Battery-saving software on a phone tends to have all the subtlety of a sledgehammer -- it either waits until you're low on power to do anything, or limits functionality at all times. Apple may eventually take a smarter approach, if a newly published patent application is any indication. The technique would optimize your mobile device's power consumption based on both your daily activities and charging patterns. If your iPhone doesn't get much use during working hours, for instance, it could automatically throttle down for that period. The technology also adjusts power for specific events; check into a long flight and your phone will conserve battery while you're in the air. We don't know if Apple will ever use this energy-saving technology, but the patent is grounded more firmly in reality than others we've seen.