Android battery-saving tips & apps

Upgrading to an Android smart phone from a bog-standard mobile feels like a massive step into the future. At least, that is, until you notice the battery running flat after a couple of hours.

Even after the initial urge to play with the phone’s bells and whistles has worn off, you’ll be lucky to get much more than 24 hours out of it. For many, needing to recharge every night is a huge disappointment.

With a big screen and fast processor draining power, a smart phone’s battery does have its work cut out. That’s no reason to settle for a phone that won’t last the day. We’ve put together 10 Android battery-saving tips to help you get the most from every charge. Hit play on the video above or read on for all the details.

1. Find out where the power’s going

The first step in prolonging your battery life is to find out which apps and components are using the power.

Press the Menu key, tap Settings, scroll to the bottom of the Settings menu and tap About Phone. Tap Battery Use in this menu to see what’s eating the charge.

The chart at the top shows how long the phone’s been off the charger and plots the rate of power drain over time. Tap any item in this menu for details and, if available, suggestions on how to cut its power use.

2. Use the screen wisely

For almost all users, the display is the biggest single drain on the battery. From the Settings menu tap Display to see the options. Tap Screen Timeout and set a short timeout to ensure that the screen goes dark when you aren’t actively using the phone.

The Display menu has two options for controlling brightness; tap Brightness to select a constant screen brightness or to enable automatic adjustment to suit the ambient light. Tick ‘Power saving mode’ to have the brightness also vary to suit the image on the screen. You can improve things further by tapping the power button whenever you’re finished with the phone, which instantly turns off the screen.

3. Turn off what you’re not using

Radio interfaces help to make smart phones truly smart but they also suck up the battery’s power. Drag the Notification bar down from the top of the screen to quickly toggle Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.

Leave Bluetooth and Wi-Fi off unless you’re actively using them.

GPS can often stay off too, but try to turn it on a few minutes before you’ll actually need it — on many phones this speeds up getting an initial position, meaning less time spent faffing with the screen and burning even more battery power.

4. Running apps drain the battery

It’s easy to use the Home button to get from an app back to the Home screen, but doing so leaves the app running in the background. That may be what you want, but if not, the app will be sipping needlessly away at the battery. Quit apps properly by pressing Back until you return to the Home screen.

If you’ve quit all applications but something still seems to be draining the battery, enter the Settings menu, choose Applications and tap Manage Applications. Tap Running to list all the running apps and services — tap an item for the option to stop it. Restart the phone to close all manually-started apps in one go.

5. Watch out for widgets

Widgets can be useful, but many — such as news tickers or weather forecasters — need processing time and data downloads to stay updated.

Resist the urge to festoon your home screens with widgets — create application shortcuts instead and only run them when you need them.

While we’re on the subject, Android’s live wallpapers might look cool, but they’re a constant drain on resources. If power’s an issue, swap them for a decent gallery picture.

6. Email can wait

If something’s urgent, people normally call, so it’s safe to save power by checking for email less often.

Start Android’s Email app and tap an account, then press the Menu key, tap More and choose Account settings. Tap Email Check Frequency and choose Every Hour, then repeat for any other mail accounts.

You can do the same in many social media applications, such as TweetDeck.

7. Go easy on video and games

Android phones make great radios, music or movie players, but video playback is one of the biggest possible drains on a phone’s battery.

It might sound obvious, but don’t get carried away with iPlayer on the morning commute if you need your phone to last until you get home again.

The same goes for Angry BirdsStair Dismount or any other game — levelling up can leave you powerless.

8. In an emergency

With 15 per cent charge remaining, Android’s low battery warning pops up and it’s time for drastic action. Immediately head for the notifications bar and turn off as many options as possible.

With that done, hold in the power button and turn off Data network mode. Now exit all non-essential apps, return to the Home screen and turn the screen off.

From this point onwards, it’s best to treat your smart phone as just a phone. Leave it alone unless there’s a call or text to answer and you’ll save enough power for when you really need it.

9. Never pass up the opportunity to charge

You never know when you might need a three-hour phone call or a gaming marathon, so it pays to top up your battery when you can. Invest in a USB adaptor for the car and buy a Micro-B USB cable that you can use to grab a top-up from any spare USB port. Obviously, perhaps, charging is quicker with the phone off.

If using your handset as a modem, tether it with USB rather than creating a wireless access point so you can charge at the same time. If your laptop supports it, configure its USB ports to provide power even when it’s switched off so you can boost your phone.

