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Email access issuess can cause short iPhone battery life iOS devices
I never thought I'd have a hint to post, but I recently learned something that is not well documented about short iPhone battery life. This only applies if you use WiFi on a business or enterprise server.

After getting my first iPhone (a 3GS), I was happy to see that battery life was relatively good and it accessed the web and email quickly on my home WiFi. It also worked, although a bit slower, on a 3G connection. At work, however, mail seemed to hang and the battery died in about four hours .. oh no!

I found that the phone was continuously trying to retrieve email, but was unable to do so. This not only drained the battery, but seemed to make the entire phone a bit sluggish while it tried forever to connect.

The reason for this is that many companies, mine included, block IMAP mail by blocking ports 993 and 587. Because they use Exchange (I don't want to use my iPhone for their mail, only my personal Gmail), they block many ports that are not directly required by their business in the hopes this will block intruders from their system.

In my case, it is a large company and I am a small part, so they will not unblock their ports. The two workarounds are to turn off WiFi (which slows down the Web, Twitter, and other internet-based apps), or to disable the Gmail account in the Mail app and use a web interface for retrieving my personal email. Neither is a perfect solution, but after all, the WiFi network does not belong to me.

It would help if Apple gave us a way to force the Mail app to use either 3G or WiFi, or to tell Mail app to stop looking to connect if it can't connect quickly. I'd appreciate hearing from any others who have a better solution.
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Email access issuess can cause short iPhone battery life
Authored by: adrianm on Jul 20, '09 07:52:56AM

I find my battery life is much better if I stop checking my personal email/twitter etc at work and actually do some work.

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Email access issuess can cause short iPhone battery life
Authored by: excarnate on Jul 20, '09 08:11:25AM

So you are saying the iPhone has an automatic way to determine that you are at work and cease checking then, but when you are out, at lunch, break, or at the end of the day, it will start checking again?

Because that would be a decent solution. Please post the details of your solution, otherwise you risk people thinking you are sanctimonious and unhelpful.



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Email access issuess can cause short iPhone battery life
Authored by: adrianm on Jul 20, '09 08:35:02AM

Well my iPhone knows I'm at work because of the available WiFi network, and I set my phone to not automatically join it.

If I go outside and it finds, eg Starbucks or the Cloud, it knows I'm not at work and all is well.



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Email access issuess can cause short iPhone battery life
Authored by: marook on Jul 20, '09 08:08:33AM

That sounds like a stupid over-managed company.
Ask the CEO why you spend so much effort on securing stuff that does not need to be secured.. (Unless it's the CIA or something..)

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/Marook



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Email access issuess can cause short iPhone battery life
Authored by: excarnate on Jul 20, '09 08:26:45AM

No, that is normal. You turn off services (IMAP, for example) you don't need and leave on ones you do (ftp, for example). You block ports that aren't being used, say, for the unused services. You meter the network (like mine does--I can't possibly take more than a certain fraction of total bandwidth) or you look for excessively large percentages of use (assuming your other uses are being degraded) and take action (meter that use, find a separate network for it, have large use take place during off hours, etc.).

On my servers we turn off services we don't need. That way, if an exploit comes out for SAMBA, and we aren't running it, we aren't at risk. If someone wants something turned on, they put in a request. If I want a blocked website unblocked, I put in a request.

It is easier to monitor a few ports than tens of thousands of ports. It is easier to patch servers for (currently) unused services quarterly rather than when a patch comes out.

Knocking an organization for managing their resources really isn't fair. I've seen mismanagement (make the admin's life easier) and I've seen lots of good management (balance safety and effective uses of the company's resources against the needs of the users). This sounds to me like it could be decent enough management, and I urge the OP to put in a request to allow IMAP--even if he is denied now, I've had my denied requests later granted because others also requested the same thing. Sometimes ports are simply blocked by default and single request is enough to open it up.



