If the applications were the customisation that made the iPhone useful, and let’s be honest until Apple opened up the SDK to developers it really was very limited, then the MiLi Power Skin (£59.99) is the Unleaded Super 98 that keeps it running long enough for the iPhone to be of real use.
To be perfectly blunt, the iPhone battery is terrible, and that is doing it a favour. I am not a heavy user of the iPhone in so much as I maybe make on average 5 minutes of calls a day, send on average no more than 3 SMS messages a week, keep it charged every night for a minimum of 7 hours, yet am still lucky if it gets through a whole day without going into the red!
What do I use my iPhone for? Mainly to check emails, RSS and Twitter when I am not at my desk (so yes that will be a priority use for the iPad), and from time to time a QIK video. Seriously I don’t use it that much, no Bluetooth headset, no long phone calls ….. I couldn’t if I wanted to the battery is that poor.
By way of example on the recent AUAN protest march I got out of my car at 11.30am, with the iPhone fully charged. I used it to send a few tweets, a few streamed Videos and a few streamed phlogs, and that was it …… 90 minutes later and iPhone battery off to intensive care.
I kid you not, I have next to no confidence in the iPhone battery life, to such an extent that I have always carried a Nokia N95 around with me as a back up.
Well all that is a thing of the past now thanks to the truly liberating MiLi Power Skin. The way it works is pretty cool. The iPhone sits in it as a cradle/protective sleeve and the battery that is built into the Power Skin can be used to charge up the iPhone battery. All you need to do is press the small button on the Power Skin and ‘beep’ the iPhone starts charging.
You can charge the Power Skin while it is connected to the iPhone (it chargers the iPhone battery first and then the Power Skin battery), via the USB cable. It has a connection like those found on a Digital Camera so you can’t use your existing iPhone cable, and you can’t charge it in your car (well you can actually, more on that later) but the USB cable can be connected to a computer or a power supply, oh and in my case it connects to the USB socket in the Belkin TuneBase FM with Handsfree for iPhone that I use so if I need to charge in the car I am good to go.
The Power SKin is thin, but not Nano thin, or as we hope to soon find out iPad thin, BUT ….. and this is a pretty big thing for me, it makes the iPhone feel ‘better’ to me. I have always loved the design of the iPhone, but found it too light, and lacking in substance, to feel right as a phone (remember I was around in the 80’s and was a proud owner of the first Mobile Phones that they produced so to me everything since then has been a bit ‘wishy washy’!)
Thanks to the MiLi Power Skin I now have an iPhone that feels and lasts like a proper phone ….. shame I still don’t use it and what I do use it for will soon be partially replaced by the iPad!