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Old April 6th, 2014, 12:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Simple battery-saving tip just discovered!

There's been a few of these types of threads that have come out now and again and I always jump right in with my opinions on how to maximize your battery life and I'm always looking for new ways to get more.

I just recently discovered something on my phone that is a huge battery waster and quite by accident discovered a simple way to defeat it. This might be common knowledge, but since I didn't know about it, I'm betting there are others that are in the same boat so I'm going to share this tip.

One thing that is an unseen robber of battery is apps that stay open in your memory when you leave them. Many will just languish there and not use any CPU (and therefore one would assume no battery) but there are some that actually DO continue to use CPU and battery.

All our phones came with a great little widget called Active Applications Manager and it's a cute little circle icon with a number in it. The number displayed is how many apps are still running in the background of your phone. The color of the circle (and the number) changes from green to red. When green the apps are dormant and not using CPU. If it's red then something is still running and using CPU and more battery.

Pressing on this little icon launches the app and you can see exactly what is running and what (if any) CPU is being used. This is very useful as you can see which apps do not just lie dormant and use up your battery. For instance on my Chess.com or any news app that I have notifications turned on will still run and use CPU (and battery) even if you are not doing anything with the app any longer. You can choose to 'End' the app from within this program so that's good.

But I was wondering why some apps stay open (running or dormant) and some do not. Quite by accident I noticed something today: If I exit out of an app by continually pressing the 'back' or 'previous' capacitive button (the U-shaped arrow to the right of the Home key) then when that app is closed it is completely closed and no longer running in the background. If, however, I just press the middle 'Home' button to leave an app (what I usually do) then oftentimes that app continues to run in the background, potentially using CPU and valuable battery life!

So I've gotten in the habit today of exiting every app I use by pressing the Back key and I've noticed a significant decrease in my battery usage. I'm going to continue to experiment but I might really be onto something here!

I'm now officially adding this to my other battery savings tips. So here they all are again in case you are new to this forum and/or phone:

1.) Reboot your phone daily while it's still on it's charger - make sure you leave it on for a good few minutes so it can finish rebooting.

2.) Run your screen brightness at a fixed level less the 50% - the auto-brightness feature is not a battery saver. Use a free app called Brightness Level Disc.

3.) Use the free and included App Manager Widget to keep track of apps that might be left running on your phone.

4.) Always exit apps by pressing the Back key (and not the Home button) until you reach the home screen.
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Old April 6th, 2014, 01:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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gald you found that...

it was one of the first things talked about when android first came out.
everyone was wondering where the "exit" or "quit" was inside all the apps.
we were all trained use it like Windows/Microsoft way.

but we found out...
hitting the home button only jumps to home and leaves the app open for use later.
hitting the back button till you are back at home.. drops out of the app while it closes it.

I used to do that.. hitting the home button 3 times.. then off to put it to sleep.
but.. no days.. I just hit the off button for sleep. and let andy do its thing.
guess I am just lazy
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Old April 6th, 2014, 04:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Methos! I was looking for a widget just like this... and I had it all along!

*facepalm*
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Old April 6th, 2014, 07:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Does holding the home button and pressing close all not do the same thing mentioned here? I feel like it's easier than dealing with widgets and pressing the back button multiple times. Correct me if I'm wrong please I'm not a professional android user.
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Old April 6th, 2014, 10:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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hitting the home button only jumps to home and leaves the app open for use later.
hitting the back button till you are back at home.. drops out of the app while it closes it.
Not even. Read Multitasking the Android Way If you back out and Android needs that app, it'll reload it, wasting battery. This is not Windows. Why is everyone running it as if it were? (And even in Windows, a dll sitting in RAM doesn't use power.)

Of course if you run Greenify you don't have to worry about such things. Back out or go home and you'll usually find 0 apps running when you're in the launcher.
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Old April 6th, 2014, 10:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazerade View Post
Does holding the home button and pressing close all not do the same thing mentioned here? I feel like it's easier than dealing with widgets and pressing the back button multiple times. Correct me if I'm wrong please I'm not a professional android user.
Yes that does that same thing. It closes the open apps.
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Old April 6th, 2014, 10:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks to OP. Did not know of the active application manager widget. Im using it now and love it. Thanks for the tip!
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Old April 7th, 2014, 06:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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This is not Windows. Why is everyone running it as if it were?
I have no idea. I've never used Windows.
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Old April 7th, 2014, 06:39 AM   #9 (permalink)
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doesn't bother me if I have loads of apps running. I'll let android take care of whether anything if lame or being utilised.

What pisses me off is when I use the camera or video camera, quite often my battery plummets within 2 hours cos kitkat has left something to do with the camera actively running and requires a restart to kill it (its not in the active list either).