Finally, if even all of these tips can’t get your phone through the day, buy a second battery as a failsafe.

10. Turn off those wireless radios & hotspot(s)

Just because you’re not using your device’s Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or hotspot features doesn’t mean they aren’t sucking up precious battery power. Flip the switch on those bad boys and you could save a decent chunk of battery life.

To turn off your Wi-Fi radio:

  • Open your Android device’s Settings menu and select Wireless & Networks.
  • Uncheck the box next to Wi-Fi, and your Wi-Fi antenna will shut down.
  • Next, deselect the Bluetooth box to turn off your Bluetooth connection.

To disable your phone’s mobile hotspot:

  • Open your device’s Settings menu and select Wireless & Networks.
  • Select “Tethering & Mobile Hotspot.”
  • Uncheck USB Tethering and Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot to turn off both.

11. Turn off location services.

GPS and location services such as Google Maps come in handy when you want to find directions or search for local businesses, but they can also use up lots of juice.

  • Open your device’s Settings menu and select Location & Security.
  • Uncheck the boxes for Google Location Services and Standalone GPS Services.
  • Be sure to also uncheck the box for any proprietary GPS service, such as Verizon’s VZW Location Services.

12. Turn off background data.

Some Web-connected apps, email services such as Gmail and even the Android Market will continuously collect data in the background. Although convenient, this can put a serious strain on your device’s battery.

  • Tap Settings and select “Battery & Data Management.”
  • Press the Data Delivery tab and deselect Background Data.

13. Switch from 4G to 3G

Switching from 4G to 3G when not using data-hungry apps or downloading large files can save you serious battery life. Unfortunately, the steps for switching from 4G to 3G differ from device to device and carrier to carrier. Below are the two most common ways to deactivate 4G data on your Android device. Note that if these steps do not work for you, your device may not allow for 4G to 3G switching.

  • Tap Wireless & Networks under the Settings menu.
  • Select Mobile Networks and press Network Mode.
  • Select CDMA Only, and your phone will begin using 3G instead of 4G.

Alternatively, your device may allow you to disable 4G from the Wireless Settings menu. To do this:

  • Tap Wireless & Networks in the Settings menu.
  • Uncheck the box next to 4G.

The next time you access the Web, your device will tell you that it doesn’t have an Internet connection and then will immediately connect to 3G.

Certain devices also allow you to turn off your 4G connection in favor of a less power-intensive 2G connection.

To do this:

  • Tap Wireless & Networks from the Android Settings menu.
  • Open the Mobile Network Settings menu.
  • Check the box next to “Use only 2G networks.” Note that you will be unable to access data while in 2G mode.

14. 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.

15. 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 don’t 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 don’t use that often—make them cut off when you shut off the screen, or after an interval.

Note: If you’ve configured your application settings to not pull down lots of data or do checking in the background, it’s not quite as important to keep tasks killed all the time—that’s really what kills your battery, not having them sitting idle.

16. Disable Home Screen Widgets You Don’t Need

If you’ve 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 don’t actually need.

17. Disable Animated Wallpaper

Yeah, that sweet animated wallpaper doesn’t help your battery any. Get rid of it for a small extra battery savings.

18. If your device has an AMOLED screen, always use a black background.

AMOLED screens can reduce power usage sevenfold by displaying black instead of white or any other color. When searching on your phone you can also use Black Google Mobile at bGoog.com to get standard Google results (including images) all in black

19. Turn off the phone vibration function.

(Settings » Sound & display » Phone vibrate) The tiny device inside your phone that generates the vibration uses power every time it is activated. Alternatively, set the ringer volume all the way off, past the Vibrate setting.

20. Keep the Battery from Getting Too Hot

One of the quickest ways to kill a battery is to leave it out in the sun—try and keep your phone somewhere that isn’t too hot whenever possible. You’ll end up needing to replace the battery a lot quicker if you don’t.

(Resources :- CNET | Wikihowto)

Third-party power saving apps

Instead of these methods you can use a third-party battery saving application that does the same job in your Android mobile device.

1. 1Tap Cleaner

1Tap Cleaner comes with a Cache Cleaner, History Cleaner and a Default Cleaner.

The Cache Cleaner frees up storage space by removing temporary files left by apps. You can manually clear the cache for select apps or clear all apps at once. It lists apps sorted by their cache size so you can quickly see those taking up the most space. It also displays the total and available internal storage space so you can see how much space you need to free up.

