Increasing Android Battery Life

Increasing the battery life on the Android phone that you have is all dependent on the rate at which the CPU is working. If this work is for things you need, then it’s fine, but what if it is for things you don’t need, like misconfigured settings that keep the phone in constant try and try again mode? This is an issue that you need to take care of as soon as possible.

Here are some issues:

  1. No phone service (Roaming)
  2. No Internet Connection
  3. Constant syncing (Worse, Constant trying of the sync that is not working right)
  4. Unneeded apps
  5. Inefficient apps
  6. Background Data transfer
  7. Automatic Update for apps you download and/or instal
  8. Auto brightness setting

Let’s take a look at these one by one:

1- No phone service (Roaming)

When you are in an area with very bad service or even no phone service, you need to turn off the phone searching (depending on your phone) or just put the phone into Airplane mode to conserve battery life.

What the phone is doing is, it is constantly trying to find signal for you, so the CPU is working non-stop, and your battery is draining. Each version of phone software is getting a little better, but they have not made this 100% efficient yet.

2- No Internet Connection

Just like the bad phone service area, there are areas where you don’t have good internet service, or no 4G service. This is a little easier to live with then the bad phone service, because when you don’t need an internet connection, just turn it off. Most of the phones have a way for you to turn it off, some are very easy, there is an icon that you just tap on, but if all else fails, then go to Settings->Network or Wireless etc. and just click on the off for the Network connection.

One caveat though, you have to remember to turn it on when you need it, because even using Google Maps, will use the data connection to find things for you, so you might get frustrated when it doesn’t come back with results.

3- Constant syncing (Worse, Constant trying of the sync that is not working right)

If you don’t need everything synced constantly, then just urn them off. With this last update to Jelly Bean, my phone now has 10 things that Google added that can sync. It used to be just Gmail, Contacts and Calendar, now there are things like Google play books, magazines, movies, music, internet, Picasa, wallet etc.

I have them all unchecked. When I need them (right after I need a hole in my head), I will just do a manual sync. This is crazy. It is constant contact. Save some Carbons, disconnect! Al Gore will be happy.

4- Unneeded Apps

Every app takes up storage (although not significant most of the time), but more importantly, they “Call Home”. So you have apps connecting to the internet and sending packets back and forth, all the time. The best way to minimize it is to remove, or better yet, don’t install them in the first place. Most of these apps are written by inefficient developers that don’t care about your CPU cycles or your internet bandwidth. Disconnect!

5- Inefficient apps

If an app has constant polling type connection and notification, it might drain the battery faster than the ones that sync on demand or at set intervals. An example would be the text messaging app. I changed from the one that came with my phone to Handcent, which is much more nimble when it comes to  battery use. You can usually specify “Replace as the default messaging for my phone”.

6- Background Data transfer

Many of the apps do background data transfers. If there is a way (usually in the app’s own settings) disable background data transfers or update checks. You can also do this last one through the Google Play section when you are downloading the app. (See below) An example would be, “Quote of the day”, “Show new articles”, “Verse of the day”, “Show all new Tweets” or whatever that just needs to connect to get new stuff, if you don’t need it, then don’t do it.

7- Automatic Update for apps you download and/or install

When you install an app from Google Play, usually there is a checkmark that says, “Automatically check for updates” near the top of the app description, usually below the screenshots of the app. Uncheck that, unless you need to have the system check for changes every day! You can always check by going to the “My Downloaded Apps” section in the Google Play or the app store that you use, and just check.

Do this on Saturday mornings, or while waiting at the doctor’s office, or waiting to pick someone up, etc.  Don’t be lazy, do some of the work yourself, at least until they figure out how to do this more efficiently.

7- Auto brightness setting

A lot of people think that by turning on the Auto brightness setting will help extend battery life. This is only true if you are mostly in dark areas. If you are going back and forth, then the sensor is constantly letting the CPU know that it needs to adjust the screen. If you want to make a significant difference then just leave it on the lowest (dimmest) setting, and only turn it up when you need it.

If you do these, and you use your common sense, then you will enjoy a better battery life for sure. I hope this helped you. I welcome your comments or questions.

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