Apple has filed for a patent (number 10,182,337) for “intermittent out of service recovery on an accessory device.” The goal is to reduce the amount of power used by items such as the iPhone and improve battery life.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that wireless communication technology has evolved from voice-only communications to also include the transmission of data, such as Internet and multimedia content, all of which uses more power. Since mobile devices have smaller batteries than larger portable devices, Apple says “it would be desirable to reduce the power requirements of communication devices.”
Here’s Apple’s summary of the invention: “According to some embodiments, the accessory device may receive cellular communication system selection information from a paired device. The accessory device may store the communication system selection information.
“At some point, it may be determined that the accessory device has lost cellular communication service. The accessory device may perform a cellular communication service scan utilizing the system selection information received from the paired device along with its own historical information and location based frequency lists.”
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.