1Tap Cleaner also supports automatic scheduled cache cleaning. The free version lets you choose an interval of every three days or every week. The Pro version ($1.29) offers more interval settings, from every hour to every two weeks. It also adds the ability to auto-clear app histories as well.

You can use the History Cleaner to clear the search history from your Web browser and other apps. This is more of a privacy issue, and is useful if you don’t want others to be able to see where you’re surfing or what you’re looking up.

The Default Cleaner lists default settings that you’ve defined, such as using a third-party Web browser or launcher over the native ones included with Android. The Default Cleaner is useful if you’d like to revert back to the default.

2. Android Assistant

Android Assistant offers a variety of utilities and tools to help monitor, clean and manage your Android device. It has three screens. The first is called the Monitor and shows you your CPU, memory and battery status. It also features a Quick Boost button that will automatically kill pre-selected apps/processes to free up system resources.

The second page is the Process Manager; it shows active apps/processes and lets you manually kill apps.

The remaining utilities are on the Tools page. The Cache Cleaner displays the size of the temporary files used by each app and lets you clear them to free up storage space. Batch Uninstall lists your apps and lets you select which ones to remove. It automatically starts the uninstall process for each app in succession, but you have to confirm each. (For a more efficient process, consider an app like Gemini App Manager or Silent App Uninstaller that takes advantage of root permissions, so you don’t have to confirm each uninstall.)

The Startup Manager lets you stop select user and system apps from automatically loading when you turn on your Android device. The App 2 SD feature (which is not the same as the separate app included in this roundup) lists apps installed on the phone and to the SD card, and suggests which ones you can move from the phone to the SD card to help free up internal storage space.

I found Android Assistant to be straightforward and easy to use. Though it offers an abundance of tools, some (such as Battery Saving, Cache Cleaner or App2SD) don’t do as much as some other third-party apps you could use separately. I found the most useful tool to be the Startup Manager, since you can prevent unwanted apps from starting rather than killing them later.

3. App 2 SD

App 2 SD analyzes your installed apps and conveniently lists those that can be moved to your SD card, those already on the SD card and those that can’t be moved from internal storage. Then it helps you move all appropriate apps to the SD card (either individually or as a group) to free up internal storage space. It can also monitor new apps you install in the future and notify you when they’re movable.

The lists of apps are by default sorted by their file size, so you can quickly see those that are taking up the most space. Total space and free space of your device’s internal storage and SD card are conveniently shown on the bottom of the app. App 2 SD also has a simple cache-clearing feature that prompts you to clear app cache if it’s larger than 500KB.

Unfortunately, App 2 SD can’t automatically move the apps to the SD card. It can only pop up the Application Info screen for each app you want to move; you must then manually hit the “Move to SD card” button, and (if moving multiple apps) then hit the back button to go to the next Application Info screen.

If your device is rooted, consider using Gemini App Manager instead of (or in addition to) App 2 SD, which can automatically list and move apps — it doesn’t, however, automatically notify you after installing a movable app like App 2 SD does.

4. CPU Tuner

CPU Tuner is similar to JuiceDefender, but only works on rooted Android devices. It can regulate CPU speed, data connections and syncing to help save battery life and increase performance. You can configure it to control these settings automatically by creating triggers based upon the battery level and the state of the device: screen locked, call in progress, using battery, using AC power or battery too hot. In addition to triggers, it can also automatically adjust the CPU speed based upon the profile you choose: Performance, Power Save, On Demand and Conservative.

For example, you could set CPU Tuner to under-clock the CPU to save power when the battery is low or over-clock to increase performance when battery life isn’t an issue. You can also disable or limit data connections and/or background syncing when your battery is running low. Then if you need to go online, you can still manually enable the data connection and sync.

CPU Tuner is a bit more complex than JuiceDefender. Hidden in the main settings, for example, are ways to save multiple configurations and configuration scheduling. In other words, though CPU Tuner offers a very flexible configuration, it may take some time to wrap your head around the concepts of the profiles, triggers and governors.

5. Gemini App Manager

Gemini App Manager helps you manage running and installed apps. Though it doesn’t require a rooted device, it offers enhanced functionality for those that are rooted — which is why I’m recommending it. It’s most useful if you have a rooted device and want to move or uninstall multiple apps at once.

The Phone2SD and SD2Phone features are similar to the App 2 SD feature of the Android Assistant app, but offer batch moving of apps between the internal storage and the SD card for rooted devices. Similarly, Uninstall offers silent batch removal of apps for rooted devices. You can use these features on non-rooted devices, but you’ll have to click to confirm each app move or removal.

