Understanding Windows 10 TP Battery Performance on Mobile Devices

I’ll give you the poison pill straight away: Windows 10 cannot and will not be as Power-efficient compared to Windows 8! Not on an x86 device. On ARM, it’s another ball game. This is why MS is having issues with ARM devices and Desktop for Windows 10 generally.

See, the reason here is simple, since the rejection of Windows 8 platform by the masses who doesn’t understand the OS, Microsoft’s hand has been forced to abandon all the progress made on re-writing Windows from the ground up for a great mobile experience, and concentrate on the Keyboard & Mouse world to make Windows 10 acceptable to Desktop huggers and the Enterprise in general.

This means dumbing down the progress made in Windows 8 timeframe and bringing up Windows 7 UX to the next century. For me I don’t consider Windows 10 the next evolution of Windows 8, but an evolution of Windows 7 with a nod to Tablet/Mobile users with the Continuum technology in it. Windows 10 is Keyboard/Mouse first and Touch second.

Which brings me to the topic at hand. Because of Desktop and UX technology of Windows 10 that mimics Win7 UX, you get to keep lots of windows open. Each opened Window is an active resource in Win10, which means active drain on the battery.

Compare this to Windows 8 which is a single focus OS. The currently opened window in Win8 is the only window tasking the CPU, all other “invisible” windows are put on ice. Sleeping if you get what I mean. The only type of windows that tasks the system while not in focus are those that you allow to run in the background specifically. And guys, this is why you get the warning when you have too many background task Apps in Windows 8 and 10. Like the max number of Apps that can put messages on the Locked screen for example.

On a Desktop device that is continually powered, you will not notice this issue, but if you’re on any x86 mobile device with Desktop, you will have this problem if you do not activate the Tablet mode. The only way to avoid battery wastage then is to minimize every windows you’re not using while on a mobile device with tablet mode not activated. When windows are minimized, they are put to sleep like in Windows 8.

As you can in the title Picture above (click to see larger), I have taken my favorite TV app TrackSeries as an example. This modern app makes full use WPF with lots of eye-candy and animated thingymagic all over the place. As you can see above, even while it is out of focus, it is still draining the CPU at 13.5%. (Of course this is a snapshot, it varies continuously.)

Now take a look after the App was minimized:

The system puts the app to sleep after a few seconds. You will notice some apps that are still active even after they’re minimized while not been set as background apps. These are apps like twitter and mail clients that are making use of connected standby feature of Windows 8/10 that is designed to keep your info-stream up to date even when your app is iced.

So to save battery in Windows 10 x86 (i.e. screen >= 8″) devices, either activate Tablet mode (which essentially switches you to Win8 single-focus mode) or actively minimize all windows you’re not using.

Final note: Please realize this post only relates to Windows Store Apps or Modern Apps like Microsoft like to call them. Those of us puritans call them Metro Apps for nostalgia sake. I am not talking of old Win32 desktop Apps, which will continue to drain battery whether you have them minimized or not. (That is why we developed Metro Apps technology in the first place!). For example, IE11 you see here above is Win32 App.

So now you know. If the same device that was reaching 8 to 10hrs with Windows 8 is not reaching it anymore with Windows 10, you might want to watch how you’re using Windows 10 regarding windowing. For me, I always have the TaskMan icon next to the clock to keep an eye on my CPU=battery drain while I am in mobile mode.

Have you noticed this yourself, or do you disagree with me? Comment below and let’s have intelligent discussion about this.

Viber for Windows 8 is here!

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Viber for Windows 8 is here ladies and gentlemen. They took their time coming, but they are finally here. Viber is the de-facto Skype competition at this moment, and it is a good thing Microsoft allows them into the Store.  Sometimes I wonder how much of Skype tech is in this App. But they differ from Skype in one big aspect, they connect Users via Phone numbers, so they present a coherent telephony profile if you ask me. When you think about Viber you don’t think Social App, but a phone calling app. How about that. Continue reading

Seriously Compromised with SurfacePro – A Public Plea to Microsoft

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This week, Microsoft announced the pricing of the SurfacePro to the whole wide world, and reception of the news has been mixed to put it mildly. Its not even the price that broke the deal for me, I don’t mind the price since its work/play device. What broke it for me is the Battery Life of the device. I must confess I am seriously compromised right now in my decision for this device. What were you thinking Microsoft, 4Hrs battery life these days is just not acceptable on a Tablet device. I know it’s a Core i5 device, don’t get me wrong, I can see the need for power for some people, but seriously?

Look, I already have a Core i5 tablet that came with Windows 7, that was announced for 4Hrs battery life when I got it, but actually was pulling 2.5Hrs max in reality. Installed it with Windows 8 DP and my battery life jumped to 3hrs, now with Windows 8 RTM I am getting average of 3.5Hrs on this awesome device. So here I am waiting patiently for SurfacePro in January, and MS announced 4Hrs battery, sorry, but that is disappointing. I was expecting something that will match SurfaceRT battery life if not surpass it. Core i5 with 4Hrs battery life is almost what I have right now with my current Win7/Win8 tablet, I don’t see what’s the improvement, that extra 30 minutes doesn’t cut it for me; not for $1000 price point.

