8 Apps to improve your Android smartphone or tablet's battery life (Slideshow)

8 Apps to improve your Android smartphone or tablet's battery life (Slideshow)

Summary: If you agree with me that little is as miserable as having your Android smartphone or tablet die of premature battery exhaustion, then you'll want to check these applications out.


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  • Maxing Android Battery Life

    This Motorola Droid 4 has a great keyboard and it runs Android 4.1.2, a version of Jelly Bean. I like this phone. I love this keyboard. And, while Android 4.1.2 isn't Android 4.3,  it's none too shabby. So what's wrong with this picture?

    Notice something about the screen? It's off. And, why is it off? It's off because the battery has run out of juice AGAIN!


    Of course, all battery powered devices do this and, as 4G LTE phones go, my Droid 4, with its 8 hours of active use time, isn't bad at all.

    But, I want more. I want the maximum possible battery life for my smartphone and my 2012 Nexus 7 and 2013 Nexus 7. Of course, the first thing I did was to use all the various tricks to maximize my Android devices' battery life.

    That helped, but I wanted more. If you're like me and only the best battery life will do you need to check out these applications. They'll help you to make the most of your Android smartphone and tablet's batteries.

  • Wakelock Detector

    Wakelock Detector

    What the heck is a Wakelock? It's the feature Android lets apps use to wake it from deep sleep mode. Wakelocks can keep your CPU awake, they can turn on your screen, and they can make sure your screen doesn't go off. That can be very handy. They can also help kill your battery.

    UzumApps' Wakelock Detector is a handy program for seeing which programs have been using wakelocks. It gives you detailed system information that's essential for hard-core battery life analysis. It's not for casual users.

    I like this program a lot but to really use it effectively you need to be an Android power user or developer. If that's you, you'll like this free program a lot.

Topics: Mobility, Android, Software

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  • Slideshow/Gallery = Skip

  • Arrggghhh slideshow

    I want to read this article but your slideshows drive me mad.
  • Excellent information!

    For once, Steven provides some excellent information about Android and how to save power. My phone is so uneven in battery life it's not funny. One day it consumes 20% and another day it's dead before noon.

    Perhaps one of these applications will help even out power consumption and make my life easier!

    Android may be cheap for the system builders, but it sure has problems in the power arena.
    • strange battery usage

      having started to encounter weird battery drains recently I installed an app called battery graph which just logs the reported battery % every minute and then displays a graph when you run the app.

      I now see that my battery can drop from 90% to 0% within one minute, and when charging can go from 5% to 100% again within one minute.
      At other times the % reduction seems normal.

      I suppose either the battery has developed a physical defect or the process that monitors % level is suspect.
      • Your battery is dying

        You need to replace it.
        My phone did this last year.
        Hopefully you have a removable battery.
    • problems

      It comes from some of the auto-connect stuff. Using LTE drains the battery pretty quick. If you go into low-signal areas, it uses a significant amount of power searching for signals. And there are a lot of things (particularly app updates) that go on in the background and use the RF without you specifying to.
      Jacob VanWagoner
  • battery tools

    All of them too much trouble. Buy a second battery!
  • yep

    Just buy an extra battery, or buy an higher capacity aftermarket battery. I have a 9300 Mah battery for my Note 2. Lasts a LOT longer than the stock 3100 Mah battery.
  • If you have to load apps to save your battery

    then you have a crappy device that should have put those things in in the first place.
    Jacob VanWagoner
    • My device is Android and worked well in the beginning

      Something changed over time. The only thing to change is Android. I don't load apps as most are tripe. My son has the same phone and after the same experience, working well for about a year, then battery life dropping to less than a day, he's about ready to hit the factory reset button.

      I've only had the phone for 12 months. The battery should last at least two years before any issues show up, so with two phones acting the same way, one must assume that it's an app or something gone wrong. We'll see how his factory reset goes.

      The hardware seems fine, the OS, as with all OS's, seems to have issues.
      • Battery life

        After a year, you have gone through hundreds of charge cycles. You should see a (somewhat) linear decay in battery life over the last month or two - to about 80% of the original capacity after a year.

        This is assuming an optimum charge patter - use down to 15-30%, then charge fully. Do not constantly top up from 85% and up. Do not use down to nothing on a regular basis.

        Other behaviour probably indicates either a hardware or software flaw.
  • Spare Batteries

    Buying a spare battery is a good solution, but not viable for all too many tablet type devices that do not have easily-replaced batteries. My big complaint in this area is what one does when (not 'if') the battery dies (not just runs out of charge, but won't take a charge) on a device such as the Acer Iconia 8 (which I was seriously considering buying until I found out that it has a non-replaceable battery). Does one simply throw away a perfectly good (and not inexpensive) device?
  • Charging and killing batteries

    As we're on the topic of batteries, can someone definitively answer the following question (bonus points if you can provide reputable proof, as well)?

    Does charging my phone often and for short periods of time hurt the battery's performance in any way?

    I have heard so many different things regarding this issue that I cannot remember what the valid answer is anymore. Thanks.
  • What a pain!!!!

