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android battery lifeHave you ever glanced at your Android phone halfway through the day, only to notice that the battery charge is already half gone and you didn’t even touch the phone once? Many people constantly download and install new apps to their phone without realizing which of those apps may actually be continuing to run in the background, using Wi-Fi or data connections and drawing down the battery even while the phone is resting idle on your hip. Mobile Defense Mobile Defense - A Free Mobile Phone Tracking System [Android] Mobile Defense - A Free Mobile Phone Tracking System [Android] Read More , a recent GPS tracking app I wrote about, is a perfect example.

Confident you have no apps that run in the background? What about your screen backlight, or the sync frequency of all of your social network apps and email clients? Do you control when and how your phone launches Wi-Fi and GPS, or do those connections control you?

Recalibrate Your Battery

One of the most common solutions that you’ll find on many Android blogs and forums is the battery “wipe.” This is related to the batterystats.bin file in your system which is where the battery indicator data comes from.

Apparently, particularly when you flash a custom ROM on your newly rooted Android How To Root Your Android Phone With SuperOneClick How To Root Your Android Phone With SuperOneClick Read More , the calibration of the display versus actual charge level of the battery can get a little out of whack. The fix is pretty easy. First, charge up your phone to 100%, then reboot into recovery. For my purposes, I use the trusty ClockworkMod Recovery that comes with ROM Manager. In ClockworkMod Recovery, you can find the battery wipe in the Advanced section.

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Just select “Wipe Battery Stats” from the sub menu.


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Finally, confirm the wipe and then reboot the system again. To do this you’ll have to go back to the main menu and select “Reboot System Now.”

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Keep in mind that this won’t “fix” battery drain issues. If you have something running on your phone that’s sucking juice out of your phone battery, all you’ll notice now is that you have a much more accurate view of how fast your battery is draining.  Ready to troubleshoot and put an end to your battery drain? Read on.

What’s Using Your Battery?

The first thing to do is check out what is running on your phone that’s eating up the battery. It’s easy to look for the biggest battery-draining culprits. All you have to do is go to your phone settings -> click About Phone -> click Battery Use.

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Battery use will show you a breakdown of what’s consuming your battery. It’s broken down into percentages, so this is a nice place to come back and see how the different changes you make to your phone affect overall battery use.

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See how the display is consuming 77 percent? This is fairly standard – the display is energy demanding, especially when you don’t put a lid on the brightness level.

Low Hanging Fruit

There are a couple of things you can do right now that will easily improve your Android battery life.

To reduce that consumption as much as possible right off the bat, go into Settings -> Display -> Brightness. First, remove “Automatic brightness“.

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The next screen allows you to move a slider to adjust screen brightness. Try lowering it down to the bottom level and see if that setting is something you can comfortably tolerate. For most people it’s plenty bright. You’ve just reduced your battery consumption dramatically.

The second low-hanging fruit are your connections. Are you constantly leaving Wi-Fi, GPS or your Data Connection running all the time? Nothing consumes battery power faster than these connections. Ideally, disable them whenever you don’t need them. Go to Settings -> Wireless & Networks and poke around to see what you’ve got running. GPS is under Location and Security.

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There are also some useful apps on the market to manage your phone connections – just search for “connection manager” and pick your favorite. Use them to disable your connections when you don’t need them.

What Apps Are Running?

Do you remember the old commercial that went, “It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your children are?” The same could be said for your phone – do you know what your apps are doing?

Many people install apps on their phone, often not realizing that some of them are automatically configured to launch upon boot, and they keep running in the background. In fact, many of them automatically launch connections like Wi-Fi, GPS or your data connection. Check what’s running right now by going to Settings -> Applications and clicking on Running Services.

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Take a look at all the apps that are running in the background. Any surprises?

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Don’t worry, you don’t have to manually kill these all the time, there are apps that help you manage what programs run automatically. One I really like from the Android Market is called Autorun Manager.

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It shows everything that’s configured to autostart, and what’s currently running. What’s cool is that you can just tap these individually and disable them for good. Game over. You’ve just reclaimed your phone.

If you’ve tried all of these tips, did you see a longer Android battery life? Do you know of any other useful tips to stop battery drain? Share your ideas in the comments section below!

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