Extending Android Smartphone Battery Life

Question

I have a 4G Android smartphone that blows through the battery in less than a day! Any tips for extending the battery life?

- Franklin

Answer

This question was answered on September 9, 2011. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

The Android smartphone platform has gone from an unrefined newcomer to the #1 platform in a relatively short period of time The most recent Comscore rankings ( http://goo.gl/4TjNa ) showed that Googles Android is used by 41.8% o smartphone subscribers while Apples iPhone IOS was at 27% ad RIM (Blackberry) has slid down to 21.7% A year ago, RIMs Blackberry was #1, with Apple second and Android 3rd.)

In order to compete with the Blackberry & iPhone dynasties, Google and the handset manufacturers had to create alternatives that were compelling enough to be considered an option, which they clearly have done.

Bigger screens, 4G connectivity, built-in hotspots and a slew of other differences have certainly played a big role in luring users away, but the tradeoff for all these great features can be diminished battery life if youre not careful.

Its important that you really think about how you use your phone to know which features arent really necessary to have running in order to extend the battery life.

Android device options vary by manufacturer and version of the OS they have installed, but there are some basic battery extension tips that apply to all smartphones.

The screen brightness is one of the biggest battery killers, so make sure you lower the levels as low as you can reasonably set it for a big boost.

Location services are very handy, but having the GPS update your location as you move around can also drain the battery, so turn it off unless you need it (if an app needs it, youll be alerted).

One of the silly features that Android phones offer is Live Wallpaper which isnt a huge drain on the battery, but it serves no real purpose, so stick to a static background.

If you search the Internet for battery saving tips, many will suggest that you install a task killer app so you can shut down processes that are running in the background, but Im not sure that its the best idea for everyone.

Tech savvy users that understand what they are looking at can effectively use task killers to extend battery life, but Ive seen many non-technical users randomly turn things off that they dont recognize and disable critical functions of the phone.

Another potential drain on the battery is when your cellular signal is weak as the phone is constantly scanning for a better signal If you are in a weak signal area and have wifi available, put the phone in Airplane mode and connect via wifi.

4G speeds are amazing, especially on Verizons LTE network, but its also going to consume more juice so check to see if an extended battery option exists for your phone if you are an avid surfer on a 4G network.

The built-in hotspot feature is also pretty handy when you have other devices that youd like to connect to the Internet, but you will also watch your battery levels drop right before your eyes.

Try to plug the phone into a wall socket whenever you plan on using it as a hotspot if at all possible.

Some of the newer handsets such as Motorolas Droid Bionic have beefed up batteries and newer power management tools built-in that help you understand exactly which process is using up your battery power.

Android devices update the operating system regularly, so be sure to look at your setting options from time-to-time to see if any new battery management options get added to your phone.

If none of these tips help you to extend your battery life, you may want to consider buying a universal portable charger from a company such as iGo ( http://www.igo.com ), which can be used to charge lots of different mobile devices while you are on the go!

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Author

Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on September 9, 2011