Have you ever forget to charge your phone overnight and, come morning, realize your phone’s battery life sucks? A portion of your troubles probably relate to Android’s inherent design flaws – in particular, its poor background app management. Another large part of your problems could originate from poorly designed apps that you unwittingly installed. Together, these two problems devastate battery life.
However, installing 3 particular apps, and observing a very simple method of software management, will greatly extend phone battery life. In practice, to get the best results, use an automatic app killer, a battery saving app and an autorun manager to identify and remove programs with drain issues. Then, stick to using a minimal app profile – install as few programs as possible.
I warn that the methods introduced in this article are not standard means of improving battery life. Therefore, I recommend using this guide, alongside conventional methods and other tried-and-true battery management practices.
Android’s Poor Battery Life & How To Improve It
A poorly designed app will do two things. First, it will secretly start up in the background. Second, it will often access your phone’s wireless data. The first one of these prevents your phone from entering “deep sleep” and conserving battery life. The second expends pointless amounts of energy on transmitting data.
This presents a problem because Android does little to rein in misbehaving apps. Indeed, most programs can start and draw resources whenever they please.
Stock Android only kills apps once it runs out of memory, which, given our penchant for never uninstalling apps, leads to multiple apps running in the background that regularly check for data connectivity. Anytime a phone transmits or receives data, a tremendous amount of energy drains in the process. Conventional methods help some in this regard, although they often fall short of expectations.
Although a handful of apps that transmit on an active data connection present no threat to your battery, an issue arises when 20 or 30 apps constantly fight over control of your wireless connection – the more apps that draw on data, the greater the toll. At some point, you should consider slimming down your arsenal of apps. That leaves one question - how?
How To Find Misbehaving Apps & Extend Phone Battery Life
Fortunately, several apps can help dramatically improve your battery life and performance. These apps loosely break down into three categories –
- Start-up analysis.
- App killers.
- Kernel sleepers.
The first group, start-up analysis apps, finds which apps constantly fire up in the background. My favorite app for this purpose functions even without root access. Autorun Manager offers one of the best methods of identifying programs that start-up in the background.
The process is simple – install and run Autorun Manager. The first screen will show a list of your installed apps with start-up intents:
Next, click on an app that’s running in the background. Keep your eyes open for the words “startup” or “boot“. Often this relates to a program that likes to run in the background and use your data connection.
If an app possesses a start-up intent that you cannot disable from within the app itself, and you never use the app, then I recommend removal, if possible.
However, it’s important to note that not all start-up intents are bad. In my example, JustReader likes to sync data in the background, so that it loads faster on boot. However, this hasn’t been good for my battery.
The second class of programs, which I refer to as “app killers”, eliminate apps running in the background. While stock Android’s design also kills programs as RAM becomes scarce, it does nothing to stop apps from abusing data privileges.
Unfortunately, many apps frequently start in the background, waking the kernel and then accessing your data connection, which further depletes battery power. A background app killer will help reduce the impact of poorly written apps that auto-start. Out of the many I’ve tried, my favorite app is Smart RAM Booster.
After installing the app, first go to settings. Secondly, click on “Auto Boost settings“. Third, check the box for “Boost automatically“. This setting will kill apps that start in the background, which will somewhat help battery life.
The third class of app helps your phone sleep more productively. My favorite example of this particular app, Deep Sleep Power Saver, focuses on quickly putting the phone’s kernel into a deep sleep state, which minimizes power consumption.
I prefer this app because it’s dead-simple to use. Just install and it starts saving you battery life. In fact, Deep Sleep Power Saver actually functions as a screen-off app-killer, if you select the slumberer profile.
Better Practices: Install As Few Apps As Possible
Some experts, such as Whitson Gordon, advise rooting in order to simply remove bloatware. However, I do not advise rooting – one of the Answer section’s leading experts, Rajaa Chowdhury, summed it up best when he wrote that ‘rooting isn’t worth it’ as it voids your warranty. With modern smartphones costing hundreds of dollars, the risk (breaking your phone) simply doesn’t substantiate the reward (getting four days of battery life).
The best policy is to keep your installed base of apps to an absolute minimum. Fewer installed apps mean that fewer apps will run in the background, waking your kernel up and transmitting data over power-hungry 3G or LTE circuits.
With three simple apps, and a minimal app profile, it’s possible to squeeze a four day battery life out of an Android phone. However, your mileage may vary, depending on your proximity to a cellular tower.
I can write conclusively that using these three apps, combined with a minimal app profile, has stretched my battery life from a 24-hour limit to four straight days, with light use.