Battery life massively improved: E-mail tip.Tips


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  1. English

    English Member

    Just thought I'd share my experience with extending battery life on the Captivate in case it may help others.

    Admittedly, this isn't very scientific as the changes I made coincided with getting a replacement phone, but I'm pretty sure my changes have made a huge difference.

    I have four or five Pop3 e-mail accounts that I check regularly. I had set the check intervals as wide as possible to conserve battery life, although I didn't know just how much that may have been adding to the battery drain.

    I had purchased a spare battery and would have to change the battery half-way through the day to keep the phone alive. I was basically going through two fully charged batteries a day.

    Anyway, when I set the phone up this time (replacement phone due to random shut-downs), I set my e-mail up differently.
    I got a gmail account to check all my Pop3 accounts. Any new messages on those five accounts are brought into my gmail account and labelled with the appropriate account.
    This has many advantages, such as all messages being stored "in the cloud", no problems when it comes to changing phones, spam filtering, etc... Also, it means that I don't have to use the awful Android e-mail app. I was not even having good results with K-9. I just use the gmail app and any new messages are pushed through to the phone.

    However, the biggest difference seems to be battery life. I have gone from using two batteries per day, to the battery lasting well over a day.
    Yesterday, for example, I had the phone on all day with usual usage, and come bed-time last night, I was still on about 85-90%!

    Your results may vary, but I'm pretty sure that the e-mail changes I have made have made a massive difference to battery drain.

    Just thought I'd share in case it helps anybody else.

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  2. jeremytanner

    jeremytanner Well-Known Member

    I have an exchange account I'm using with standard email, and I drain about 65-75% of my battery during a normal workday (time spent at work, not including before or after work hours.)

    I just set my email to sync once an hour instead of "Push" and I'll report back after tomorrow if I also experience similar results.

    Thanks for the tip, will keep posted.
  3. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra= VIP Member

    Nice discovery.

    Thread moved to Captivate Tips and Tricks.
  4. jeremytanner

    jeremytanner Well-Known Member

    For nearly 3 hours I've only dropped about 7%. Screen was off most of the time, but I sent several text messages there, and checked google voice a couple of times. Light use, but definitely noticing an improvement already. We'll see how it pans out over time.

    Interesting if it does make a difference, since the battery meter doesn't ever seem to indicate much using the battery, besides the screen...
  5. English

    English Member

    I forgot to add, this doesn't affect how I use my e-mail at all. You can set up Gmail so that any messages sent will appear from the account you use - not the Gmail address.
    You can also set up signatures that differ according to the account you send from. Replies to a message in a particular account will come from that account - with the correct signature. It is transparent to the recipient.

    The only possible downside is that you cannot set the frequency with which Google checks your pop3/imap accounts. It checks depending on how much mail you get. If you get a lot of mail, it will check more frequently. If you don't get a lot of mail on a particular account, Google will check at a minimum of once an hour.

    As I can still get my mail on a regular mail client on a computer, this makes no difference to me as I can check as often as I like on the computer. Messages appear in both places.

    I'm finding the time taken to set this up is well worth it for the huge gains in battery life.
  6. mnemonicj

    mnemonicj Well-Known Member

    Hmmm, I have been wondering where my battery life went. I check 4 e-mail accounts, 2 Gmail, 1 POP3, and 1 Exchange and my battery is in the Red every night when I go to bed.

    I think I might have to try getting rid of the POP3 account and having a Gmail account get it.
  7. jeremytanner

    jeremytanner Well-Known Member

    After about a week of testing, I can say with certainty that my battery life has improved during the workday. Whereas before I would come home with about 25-35% of my battery left, I now come home with 40-50%. The only change has been moving the Email app to a once-per-hour check instead of Push.

    I still find it interesting that the battery use meter doesn't seem to coincide with this. I expected to see less battery use in one of the meters. Someone locally here suggested that maybe I turn the screen on less frequently if I get notifications less often, but I never used it to actually check the email. I would just hear the ding and turn to my computer to check. Still, maybe the notification itself was a drain? It's hard to tell for sure.
  8. nicracine

    nicracine Well-Known Member

    If you can, use email redirect. My POP accounts are all set to redirect my emails to my Gmail account as soon as it comes in. No more waiting.
  9. cbasse

    cbasse Member

    I don't suppose you could post some sort of guide for how to set this up? I wouldn't mind using one e-mail app instead of gmail and K-9. I understand from your post that I can have the incoming mail put into separate folders depending on the e-mail account it came from. What about sending messages? I think you're saying you can still send messages from within gmail and have it "appear" as though its coming from your other e-mail - is that correct?