The app also offers a Kill Process feature similar to the Android Assistant’s Process Manager feature of the app. You can selectively kill running apps, let Gemini choose those to kill or kill all. It offers only basic functionality. For a more advanced process manager, consider Memory Booster that can also do scheduled app killing.

6. JuiceDefender

This app helps reduce battery drain by regulating your data connections and by syncing schedule, screen settings and other device components. You configure it by enabling the profile for the level of juice-saving you desire: Balanced, Aggressive or Extreme. The Balanced profile is fully automatic and doesn’t require your input. The Aggressive profile automatically disables data connectivity when the battery is low, which you can turn back on when needed by clicking the shortcut in the notification area of Android. The Extreme profile keeps data connections disabled by default; they can be turned on manually and you can whitelist apps that always need connectivity. For example, it can automatically disable the Wi-Fi if you aren’t connected to a network or you aren’t nearby networks you frequently use.

The Free version of JuiceDefender supports the Balanced and Aggressive profiles and offers limited mobile data connection controls and sync scheduling. The Plus version ($1.99) offers more setting customizations for the Aggressive profile and adds support for the Extreme profile. It also adds Wi-Fi control and more customization for the sync schedule. The Ultimate version ($4.99) adds AutoSync, screen timeout and screen brightness controls and offers additional sync scheduling customization. If you have a rooted device, it also lets you control CPU speed, GPS control and 2G/3G switching.

You can customize the functionality even more with the Customize and Advanced profiles. All versions of JuiceDefender support these profiles, but there are limitations on what settings you can configure in the lower versions. However, you can still see and review the settings to understand what the app offers in the higher versions.

Despite the rather confusing number of configurations and versions, I found JuiceDefender to be straightforward to configure and use. Sorting through the differences between the three versions was a bit of a mind-boggler, but it does offer a comparison table via a button in the app to help. Remember, if you can’t change a setting, it’s probably because it’s disabled and only included in a higher version.

7.LauncherPro

LauncherPro isn’t really a performance boosting tool — it’s more of a replacement launcher that typically loads and works quicker than the native Android launcher. If you’re getting long delays and lockups when navigating your home screens and apps page, it can potentially help. It also has additional memory features to keep screens in memory to speed up loading.

LauncherPro adds a Preference menu to your main menu that offers a bunch of settings to customize your interface. You can add more screens and docks, change the number of columns and rows for icons, change dock shortcuts, hide apps, customize behavior and appearance, and change themes.

During testing, LauncherPro did indeed help the performance of my Android device, a Sanyo Rio. My only gripe is that doesn’t import your existing shortcuts and widgets from the native Android launcher, so it can take a while to set up. However, it doesn’t delete the native interface or launcher so you can revert back to it if for some reason you don’t like LauncherPro.

8. Memory Booster

Memory Booster kills any running apps that aren’t necessary. Like Android Assistant, it features a Quick Boost button that automatically chooses the apps to kill; you can also manually select which processes or apps you want to get rid of. However, Memory Booster has an extra added attraction: it lets you add user and system apps to a white list so they won’t be accidentally killed.

The full version of Memory Booster ($2.99) adds the ability to schedule the killing of apps. You can choose the interval at which to kill them, set the memory threshold if you only want it to kill them when memory is running low, and set it to kill them every time you lock your device. The full version also adds another, more aggressive level that can help free up even more memory by killing more apps.

Memory Booster was easy to use, but I wish it also had the ability to edit startup apps/processes — if you’re worried about memory, it’s better to prevent unnecessary apps from starting in the first place.

9. Move2SD Enabler

Apps can take up a lot of space on your phone, and while some protected/system Android apps can’t be moved to your SD card, others aren’t movable just because the developer didn’t do the extra work to make them movable.

Move2SD Enabler, which requires a rooted Android, changes this — it enables most apps that aren’t movable to the SD card by default to be movable. Even better, it can change the default install location of apps from internal storage to your SD card.

When you open Move2SD Enabler, it prompts you to make sure you have USB debugging enabled and offers a shortcut to the Android Application settings screen. Once enabled, Move2SD Enabler is easy to use and requires only one setting change in the Move2SD app: selecting External for the default app location. Keep in mind that it enables only existing apps to be movable; you will have to manually move them via Android’s Manage Applications screen.

(Resource :- Computerworld)

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