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Email access issuess can cause short iPhone battery life
Authored by: operator207 on Jul 20, '09 08:38:50AM

Why do you feel their wifi should be less secure? Many companies do not wish to allow personal email on their corporate machines. Think viruses downloaded in email attachments that are from some ISP that does not filter their email. Think going to twitter, and getting malware on your corp PC, and the IT department having to spend time and resources to clean it. Think what your boss will say when he finds out you got the malware virus whatever from not doing work, but visiting sites outside your job description.

Companies do this to keep costs down, keep their workers on task, and if you need a simpler reason, its their network, their rules. Just like your home connection is your network your rules. Do you let anyone connect to it, and do whatever they please? If you do, then those are your rules (or lack their of). If a company did that, that would be their rules. Because they decided to lock down their network, they decided to enforce their rules.



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Email access issuess can cause short iPhone battery life
Authored by: operator207 on Jul 20, '09 08:21:54AM

My 1st gen iPhone will eat the battery pretty quickly, and has done so with every revision of the OS (jailbroken or virgin) when I check email using imap.

It will do this on the edge network, on wifi unsecured, wpa2 aes, or wep. I am sure doing a higher encryption will use the cpu more, hence causing a quicker draw. But the fact remains, if its using a network, cellular or wifi, it will drain the battery. If your email uses a secure connection, like ssl, I would imagine it will drain the battery quicker too. Though may be only shortening the life of the charge by minutes or seconds.



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Email access issuess can cause short iPhone battery life
Authored by: hookoa on Jul 20, '09 08:24:11AM

Try using POP instead of IMAP, at least at work.

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"It's common knowledge among the clergy that God invented beef briskets for
Texans".
........Cactus Pryor



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Email access issuess can cause short iPhone battery life
Authored by: anthony11 on Jul 21, '09 08:54:40AM

POP tends to transfer messages to your client, rather than accessing them remotely the way IMAP does. This is especially a problem if you read your email in more than one place.

As for a 3G connection being slower than WiFi, this hasn't been my experience, because Safari's miserably slow performance is the bottleneck.



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Email access issuess can cause short iPhone battery life
Authored by: firefly007 on Jul 20, '09 08:42:46AM

Many large scale corporations will block every and any port that is not being used by their systems. So if they don't use IMAP or POP - they will block it. It not stupid at all its good security practice.

I had the same problem - what I did was setup an old macmini I had to share its internet connection with the iPhone, then I set up openvpn on the macmini to connect to an outside server of mine. That way all the traffic is tunneled out though the corp firewall to my server and then off to the internet. It's not easy and you need a server on the outside - but it works. You could try using Hotspot Shield too.



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Email access issuess can cause short iPhone battery life
Authored by: jelockwood on Jul 20, '09 08:45:23AM

You could possibly get round this if you can use a VPN.

You would as currently use WiFi at work, and have a VPN connection to somewhere outside the office, and route all your iPhone traffic including IMAP via the VPN connection.

However the best solution is to get them to enable IMAP, which you would also need for Macs to access the Exchange server as well.



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Email access issuess can cause short iPhone battery life
Authored by: asmeurer on Jul 20, '09 10:17:24AM

I have an iPod touch, and I've found that being in areas where there are wifi networks that go in and out of range can quickly drain the iPod's battery, even if I am not using it. This is especially true if the iPod is downloading something in the background, such as application updates. The solution: turn off wifi when you are not using the device. Wifi is on the top of the preferences, and I have Preferences on the bottom bar where it is always available, so it only takes about 5 seconds to turn it on of off.

It's the exact same thing if you are roaming around with a laptop.



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Email access issuess can cause short iPhone battery life
Authored by: smosit on Jul 21, '09 08:54:17AM

Go to: settings-->mail,contacts,calendars-->fetch new data.

Set "Push" to OFF and "Fetch" to Manually.

This sets the device to only get email when you ask it to.

HTH,
ryan



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Email access issuess can cause short iPhone battery life
Authored by: TheFLP on Jul 21, '09 12:46:07PM
In my case those are the default settings — but under the Advanced button (down at the bottom) there's a separate setting for my email account. This could mean that you can leave Push and Fetch on for other apps but keep email set to Manually ... which could be the answer here.

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