When MS announced 3-months-later for SurfacePro, I was actually hoping that they did that to get the latest and greatest CPU from Intel to capture the same battery life as SurfaceRT, as all kinks with CloverTrail would then have been ironed out etc etc. Ok, they said 3rd generation core i5 CPU, whatever that means, I don’t see its effect if it slurps the battery empty in 4hrs.

So, this is my plea to Microsoft: Please, please, make a third option for SurfacePro with CloverTrail Atom CPU! If HP and Dell could promise 9Hrs on their CloverTrail devices right now, it is a shame for Microsoft to come in the year of the Lord 2013 with a meager 4Hrs battery life device. You know, I have this Core i5 device right now, I am not doing any monster work on it, I am not doing video editing, not installing it with Photoshop or AutoCAD software even if I could. All those are on my Desktop where the power is when I need it. I have chosen this device to be my companion device, I need it to be always available when I need it, not to be looking for the next plugin socket each time. I use it lightly, that is the intention the whole time, the need to be able to run standard desktop apps and be highly mobile. That is the promise of CloverTrail, that is why we wait, so why should we end up with something in January that I can have now; that I have now?!

So, either you come with an announcement before the mid of December Microsoft, else I’ll be forced to shop at HP and Dell for my next CloverTrail device with a Pen. Thanks for listening as always Microsoft.

[Update: Corrected OakTrail to CloverTrail in the post. Sorry people, getting old here Smile. Thanks Voleheart buddy!]

Your buddy,

Denny McAkins

WP Marketplace Deals App is in the Store

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My apologies I should have informed you about this tool earlier. It has been in the Store now for a number of days. If you are a user of Windows Phone this App is right in your alley. WP Market Deals is exactly what is says, shows you apps dynamics in Windows Phone Marketplace, Apps that have gone Free, or lowered in Price. Keeps you up to date with high-profile apps for which price have temporarily reduced by Vendor so the app can gain popularity. The following is the description of the App by LuviSoft in the Store:

Get the most downloaded apps in the Marketplace at a discount price

Download apps FOR FREE while offers last

Adjust settings to your likings

Description:
Find out about the best deals on the Windows Phone Marketplace, and get your favorite apps at a discounted price.

Features:
Automatically shows new deals when they are available
Filter apps by popular (most downloaded), top rated, apps gone free, Xbox Live (Deal of the Week),
Share deals

Download this tool for your Windows Phone via this link: http://apps.microsoft.com/webpdp/app/31a0584a-626c-4d02-a5bb-45bdb86c0836

Chuck’s Challenge: Play and Create Mind-Blowing Obstacle Courses!

 

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Let’s talk about something fun! Today, I want to discuss a game called “Chuck’s Challenge”. It’s neat casual game with lot to offer. The big characteristic of a casual game, as noted by this “Tech Stuff” podcast from HowStuffWorks, is that they have a simple mechanic that make up a fun and addicting gameplay. Plus, they allow us to pick up the game, play for a bit, and leave off, at anytime. This is the reason causal gaming has done so well in adaption, especially in mobile devices.

Continue reading

Will Upgrading to “Windows 9″ be Free?

Recently, a thought came to my mind. I pondered if Microsoft will be likely to give away upgrade versions of Windows for free for Windows versions following Windows 8. Windows has been relatively much more expensive compared to other operating systems on the market. Even to upgrade from one version to the next, on would have to buy a boxed “upgrade” copy or download the installer from online for nearly a hundred dollars if not more. Competitors, like Linux were free while Mac OSX cost around 30 dollars to upgrade. However, Windows has been so well used and a stable operating system, people would put up with the high upgrade costs. Given that this has been like so for at least 20 years or so, does it make any sense to believe that Microsoft might start giving away upgrade versions of Windows 8’s successors? Though this would be completely unlike Microsoft’s Windows business strategies, it does make sense to give away Windows “9” and future upgrades for free, and here’s why. Continue reading

iPhone 3GS Review from the beaches of Destin, FL

Earlier Wednesday, I had the chance to complete my iPhone 3GS Review from Destin, FL. This would be the first time Techtronica had any event recorded beach-side. Play the video to see the full review.

Twitter Provides Tweets via. Phone for Egyptians

We have just received word via. Twitter that Google has reported that Twitter has launched a service for their users in Egypt to send Twitter messages and “tweets” by dialing a phone number. Another way to rebel against the blockage of Internet in Egypt. This was announced about 30 minutes ago.

Google also released this statement from their blog earlier this afternoon:

“Like many people we’ve been glued to the news unfolding in Egypt and thinking of what we could do to help people on the ground. Over the weekend we came up with the idea of a speak-to-tweet service—the ability for anyone to tweet using just a voice connection.

We worked with a small team of engineers from Twitter, Google and SayNow, a company we acquired last week, to make this idea a reality. It’s already live and anyone can tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855) and the service will instantly tweet the message using the hashtag #egypt. No Internet connection is required. People can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or going to twitter.com/speak2tweet.

We hope that this will go some way to helping people in Egypt stay connected at this very difficult time. Our thoughts are with everyone there.”