    Thanks in advance for your help!
  10. jb1911

    jb1911 Active Member

    ^what he said^
  11. tomca631

    tomca631 New Member

  12. AllergyDoc

    AllergyDoc Member

    I just set this up. Thanks for sharing!
  13. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra= VIP Member

  14. Rashy

    Rashy Member

    Very similar to my setup as well, except I have my other emails forward new emails to my gmail automatically, where possible. Windows Live [@live/@hotmail] doesn't forward to gmail though, which is unfortunate, but I don't use Windows Live anymore.

    The Mail app is also pretty sluggish compared to the Gmail app, so I concur. Now if only I can replace the Mail app on the homescreens with Gmail ..

    edit: Found it and changed :)
  15. Terrigno

    Terrigno Well-Known Member

    I dont get this. I have been using GMail since day 1 which is my only email application in use on the phone and I still go through 2 batterys a day?
  16. jeremytanner

    jeremytanner Well-Known Member

    I've been testing this extensively with both the email and gmail client. I have come to a conclusion:

    *** The less often email and gmail check for new mail, the less often I turn the screen on to see what came in, and thus the screen eats less battery. ***

    A few days ago I knew we had a really busy day at work where I wouldn't have time for my phone, so I set email and gmail to push, put everything back the way it was. Then I put my phone where I normally set it at work, and left it for 12 hours. When I came back, I had plenty of emails and texts, but the battery had only dropped by 12%. At no time during those 12 hours was the screen ever turned on.

    So honestly, I think it comes down to the screen. But as long as your phone chimes at you every 5 - 10 minutes, you'll be constantly turning it on, checking on new arrivals. By forcing it to check only once an hour, you limit the times you end up viewing new emails. I think it's really as simple as that.

    I know not everyone will agree with me, but I challenge you to really test it. Don't just presume.
  17. Terrigno

    Terrigno Well-Known Member

    Hmm. Well in the Gmail app it only has an option to Sync for however many days. Not an actual part where it says its checking by the hour or minutes? How do I apply this?
  18. La Luna

    La Luna Well-Known Member

    My issue with this is that I hate gmail; I don't want to give up my real email client (I only use gmail for junk) through my ISP on my computer to have everything pushed to gmail to maybe save some battery. That's a lot to give up. I also have no issues with the standard email client on my Captivate that is synced to my real ISP email.
  19. saintdanbert

    saintdanbert Well-Known Member

    For those of us who are new to all of this:
    1. Is the GMAIL setup detailed in some posting somewhere?
    2. Which apps do we need on our Android 2.1 (still waiting for Froyo) phone?
    3. Does any of what you're doing require rooting or side-loading?
    4. Does Google(R) Calendar (TM) and Voice(TM) integration factor into all of this or are they a separate issue?

    In my naivete, I expected nice instructions to integrate Android (by Google) with Gmail and Calendar and Voice (also by Google). What was I thinking ... er, dreaming ...

    Cheers,
    ~~~ 0;-Dan
  20. gcobb

    gcobb Well-Known Member

    There are many things you can do to extend battery life. I turn off Wifi, Bluetooth, BG Sync and GPS unless I have a specific need. I don't have animations on, clocks, timers, weather and other things running in the background either. I don't have processes that run like task killers and other things that continually update. I can play, talk for a while and still have 30-50% left when I go to bed. Managing your applications is equally as important as anything you can do to save battery power.
  21. sremick

    sremick Well-Known Member

    Also see the Captivate FAQ:
    Battery - CapFAQ
  22. fldude99

    fldude99 Well-Known Member

    Why "hate" gmail? It works great..if you're gonna have an android device, you probably have to jump on the gmail/google bandwagon...and hating an email is kinda strange
  23. sremick

    sremick Well-Known Member

    No, you don't "have" to. I'm not a fan of Gmail either. The web edition and the Android client are extremely limited and pale in-comparison to a real email client like K-9. It fall so short that there really isn't any comparison in features.

    Gmail is to K-9 like Notepad is to MS Word.

    I've been on Android since the day after the Captivate was released, and only use my Google account to "enable" my device. Any email that that junk account receives is simply forwarded to my real email account. No one gets my Gmail address. I don't use it.
  24. rhinodad

    rhinodad Active Member

    Why not just use K-9 for your gmail account as well? I've done that with two different Android phones and it's worked quite well. I agree that the native Android mail client sucks.

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