    I got as far as screen 4, before getting fed up. I like to print these kinds of article to pdf so I have a record to refer back to. This almost impossible with the stupid slide show format. Can't imagine why ZDNet doesn't drop the system. Hopeless. Can't even print the stupid thing.
    • There is a way to make your own PDF's

      You will need two free programs. Jarte and Nitro. Google for where to get them. (I use Startpage instead of Google, but that's my preference.)

      You use Jarte as you would a simple word processor. Its big advantage is that you can use graphics and pictures very easily with this program. Just insert them where you want them. Do not forget to justify your text so you have straight margins on the right as well as the left.

      Adjust the width of the Jarte window you want to work with. Click Tools, go down to Options, Word Wrap, Wrap to window, so the text will conform to your window. Be advised that if a picture is wider than the window, you will not see all of the picture, but it will still be there.

      Once all your text and pictures are as you want them, Save then print them to a file using Nitro, a free pdf maker program. If your resultant pdf is not to your liking you can modify the Jarte file where you are not satisfied and resave to file until you are satisfied.

      I have often done this for the slide shows I liked enough to want to keep a copy at hand.

      I hope this helps.
      • a little more help

        I forgot to say that with Jarte you can even copy a URL and insert it into the text as a URL or bury it under text simply by using a copy function of Jarte where you highlight the text, then right-click over the highlight; the requester that comes up will give you several options. One of them is to insert a URL; Just put the cursor into the url box and click copy.

        Jarte also has this nifty ability that you can set where, when you hover over an action box for a certain time the action is taken without further ado. You do not need to click each and every action; just hover for a second and the program will do the rest.
  • Forgot to mention BMW - Battery Monitor Widget and GSam Battery Monitor

    I learned more about Battery usage from BMW than I thought possible. And it does much of what all of these apps do combined. It's pretty techie when you get deep into it, but the graph's are great for a visual idea of what is going on with your battery, and it keeps a history so you can review the difference between days with heavy battery drain and days where it seems to last all day.

    A few things about battery usage: 1. Calibrate, Calibrate, Calibrate! 2 or 3 successive full Drain to full charges will help this app analyze your phones full battery potential. very helpful for real analysis. 2. Avoid repeated Full drains, it's hard on your battery. I throw mine on a charger when it gets near 30% whenever possible. draining to near zero over and over again can shorten your battery's life. (note: it is ok to do a full drain periodically to calibrate, just don't do it on every charge for as long as you own the device). 3. When you think you're battery is fully charged, its not. Give it another hour or so after your battery guage shows full. remember that stock battery meter estimates. When it thinks its full, it goes into a trickle charge and continues to draw small amounts to charge the battery. BMW provides two notifications, Battery is Full and Charge is complete. Wait for charge is complete to be sure you have fully charged your battery. And watch the history as it will continue to show small mA charge even after the battery is full notification, up until thhe Charge complete notification plays. 4. Graph shows sudden leap from 70, 80, 90% to 100%, same thing going in the reverse direction. the leap to full is consistent with the battery meter estimation function, but the graph showing quick drops can be matched up with history and Usage statistics to find out what the power hog is!. And to answer VicVicVic - no, short and often charges does not hurt your battery life, so long as you have calibrated with a full drain to charge cycle a couple of times. Lithium polymer batteries have a life span equal to what works out to be a specific number of full charge cycles. Your short and frequent charge cycles will eventually add up to the equivalent of one full charge cycle. no battery memory on these batteries if that is what you are thinking of.
  • Advanced Task Killer

    I did decide in the end to look at all the apps despite my previous whinge. I was looking for Advanced Task Killer which I use, but which I heard may not actually save any power, as some of the apps you kill will reload, taking more power. Majority on the web think it is a waste of time. But Battery Doctor seems effective.
  • Have you TRIED these apps and gathered data?

    Here's the reality. Apps like Juice Defender do little or nothing to save power. After a couple months of gathering stats on several phones, they all made a fraction of a percent difference at best. The fact that the highest price Juice Defender required root access to work was not mentioned in your extremely cursory overview of a few programs you apparently ran across, and took their word for that they worked.

    They do nothing you can't do yourself, and even when you DO those things yourself they really don't make a huge difference. Most phones manage battery so well there isn't a lot you can do to improve it, unless you end up with a screwed up app that beats on your phone and keeps it on hard. Even then they don't help much since they don't shut down apps like that.

    And guys? Slideshows suck. I suspect they are there to shorten the page (or get clicks, not sure), but they are really annoying. Everyone uses them, and they are all annoying.
    • Yeah, no.

      Juice Defender's Balanced setting saves a decent amount of battery by making sure your antennae are off when the screen is off. No pulling off of wifi/LTE to push you notifications when your phone is in your pocket. My battery drains 15-20% slower with it.

      Yes, I could just turn all of these things on and off every time I use my phone, but as much as I love to have control over my device i shouldn't have to manually do these things every single time. It really takes the "smart" out of smartphone.