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July 29, 2011

A Reason Not to Turn On Your Phone

Filed under: Main — Tags: — admin @ 12:01 am

It’s a long day. You’re on your next-to-last flight. The plane has landed, but hasn’t docked at the gate. Your Android phone is handy, so you pick it up and turn it on. That’s when the trouble starts.

The rule goes that you need to turn off your phone as the door closes on the airplane. You can then turn on again when directed to do so by the flight crew. (Usually at 10,000 feet.)

Oh, and you need to put the phone into Airplane Mode while you’re aloft.

When you land, you’re supposed to turn off your phone again. That’s a nice treat: You can pick up messages, check your email, and do all those lovely phone things you want to do.

Plus, you get to do one unwanted thing. That is, you get to download a whole slew of Android Market updates.

This situation has happened to me several times now: I keep my phone off the entire flight. (I either use my laptop or my Galaxy Tab when I’m in the air.) Keeping the phone off saves battery power.

When I land, I turn on the phone. For some reason, that wakes the thing up and, upon acquiring the digital cellular signal, the phone starts downloading every update available.

Yes, I’ve turned on Automatic Updates. My question is, why does the phone automatically update itself when I turn it on? Should it? Shouldn’t it just alert me to the updates and then I can choose whether to “Update All” or not?

Normally, the updates wouldn’t be an issue. The problem is that I often turn on my phone and want to ensure that nothing sucks down massive amounts of battery juice. Downloading all those applications, however, does drain the battery — especially on a 4G network.

It’s distressing to see 7 app downloads going on all at once and watch the battery meter drain.

Yes, it really does drain.

The solution I’ve come up with is simply not to turn on the phone unless I need to make a call or am expecting a call. So I just leave the phone off. That’s a work-around, of course. Another solution is simply to turn off Automatic Updates.

You need to turn off Automatic Updates for each app individually: Open the Android Market, press the Menu soft button and choose My Apps. Choose each app and remove the green check mark by Allow Automatic Updating. Sure it’s tedious, but it’s the only solution I’ve found so far.

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