The Grinchdroid who stole my power

The Grinchdroid who stole my power

Summary: You're a vile one, Mr. Hess. You have sarcasm in your soul. You have all the subtle diplomacy of a lovesick Troll.

TOPICS: Hardware

I can't say that I wasn't warned about Android's power consumption but I didn't realize that I possibly couldn't get through a single day on a full charge. And, this is a brand new phone. My new Galaxy SII gulps battery power like it's free beer. It's actually kind of astonishing to watch the power meter fall at a rate that I can almost perceive at a glance. The Grinchdroid was stealing my power and I couldn't figure out where it was going. Little Kenny Lou Who was a very sad Who indeed.

However, I did find a solution called Easy Battery. Easy Battery is an App that sets up a power management scenario based on my habits and choices.

The Grinchdroid Who Stole My Power

Every Looz down in Loozville liked Cellphones a lot

But the Droid who lived just North of Loozville did not!

The Droid hated Cellphones! The whole Cellphone shtick!

Now, please don't ask why. It'll make him quite sick.

It could be, perhaps, that his Apps were too slight.

It could be his case wasn't fitted on just right.

But I think that the most likely reason of all

May have been that his battery capacity was two sizes too small.

But, whatever the reason, his Apps or his battery,

He stood there on Fanboy Mount loving the flattery,

Staring down from his place with a blank, Droidy face

Draining all manner of battery at a quickened pace,

For he knew every Looz down in Loozville amid

Was plugging Cellphones into the grid.

"And they're charging their batteries," he snarled with a sneer.

"Tomorrow I'll drain them down, it's undeniably clear!"

Then he growled, with his Droid thumbs nervously tapping,

"I must find some way to keep my fans a-clapping!

For, tomorrow, I know all the Looz girls and boys

Will wake late and slowly. They'll slither toward their toys!

And then with delight, they'll read my posts with utter contempt.

Skipping the meanings and the humor, they'll sit and comment.

And they'll shriek squeaks and squeals, racing 'round on their wheels.

They'll text with thumbtinglers onto Otterboxes.

They'll swipe their screens. They'll surf with Firefoxes.

They'll kill some piggies. They'll Word with Friends.

They'll message their buds. They'll connect to VPNs.

They'll Tweet their Followers. They'll gather a Clan.

They'll update their statuses. They'll play with Instagram.

And they'll use those infernal voice commands,

A new-fangled feature in Cellphone land!

And then they'll make ear-splitting noises galore

When they must plug in their devices once more!

Then the Looz, young and old, will accuse me of FUD.

And they'll post on their blogs, rebuff me on Twitter and call me a dud.

They'll trash me in forums, they'll call it a crisis.

They'd do more but they must plugin their devices!

And then they'll do something I hate most of all!

Every Looz down in Loozville, the tall and the small,

They'll stand close together, with Cellphones a-buzzing.

They'll stand hand-in-hand, and those Looz will start cussing!"

But, in the end, when the cussing is done.

When Ken Hess is done having his fun,

Every Looz from Loozville will see

How Ken told them to save battery.

Download an App he told us!

Easy Battery will not make you cuss.

You'll have lots of power to call and to Tweet

The taste of sipped power is oh so sweet.

You'll have energy galore to comment on his blog

And tell him that you're no longer a power hog.

Of course, I didn't think of Easy Battery on my own. I would never have thought that I needed an App to throttle my phone's battery usage but I certainly did need one. You see, I just got my new phone a short time ago and wrote up my experience in, "First impressions of my new Android phone."

One of the people who left a comment mentioned something about a battery watcher App. I thought I'd search for one in the Google Play marketplace. I found a few but Easy Battery struck my fancy because it's free (ad supported) and it has some good reviews. Yes, I read App reviews. I decided to install it and give it a try. See Figure 01 for a look at Easy Battery's main screen.

Easy Battery

Figure 01: Easy Battery

I edited the standard setting and changed the power-saving mode to Intelligent as you can see in the screenshot.

Figure 02 shows you the other modes and how they manage power for your device.

Figure 02

I chose the Intelligent Power Saving Mode because I need for the device to grab my Email and Calendar updates without manual intervention. Plus, I didn't want to edit and tweak every setting nor did I want the Super mode due to its very conservative settings.

