Friday, February 15, 2013

Puff Up the Battery Life of Your Android Phones

For all those people who have got a shiny new Android phone, suffers from just one problem: you’re so addicted that the battery runs out on a daily basis. Instead of putting the phone down, this blog will indeed help you to maximize i.e. puff up the battery life of your phone. Saving your phone’s battery is to get rid of the things that are draining the battery the most, and trim down other things that you need to use, but maybe can tweak a little.

Use Android’s Built-in Battery Usage Screen:

There’s a screen built into Android that most casual users probably don’t even know about, and it can tell you exactly what is killing your battery.

Head into Settings –> about Phone –> Battery use to see what has been killing your battery life.

Fig1: Phone Settings
From this screen, you can usually see what apps are the worst offenders, and you will probably notice that the biggest problem—at least, the biggest one that we can fix—is actually the backlight on the phone. 

Adjust the Backlight to be less Bright :
Since we’ve already determined that the backlight is usually the biggest problem, you should probably adjust the settings. Head into Settings –> Display –> Brightness, where you can choose to automatically adjust, which usually works fairly well, or you can just turn the brightness down to the lowest acceptable level.

 Fig2: Back-Light Settings

Disable Your Wi-Fi When You Don’t Need It :

Wi-Fi can really speed up accessing data on your phone, but it can also be a big drain on the battery if you don’t need it enabled, especially when you are out and about.The phone will try and scan for a wireless network even though you may not want it to.

To enable Airplane mode, you can head into Settings –> Wireless & networks–> Airplane mode.

                                                Fig3: Wi-Fi Settings

You can easily toggle the Wi-Fi on or off with a widget or shortcut—there’s a built-in widget included in Android phones, or you can use the AnyCut or BetterCut utilities to create your own shortcuts to directly turn them on or off without requiring a widget.

Disable Bluetooth if You Don’t Use It:

If you aren’t using a wireless headset, there’s no reason to have Bluetooth running all the time, and you should probably cut it off to save the battery life. If you never use it at all, head into Settings –> Wireless & networks–> Bluetooth.

Fig4: Bluetooth Settings

You can also enable or disable the Bluetooth when you do need it, using the power widget.

Use the Power Widget to Easily Toggle GPS, Bluetooth, Wireless, and Screen Brightness :

Android includes a built-in Power Widget that can easily toggle these settings on or offjust long press on the background of one of your screens, choose Widget> Power Control to add it to the screen. Youll notice in this example screenshot that Ive got my GPS enabled but Im not using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth at the momentthe icon all the way on the right lets you easy.

Fig5: GPS Settings
This is probably the simplest and easiest thing that you can do to save your battery without having to dig into the settings all the time.

Disable Apps that Sync Constantly:

The built-in Email application (not the Gmail one, which uses Push technology) can suck the battery badly, because it syncs on a too-regular basis, especially when you have lots of accountseach one of them is set to sync every 15 minutes. Youd be better off setting it up to sync manually, but if you want it to sync automatically, you should set it to sync less frequently.
Open up the Email application, head to your account, and choose Account settings> Email check frequency from the menu. Change this to something more like an hour or never. You can always hit refresh manually when you want to read your email.

Fig6: Updates Settings

The same thing holds true for other accounts, like Twitter clients, which are even less important to update all the time. For Seesmic, you can head into Settings –> Background Updates from the main screen.

Fig7: Updates Settings
The Facebook application polls automatically in the background, and you can customize the refresh interval for that as well—if you don’t need Facebook updating all the time, you should set this value as high as possible.

From the main Facebook screenthe one with the iconshead into Settings> Refresh interval from the menu.

Fig8: Notification Settings

Disable the GPS Location Features :

One of the biggest battery sucking features on my Android is the GPSWhen I have navigation going, the battery dies far too fast, so I end up having to keep it plugged in the whole time I am driving. This makes sensebut what you might not know is that a lot of other applications use the GPS as well.
You can also change the GPS to use wireless networks, and uncheck the option for Use GPS satellitesthis will make the GPS a little less accurate, but it will save your battery.


Fig9: GPS Settings  

Additionally, you should turn off the geolocation features in your Twitter client, weather application, or whatever other apps that you really dont need them in. If you want to keep it enabled, thats great, just realize that it does drain the battery, so uncheck this option to help.

Use a Task Manager to See What is Always Running:

It is a wise decision to have a copy of Advanced Task Cleaner or a similar application installed on your phone to help you kill applications that dont need to be running, but more so that you can see what exactly is launching itself repeatedly in the background. You can setup an auto-kill list for applications you dont use that oftenmake them cut off when you shut off the screen, or after an interval.

Fig10: Task manager manager Settings

You can also configure advanced task manager to show you CPU usage for each app, which is a more useful meter than memory usage when it comes to battery life.

Disable or Remove Applications That You Arent Using:

Once you have identified the application that you dont want running all the time, check in the settings to see if it can be removed from running in the background. Some applications will give you an option for notifications that can be turned off if you dont need them, making the application not check in the background so often.
It should go without saying, but well say it anywayyou should remove the apps that you dont need anymore, especially the ones that are draining your battery as determined from the android battery panel or task manager. Head into Settings> Applications> Manage Applications and then you can click the Uninstall button for an app.

Fig11: Apps Settings

Disable Home Screen Widgets You Dont Need:

If youve got loads of widgets that are pulling data from the web, that means they are likely pulling down data in the background all the time. You should try not to go overboard with these, or remove the ones you dont actually need.

Disable Animated Wallpaper:

Yeah, that sweet animated wallpaper doesnt help your battery any. Get rid of it for a small extra battery savings.

Fig12: Wallpaper Settings

Use APNDroid to Kill Your Entire Data Connection When You Dont Need It :

If youre using a phone thats on the AT&T or T-Mobile networks, you can use the APNDroid utility to kill your data connection entirely with a simple widget.  Itll disable the data but still allow regular calls and SMS.

Fig13: APNDroid Settings

Keep the Battery from Getting Too Hot :

One of the quickest ways to kill a battery is to leave it out in the suntry and keep your phone somewhere that isnt too hot whenever possible. Youll end up needing to replace the battery a lot quicker if you dont.

Just Remember :

Theres a number of other things you can do to extend your battery life a bitone of which is to use a rooted phone and install the Autostarts utility, which you can use to keep applications from launching themselves automatically. Since this isnt something you can do on a stock phone, were not covering how to do it here.