Extend Your Phone’s Battery Life – 3 Apps That Lead To a Longer Lasting Battery [Android]

Ads by Google

extend phone battery lifeHave 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.

Ads by Google

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?

extend phone battery life

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:

extend cell phone battery life

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.

extend cell phone battery life

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.

extend cell phone 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.

extend phone battery life

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.

Conclusion

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.

Image Credits: Fight via MorgueFile.com, Battery via MorgueFile.com, Robot via MorgueFile.com

Ads by Google

12 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Sas

Thanks for the tip. My tablet seems to eat it’s battery without these apps.

Reply

Chris Lucier

I’ve heard various reports on both sides of the argument for and against apps that are used to disable start-up apps and boost memory. Those for it seem to understand that the repercussions of using such apps results in the apps that get killed or removed from start-up/memory can sometimes force close or not work properly.

Those against (including myself) typically advise against these sorts of apps as they hinder the functionality of the apps that they disable. If a developer wrote an app to run in the background, on start-up or both – then the app is going to expect that feature to work. When it doesn’t work, things go wrong and the average user who doesn’t know any better starts to think that there is something wrong with their phone or that “Android sucks” when it’s their own fault for incorrectly killing a background app.

As for battery saving apps, I have found that a well-written and properly set up app can indeed boost your battery life (I’m also a fan of Deep Sleep Power Saver). These apps can absolutely increase battery life by adding conditions to Android allowing you to enable/disable your wireless radios, turn on/off vibrate and more. When properly tuned, it’s not uncommon to see 30% to 50% increases in battery life depending on your device and how often you override the features you set up to help you.

Rooting can be very helpful depending on the user. Power users such as myself can use rooting to underclock devices that don’t need the full power of their phones processors. I don’t play games on my phone, so underclocking it from 1GHz to 800MHz did help me gain some battery life. Removing bloatware that accesses your data for updates can also add some time to your battery. On the flip side, it is true that rooting voids most warranties. So for the average user, I’d never recommend it.

Often times custom ROMs add plenty of excellent features, but at the cost of stability. I’ve run dozens of ROMs and each has had it’s pros and cons. It’s a matter of preference and understanding.

Kannon Yamada

Chris, thanks for bringing up this very important point in an insightful manner. You are, of course, right. I should have elaborated a bit more on the vices of using autokillers and how to avoid issues.

Smart RAM Booster is actually written by the Root Uninstaller team, who also made Deep Sleep Battery Saver. What makes SRB an excellent autokiller is its ability to whitelist apps. So while you can’t remove poorly written system apps, you can prevent them from constantly lurking in the background without impacting apps that you need.

I used a conservative estimate for my battery life – it’s closer to a week, although I’m also undervolted and have a custom ROM with a battery efficient governor.

Chris Lucier

My thoughts exactly. It’s best to test out each app you wish to try for about a week to see what works best, then pair it with another app to see that they play well together. In the end, you’ll hopefully found a great combination of 2-3 apps that significantly increase your battery life!

android underground

>>What makes SRB an excellent autokiller is its ability to whitelist apps.

Most autokillers can whitelist apps, but whitelisting is doing it the wrong way ’round. Most battery-draining apps have numerous autostart triggers so they just start and get killed over and over again.

The right way is to blacklist misbehaving apps AND disable all the unwanted autostart triggers to prevent a battery-draining start/stop cycle. Of course the latter requires a rooted phone, but the offending apps will just autostart again and again if you don’t switch off the autostart triggers.

I measured what the official Facebook app did to my battery: http://androidunderground.blogspot.nl/2012/11/official-facebook-app-sucks-your.html .
I could quadruple standby time by just killing the Facebook app (and leaving all other apps alone).

Kannon Yamada

The article you linked to is very well written. Thank you for sharing!

I mentioned using autostart managers to identify apps that constantly start in the background. Using Better Battery Stats or Spare Parts (for rooted users) is probably the best method of identifying bad apps, but most people don’t have root and probably shouldn’t even try rooting. For advanced users, like you, oh yes – rooting is absolutely a must for battery management. But for the less experienced…

I’ve tried to walk less experienced users through the rooting process, step-by-step, with perfect directions. And most of the time they fail. In a worst-case scenario, they’ve bricked their device. in a best-case, they’ve now opened their device to a broader range of malware apps. And I was responsible. :-(

Reply

Patti Hogey

Good info thx & appreciate the warning as well

Reply

android underground

The best thing you can do for your battery is to root your phone. Once rooted, you can undervolt your phone, control the startup triggers of your apps with tools like Gemini App Manager, use tools like PDroid or LBE Privacy Guard to keep misbehaving apps offline and stop them from abusing your GPS. Many apps hammer your battery by going online for the sole purpose of downloading ads, so a firewall like AFWall+ or an ad blocker like AdAway can do miracles for your battery.

Does rooting void your warranty? Yes, but only temporarily. Rooting is reversible. When you unroot your phone your warranty comes back. Reflashing the stock ROM to restore your phone to factory state will do the job as well.

Reply

Nevzat Akkaya

Very nice suggestions indeed.
As an addendum to above suggestions;
I tend to “freeze” some apps which insist on staying alive on the background and eat your memory. Some Google apps deserve to be frozen :)

Reply

Joseph Coates

My Thunderbolt runs better with Juice Defender, which I installed after numerous people told me was unnecessary. Almost doubled battery life. It has not hampered usability any. I guess I would rather have a slower battery and a phone that works rather than a super fast phone with dead batteries.

Reply

Mark F.

After reading the article I loaded on three of the apps suggested.

–>> Autorun Manager
–>> Deep Sleep Power Saver
–>> Smart RAM Booster.

I loaded them, ran them and really didn’t dig into the settings on them.

My overall experience to this point is that my battery does seem to last longer but I am having occasional freezing and slowness in the phone – about once every two days.

I am going to remove each of them and try them again later.

I believe there is value in these apps but it might require digging into the settings and maybe not loading them all at once but try them one at a time to see the impact they have.

Kannon Yamada

Hey Mark – You’re right that all of these apps require some minimal configuration.

You can actually just get by with Deep Sleep Power Saver and ditch the other two. Deep Sleep actually causes the least amount of complications, since it will occasionally allow apps to access the data connection.

By forcing apps to use WiFi only occasionally, it saves battery by preventing apps from continuously accessing the more power hungry components of your phone.

Autorun Manager MUST be used to disable autostarting apps that you don’t use. Simply using it as an analysis tool is also handy, though.

Smart RAM Booster is best used on phones that don’t have root and on older versions of Android. It’s the best because the free version permits whitelisting. These kinds of programs cause a lot of issues with phones because they oftentimes kill essential services. However, you can whitelist apps that you frequently use, which causes the RAM booster to skip over them.

In short, I would just keep Deep Sleep Battery Saver on your handset and remove the other two. DSBS doesn’t require configuration, really, so it’s fantastic for deploying and then ignoring.

Your comment