It doesn’t matter if you own one or not, you surely know that one of the worst problems of Android mobiles is their low battery life. Greater screen resolution, faster processors and wireless Internet connection are some of the sophisticated smartphones’ developments we are able to enjoy nowadays, but they have a cost when it comes to energy.
We belong to a society where the mobile phone is becoming more and more important and inherent to our lives than ever. We need it to communicate with others through WhatsApp, share our photos and opinions on Twitter or Facebook, share files on Dropbox, check the weather forecast, read the latest news, or see how much time the bus will take to arrive…Running out of battery is an ordeal that nobody wants to experience. We are transforming ourselves into power-hungry people and maximizing battery life is getting to be one of our priorities.
It is said that the battery life of an Android mobile could last from 6-8 hours to 1-2 days. Obviously, it will depend not only on the model and specifications (lithium-based, li-ion, etc.), but also on your usage. However, there are some fields that remain constant and that you can still proactively control. Extending, conserving, optimizing and taking the most of your battery life can be possible if you follow some tips and monitor your energy consumption.
Power-saving: Analyze first, reduce later
First of all, your task will be to analyze your mobile’s battery usage. All Android versions include in ‘Settings’ an option to see your battery consumption (Settings > About Phone> Battery Use). This functionality displays the percentage of the remaining battery, how long the mobile has been used from the last time it was connected to the charger and a list with all the applications and services labeled, detailing how much battery they have consumed. It is important to perform this analysis from time to time in order to reduce power consumption.
However, if the information was not enough for you, and you expected something more detailed, you should know that there are several applications and widgets available to monitor your consumption, such as CurrentWidget, GSam Battery Monitor, JuiceDefender or Battery Monitor Widget. Among other things, some of them can offer status bar notifications informing about the battery state and the time left estimation, based on a current and historical usage which will later transform into statistics.
Display adjustment: configure lighting and timeout
Once the results of your mobile have been displayed, you will soon notice that the screen is one of the items that consumes the most, usually followed by ‘Cell standby’ and ‘Android System’. As we cannot stop using the screen, we can reduce its brightness (Settings > Display > Brightness) and change its timeout to be shorter (Settings > Display > Screen timeout). There is no need to use auto-brightness anymore, lighting can be customized. You just need to move the bar until you choose the optimal value of brightness with which you feel comfortable in accordance with the situation and environment. Also in ‘Settings’, we will find an option to configure the time that the mobile takes to automatically switch off the screen when it is inactive: 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, etc.
Wi-Fi networks,3G, GPS, Bluetooth, and that stuff
Similarly, network connections are the other section that needs a lot of energy. One tip to save battery when using the Internet is trying to get connected to Wi-Fi networks, instead of using your data plan. Besides, the less stable your connection is, the more battery it will take trying to get connected. The same happens if you are out of range and the mobile keeps trying to get signal. One recommendable thing in those situations is to turn off the Internet connection if you are not going to use it, or select the ‘Airplane Mode’, which reduces consumption to the minimum. Disabled GPS or Bluetooth contribute to battery-saving too.
Applications and services
Moving now to apps, we should bear in mind that those ad-supported, needing Internet or automatic synchronization are our worst enemies when it comes to mobile energy consumption. Many of them keep working in the background, unless you do not manually close them. LINE, for instance. This happens because most applications do not have an exit button itself, and all you can do is press the back button to go out, letting them opened.
Apart from the built-in task manager, there are applications that inform you what apps are opened and it closes them, such as Auto-Kill Task Manager. Multi-tasking is a wonderful feature of smartphones, but it burns a huge amount of energy as all the running applications use a share of the phone’s processor cycles. Similarly, uninstalling superfluous and misbehaving notifications will help too. Games are great battery drainers as they need the screen on and run complex graphics. If you feel like playing and need to take the most of your battery life, select the ‘Airplane mode’ while playing.
Vibration and wallpapers
Moreover, regarding notifications, calls or messages, it is preferable not to use vibration, as the process takes much more power than a simple ringtone. Making the mobile shake takes energy! Of course, the shorter the ringtone is, the less it will consume. The same occurs with wallpapers, it is better not to choose live or animated ones, as they will eat up a lot of power and resources. If you use a static background, better.
Widgets and Power Control Widget
Finally, the on-screen elements we put in our desktop could consume excessive amounts of battery depending on the activity they carry on. They work as independent processes, thus they behave as a completely different app. Try to only install the ones whose functionality is the one you really need. Nevertheless, the Power Control widget will ease your battery-saving activities, by activating or deactivating its Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, Automatic Rotation, Wi-Fi or 3Gon/off on-screen buttons.
In conclusion, adjusting brightness and screen timeout, using Wi-Fi networks instead of data packet, closing apps running on the background, using ‘Airplane mode’ when there is no coverage or you feel like playing games, or disabling vibration are some of the things that will help you to optimize your mobile power. But do not forget that these tips won’t make the battery of your smartphone come back, but will drastically help to make the power you have left to last longer.