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Monday, September 21, 2009, 04:40 am PT (07:40 am ET)

Apple inquires with users about iPhone OS 3.1 battery life

With various reports of poor iPhone battery life following the 3.1 OS update, Apple has reportedly begun asking users about its experiences and usage habits in an attempt to address the issue.

AppleCare workers allegedly have a list of 11 questions they have e-mailed to customers in order to help identify battery issues. According to The iPhone Blog, the note also includes an unsigned attachment that enables battery life logging on the iPhone. The application syncs battery life information with iTunes and then shares the data with Apple.

Users are reportedly being contacted after posting in the Apple support discussion forums, with questions focusing on battery-eating tasks such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and push e-mail. One specific question cited asks "When you notice a power drop, does it seem to be a legitimate power drop, or rather an issue with the battery icon indicator?"

Users who install the Battery Life Logging application are reportedly asked to go a few days without syncing, and are also told they should disable the application once the information has been submitted to Apple. This issue allegedly stems from the file size of the battery life logs.

Earlier this month at its media-centric event, apple launched iPhone OS 3.1, bringing a Genius recommendation system for App Store software, along with a number of bug fixes. The software update also added ringtones from major labels directly into the iTunes application on the phone.

Any changes could come this week, as Apple is expected to release a new firmware update on Friday, Sept. 25, when multimedia messaging is due to be enabled for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS on AT&T. Officials with the wireless carrier said the update will be available as a download from iTunes. However, there have been some reports of users having MMS functionality enabled on their phone, regardless of the firmware number they currently have installed, leading some to believe it is not OS dependent.