I also chose Easy Battery because it isn't just a power watcher, it actually manages the power consumption. Watching the power run down does nothing for me. That's sort of like cutting an apple (not a product reference there) and watching it turn brown. Why would I want or need that?

What I need is extended power. Now, my Galaxy SII hums along with a single overnight power charge lasting two days or more. I'm happy with Easy Battery. It's easy to setup (took less than five minutes from download to power saving), it's free (my favorite part) and it works in the background without being obtrusive or annoying (always a plus in my world).

As soon as I have five minutes alone with my SII, I'm going to give this incredible App a full five stars. Even little Kenny Lou Who is a happy camper now that his Android phone has enough power to withstand the rigors of my very busy day job days.

I'm sure there are other battery power manager Apps in Google Play. Please feel free to tell me about your favorites and how long you can go between charges on your devices. Thanks for the tips. Keep 'em coming.

Topic: Hardware


Kenneth 'Ken' Hess is a full-time Windows and Linux system administrator with 20 years of experience with Mac, Linux, UNIX, and Windows systems in large multi-data center environments.

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  • Shouldn't android be doing that itself?

    I would think the 'default settings' should be a blend of good battery managment and usefulness. Are you saying the default settings are too aggressively shifted toward power consumption?
    • What was the root cause?

      My wife has an AT&T SGS2 that was great on power till update 2.3.6.
      We found out that leaving the wifi off and Samsungs Power Saving Mode on worked to fix the ills.
      I use the same Power Saving mode on my Skyrocket and have not updated to 2.3.6 fearing the same battery sucking issue. Even using LTE pretty much full time I find mine lasts till late afternoon - not bad.
  • The Intelligent mode has

    worked fine for me all this time. Average savings is 1.6 x extended battery life. I use easy task killer as well.
  • It just amazes me that you need software to get better battery performance.

    There's something wrong with the system if it's so demanding. There's bad design somewhere.
  • Small, beautiful, unpractical...

    One of the biggest problems is the struggle to be the thinnest and lightest smartphone on the market.

    The manufacturers cut corners to save of space and weight and fit correspondingly undersized batteries in their phones.

    I see it as similar to the car manufacturers, they offer a body with a range of engine options to suit the pocket - you get the style you want, but the performance suffers.

    Take the old Ford Fiesta, it came with engines ranging from 850cc through to a 2L sport version. The 850cc and 1.1L were dreadful, the 1.3L was fine and the 1.6L and 2L sport versions had more than enough oomph for the chasis...

    ICS on my Sensation has brought an improvement in battery life, but adding a "full sized" battery made the big difference. With Gingerbread, I would get around 24 hours, if I put the phone in Airplane mode over night. With the bigger battery, I could get 30 hours without putting it in airplane mode. With ICS and the bigger battery, I get around 2 days out of the phone, when I don't play too much Triple Town...

    The phone is noticeably heavier than it was before, but not too heavy and it lasts a reasonable amount of time between charges.

    I don't have a battery saver, but using the built in battery meter, I see that the display is responsible for over 32% of my energy consumption, with WiFi another 23%. Standby grabs 19% with Android itself nipping 10%.
  • Startlingly short battery life

    Yup, I use Easy battery Saver in Intelligent mode. Last week, headed from home for a four-hour drive to NYC. Using the Google nav app & running Spotify simultaneously, WiFi off, and the phone running off a car charger, I still drained it faster than it could charge from the 12 volt--I had to swap batteries at about the 3 hour mark. Yikes!

    I've got a big aftermarket battery; unfortunately, the accompanying aftermarket battery cover cracked the first time I removed it. Phone is the SPH-D710 Sprint version.
  • Yikes...What are you running???

    My Samsung Galaxy S runs a day and a half to two days before needing a charge. Much longer than my wife's iPhone (before it was stolen). She also got the Galaxy S when she saw how long the battery lasts. Nothing wrong with these Android phones.
    linux for me
  • Android Booster Best

    Of 3 battery apps tried on my Motorola Spice XT300, including Easy, I like NetQuin's app the best. Lots of configuring and sub apps available too.
  • Generalizations

    As the comments indicate, saying you had been "warned" about Android drawing a lot of power doesn't make much sense.
    Its the particular phone model, and how its default power settings are configured, that determines how long the battery will last.
  • Funny how I never think of this kind of thing

    And how Android owners make fun of use WP users. Windows Phone's architecture and application model is designed with power consumption/conservation in mind.

    Oh well...