WE NEED A FIX
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Old April 7th, 2014, 06:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazerade View Post
Does holding the home button and pressing close all not do the same thing mentioned here? I feel like it's easier than dealing with widgets and pressing the back button multiple times. Correct me if I'm wrong please I'm not a professional android user.
Actually yes it does. The widget the OP mentioned & what you pointed out takes you to the same place.
Some people prefer the use of widgets.
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Old April 7th, 2014, 05:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I find the widget is handy to indicate when my system is getting busy. But I use All in One Toolbox Pro to actually do any app killing. First I clear application caches, then I use the Quick Boost button to release any RAM and kill unused apps. This is a great app for keeping your system running efficiently.
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Old April 7th, 2014, 08:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm pleased (and a little shocked) to report just how well this is working for me. I've spent the last couple of days making sure I back out of all apps so my little Active App Manager icon reads 0 before I turn off the screen. The battery savings has been quite impressive.

On a normal work day I take the phone off the charger at 9 (after rebooting, of course!) and run it all day. I text, make the occasional call, check Facebook, email throughout the day and evening, watch at least a couple short You Tube videos, take some photos (which usually require editing and emailing), make chess moves, surf the net a couple times and stream music (to my Bose SoundLink, Rhapsody, offline mode) for several hours.

Today is a 'normal' usage day where I have done all the above. It's now 9 p.m. and I'm usually down around 30 - 35% at this point. I'm at 62%! To quote one of my favorite movies, "By Grabthar's Hammer... What a savings." (Bonus points if you know that quote!)

Needless to say, I'm thrilled. I'll watch this some more but I'm quite surprised to find out just how much battery was being used by apps that were residing in the RAM even though they were (supposedly) not using any CPU while dormant.

If someone else tries this I would like to hear if you are seeing any improvement.

Another update: Three hours later, texting, surfing, streaming music for 3 solid hours, down to 51%. I can't remember the last time I went home from work with 50% battery left.
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Old April 7th, 2014, 09:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
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thanks for the update..

interested to see if this keeps up.. and if there proof and explanation to your find

here is something to add...
first day to run that active apps widget during a weekday at work.
normally i take it off the charger around 1am when it fully charges...
go to bed...
work the full day..
when i put it on the charger at night at 9pm..
it is around 50% give or take.
today it was at 26%.
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Old April 7th, 2014, 11:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scberry View Post
Ithen I use the Quick Boost button to release any RAM
That's what I was talking about. This is Android, not Windows. You don't want free RAM, you want to let Android's app manager take care of force closing an app if it needs the space. Killing unused apps doesn't save battery. An app sitting in RAM, not running, doesn't use battery power. Reloading that app if it's needed again (maybe a process in it is needed by another app - Android "knows" this, you don't) DOES use battery power - and takes time, slowing down the "snappiness" of the phone.

Manual memory management apps are written by people who are thinking Windows, not by people who know Android. It's like putting bells on the car antenna because that's how they used to make buggy whips.

If you want to save battery (and I've gotten 4 days on a fully charged stock N3 battery), use Greenify, use Better Battery Stats, use the battery app in Settings. Find out WHY your battery is being run down, and fix the problem, not a symptom of a problem in a different environment.

When you use back instead of home, you're not killing the background processes - they're still in RAM. It's only the foreground processes you're killing - and the only ones you're seeing with that widget.

(Your phone's not running? Then how does the modem get notified when a call comes in? It's a background process, running, but not showing in Active Applications, that's how.)

I'll say it again - This is Android, not Windows. Treat ii as if it was a Windows phone and you'll keep wondering why you don't get the battery life that people who use their phones more than you do get. (When looking at the battery in Settings, tap on the graph, then scroll to the bottom. If there's much blue in the "Awake" line, the problem is with wakelocks, not apps sitting in RAM. And that's the single most common cause of short time between charges in an Android phone - lots of wakelocks. When the phone is sleeping it should be sleeping, not taking short naps.)

@Methos: I cringe when I think of the time I spent watching Galaxy Quest that I'll never get back. What's 2 steps after Grade Z? (Then again, I never was a bit Tim Allen fan.)
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Old April 8th, 2014, 07:10 PM   #15 (permalink)
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> this is Android, not Windows...

And Android is Linux-based. I've no argument with you; I think you quoted my message when addressing someone else. My battery life is fine, my phone's performance is fine, and my phone hasn't died (yet). I maintain that those in search of longer battery life should turn down the screen brightness to the minimum, and turn off wifi, GPS and other services when they aren't needed.
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Old April 8th, 2014, 10:39 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Another great day. Even heavier usage with more phone calls, a Skype session, even more music streaming time and at 11:30 I'm still at 46%. That's the still a great day's use of battery life for this heavy user.

Unfortunately, apparently I'm delusional and not really seeing any improved battery life. I'm wasting my time and everyone else's as well. And my taste in movies sucks.

I sure am glad there always someone to swoop in with their massive knowledge and tell us all why we have no clue what we are talking about. I know I, for one, am grateful.
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Old May 1st, 2014, 08:55 PM   #17 (permalink)
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How do you get the apps manager widgety thingy to show 0? Mine shows 2 at all times... Internet and s voice.
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Old May 20th, 2014, 09:18 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Either press the widget button to open the app and then press End All our press and hold the Home and a similar screen will show up.
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