The Macalope Daily: Assault and battery

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It’s comical how badly some people want to find problems with the new iPad. The Macalope has identified a few different potential motivations for this obsession.

1) A need to satisfy their sense of “fairness.” E.g. “We lambasted that crappy Android tablet so we’d better find something wrong with the iPad.” Or, “We’re Consumer Reports, we don’t play favorites, see how we’re giving the iPhone a bad review, hey, why are you still buying them?!”

2) MUST SMASH APPLE (see: Gizmodo, bitterness, tears).

3) “Look at me, mom! Look what I can do!” These people are just dying to be the geniuses who caught the wave of Apple’s imminent downfall. What goes up must come down! Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs! Law of large numbers! Gravity! I like simple rules that I can apply to everything!

4) Simple link-baiting, which can be threaded into any of the above.

The Macalope will leave it up to his nimble and well-read readers to determine which of these might have motivated Mashable’s Peter Pachal when he wrote “Did Apple Tell the New iPad’s Battery Meter to Lie on Purpose?” (tip o’ the antlers to markbyrn). The Macalope’s money is on a combination of 1 and 4.

The new iPad is a huge hit for Apple, to the tune of 3 million devices sold in the first weekend alone. And it’s no wonder—the device is a big upgrade from previous models, quadrupling the resolution of the tablet’s screen to an ultra-sharp “retina” display. However, the new model has brought with it a spate of minor issues, one of which is slowly rising to the status of “scandal.”




Look at it. Sitting there so innocently. Pretending to be your friend when all the while it’s telling you nothing but lies!


This problem is different from its predecessors because it’s so clear-cut.

Is it? Is it really? Your own article quotes someone who says it isn’t:

“How do you measure a battery’s state of charge?” [Isidor Buchmann, CEO of Cadex Electronics, a manufacturer of battery testing equipment] asks. “Anyone knowledgeable about batteries knows there is no way. It’s just a very rough estimate. If Apple could do it better, they would.”

But Pachal decides to not listen to the battery expert, and instead listen to Dr. Ray Soneira, who started this tempest in a teapot by saying the battery is only 90 percent charged when it says 100 percent.

The ball of stupidity really got rolling, though, when Soneira updated his post with a quote from CNBC’s Jon Fortt, who said Apple told him that “if you charge it more than [when the battery indicator reads 100%], you could actually harm the longevity of the battery.”

Soneira then decided that means the iPad must be doing exactly that, because he noticed it will take more charge after it says 100 percent. So, therefore, if you keep your iPad plugged in all night it will destroy your iPad. That’s his interpretation of a passing remark made by a television commentator in a two-minute spot meant to debunk this whole thing as a “scandal.”

There are three possible explanations here: First, assuming Fortt did speak to an Apple spokesperson, that person may have misspoke. Second, Fortt might have misinterpreted the remarks. Third, what Apple might have meant is that if iOS allowed the device to fully charge, it could harm the battery.

Macworld’s Lex Friedman couldn’t find any reference to this supposed phenomenon, but Soneira has now issued a self-serving call on Apple to “retract the remark and graciously accept my interpretation.” A statement he heard secondhand and jumped to conclusions about.

Yeah, sure. Here’s a thought: Why don’t you just not post anything ever again until you get an apology from Apple?

Regardless, this is simply an example of the relentless nitpicking that Apple gets from the armchair quarterbacks of technology. Apple VP Michael Tchao has since noted that the reason an iPad says it’s 100 percent charged is because it’s reached the level where it can provide the 10 hours of battery life Apple has promised. So, in other words, it’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to do.


It occurs to the Macalope that Apple has a much better idea of how to convey things to its customers than any of these armchair quarterbacks.

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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