an app last night called "timerrific". It will adjust your volume settings based on time of day (vibrate when going to bed, ring when wake up). For some reason when installing, it said that the program has access to the gps for some reason. There is no gps option in the program settings so I don't know why it needs it, but whatever. So this morning the program does exactly what it should (turns the ringer on at 7am) and all was good. Until an hour later I checked spare parts and I was at 100% usage and android system had been running the whole time (no other programs were running). I went and disabled, then re-enabled gps and the usage and android system started dropping. I started thinking about what other programs access the gps....

Maps & Navigation (obviously)
Timeriffic
Camera (if geotagging is enabled)
Browser (if you have google set to find your location)
any weather widget that you have set up for gps location

Im sure there are TONS of people out there with this phone that run one if not all of these during the course of the day....which may explain why some people have complaints about such bad battery life....
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Old August 1st, 2010, 08:48 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Also check your battery voltage, while making sure your gps is off. It should be between 3-ish and 4-ish volts. I've returned 2 batterys with high voltage, symptoms were bad usb charging and 3/4's to 1/2 day battery life.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 09:45 AM   #33 (permalink)
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I have added a poll to this thread to keep a better tally on how many people can and cannot replicate this very same issue. Please answer the poll truthfully as this data may be presented to Motorola, Verizon, or both.

Also, I have stickied this thread.. for now.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 10:38 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I have added a poll to this thread to keep a better tally on how many people can and cannot replicate this very same issue. Please answer the poll truthfully as this data may be presented to Motorola, Verizon, or both.

Also, I have stickied this thread.. for now.
In addition to answering truthfully, I'd say run the exact test at the end of my first post so that you create the same conditions and there's no confusion about whether you have this issue or not. Please make sure you've tested correctly before voting.

Also, just to rule out that spare parts is reading the information wrong, is there another program that can read sleep time? We should make sure that it's not that the phone really is sleeping and spare parts is reporting it incorrectly.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 11:23 AM   #35 (permalink)
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I just tried with Google Maps and the Geolocation setting in Beautiful Widgets.

Both times I could reproduce it. Even if it wasnt at 100% I could see it climbing. Only toggling the GPS off and leaving it off helped me at first. It took a few toggles for mine to stick. GPS is on now, and its finally declining.

I noticed Google Maps and Beautiful Widgets showed up in Battery Use in Battery Manager. When u click on both there is a recommendation to turn off GPS when not in use. Even tho they kinda acknowledge something with the GPS, when closing an app that uses it or turning off the GPS settings in an app GPS still seems to be running...

Nice find Lex. The wild thing is I was getting what I thought was good battery life. I wonder if this will make it even better.

There is another app, Battery Left that can show it too. But it looks the same as Spare Parts. In Battery Left, look under History.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 02:41 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexluthor View Post
In addition to answering truthfully, I'd say run the exact test at the end of my first post so that you create the same conditions and there's no confusion about whether you have this issue or not. Please make sure you've tested correctly before voting.

Also, just to rule out that spare parts is reading the information wrong, is there another program that can read sleep time? We should make sure that it's not that the phone really is sleeping and spare parts is reporting it incorrectly.
I really, really doubt spare parts would be recording incorrectly. The reason i say this is because spare parts is simply reporting info from the android info system...if you want to see what i am talking about, dial *#*#4636#*#*

It will take you to a menu, click on battery history
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Old August 1st, 2010, 02:55 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Ohh. THATS why it looks the same when using Battery Left....lol

Thanks for pointing that out.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 03:00 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Ok.that makes sense. Then this is almost surely a major bug. How can this get retorted to Motorola or verizon?
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Old August 1st, 2010, 03:09 PM   #39 (permalink)
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I've already posted about this in the motorola droid x support forum, and included a link to this thread. Hopefully that will help facilitate us getting a fix for this.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 03:11 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Gareee,

Thanks. Got a that link to thread?
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Old August 1st, 2010, 03:12 PM   #41 (permalink)
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I'm also speaking with my Verizon contact about this as we speak.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 03:16 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Cool! We have someone's ear! Can you also ask him about the dead pixel camera issue everyone is also talking about?

Here's that link:

https://supportforums.motorola.com/message/198204
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Old August 1st, 2010, 03:53 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Ok. I posted in the motorola thread and I also shot an email off to Motorola support with links to both threads.

Hopefully, maybe Trident or someone has more direct access to someone who can look into this and respond.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 04:17 PM   #44 (permalink)
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We have an email into a high up at VZW. We'll let you know what they say. Good find!
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Old August 1st, 2010, 04:22 PM   #45 (permalink)
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VERY cool! Thanks for looking into this! One of our main smartphone functions for us here, was being able to use the Dx for geocaching. My wife's DX drained very quickly however, and we ended up using my for the rest of the day, since hers was nigh dead.

Could you pop over into the dead camera pixel issue thread and poke around as well? A lot of DXs are being returned with people thinking it is a hardware issue. (Also, apparantly the update also ate the self timer function in the camera app as well.)

Good to know Motorola is snooping about, fixing issues they are finding!
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Old August 1st, 2010, 10:45 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Just replicated exactly as in the first post. Although I do not use gps all that much so I usually toggle it on and off.
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 11:09 AM   #47 (permalink)
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That explains my battery problem. I was getting terrible battery performance. It basically was lasting about 3/4 of the day. I hardly used it at all yesterday (made 0 calls, watched youtube for about 10 mins, did some browsing (which uses GPS) and my batter was at 40% at the end of the day. I just repeated your test and it went from 100% even though most of the morning it was "sleeping" and now its down to 40%.
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 12:49 PM   #48 (permalink)
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haven't heard back yet.
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 12:59 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murdoc158 View Post
I was able to replicate the problem as well. GPS ON>reboot>charge for 2 minutes>off charger>sleep>100% usage. GPS Off>reboot>charge for 2 minutes>off charger>sleep>28% usage. I am also using Fancy Widget and just disabled the GPS option. I think I will set up Tasker to turn on GPS with Maps, Foursquare, etc. then turn cycle GPS off when the program exits.
Confirmed here using this method. I was wondering what was sucking the battery down so fast. I figured it was something not shutting down. TAG for updates.

WOW, running at 5.1%.

Big bug, rofl.
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 08:26 PM   #50 (permalink)
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I followed your directions and was not able to replicate it. But let me make sure that I understand the directions properly. When you say, "then read the Running % in Spare Parts", I took that to mean:
Run Spare Parts
Go into Battery History
Select "Other Usage"
Select "GPS Usage"

If that is the correct process, then I could not replicate the 100% GPS usage. If that is not correct, could you explain it a little more?
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