It’s often the first complaint when someone moves up from a dumbphone or feature phone: “Whoa! My phones already dead? It’s only 3:00 pm!” Yep, it happens. What did you expect? You have a machine in your pocket with more computing power than your dad’s desktop a few years back (or even now). That thing is hungry for electrical current. But until improved battery tech hits the market, it’s going to be part of life. Here are some tips for improving battery life on your Android device.
Put it down!
People get a new, shiny Android phone and want to play with it. That’s expected. However, one of the biggest energy users is that shiny display. Yeah, it looks great with all those colors and widgets flying around, but it puts a big hurt on your battery. This is usually the time when people notice a big difference in battery life compared to the old phone they let lie around and be ignored. And that’s because you messing with it and keeping its display active is using up your battery’s charge! So let it be and watch the battery life improve. Or even turn your brightness down a bit (this can be found by pressing the menu button and going into settings and then “Display”).
Back off the widgets and live wallpapers
I know how cool it is to see a kitten run across your homescreen. Or the excitement of seeing your stocks go up two cents at noon. But a using a bunch of widgets and live wallpapers can decrease your Android’s battery life. Running widgets and other background services cause the CPU to come out of idle more often, thus using more energy. So if you’re really into lasting an entire day without charging and not so into real time updates of new kitty videos on YouTube, try cutting back on those services.
If you haven’t heard of Juice Defender, now is the time! This app monitors your phones activity and takes steps to prevent unnecessary resource usage. For example, you can tell Juice Defender to turn off your data connection except for when the screen on your device is on or during a timed interval. The timed interval allows syncing apps (like Gmail or Twitter) to get their info very so often (I think it’s 30 minutes). Otherwise, Juice Defender shuts of your data connection. This saves a ton of battery life. The app also computes how much juice it is saving and displays it to you.
I know, I know: task managers are not needed and are very evil. This new mandate in the Android community says that task managers (or task killers) interfere with apps’ processes and make troubleshooting a buggy device difficult. However, I have used Advanced Task Killer with no ill effects. I have it set to kill certain apps when my screen goes off and it has increased my battery life. For example, the Google Maps app likes to run when I have no reason for it to do so. The battery usage utility reports that it uses the majority of my battery power. Thus killing it has resulted in extended battery life for me.