Default wifi settings maybe be a battery waster.


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  1. tekonus

    tekonus Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    K, so this is my second Android phone, and the Aria I had before it I only had for two weeks. When I had the Aria I had read that if WiFi is turning itself on and off every time you lock/unlock your phone it hurts your battery life. This made sense to me cause in my experiences 3G wastes battery faster than being on WiFi, and I would think having to reconnect to the WiFi connection every time I unlock the phone is an unneeded process that I could do without as well. I checked the WiFi sleep mode setting on my Aria after I had read this, and it was already set to not go to sleep when the phone is locked.
    Now, with my Captivate I've been trying to tweak it best as possible to get the most battery life out of it without killing off any major features and without using those task killer programs or anything else wasting system process just to free up some. I just remembered today to check this setting on my Captivate and to my surprise the default was set to "When screen turns off" WiFi goes to sleep. At work and home (2 places I am at 80% of my time) I am always in range of WiFi... why not make use of it?

    For those that want to change this setting and are new to Android and haven't found it on your own here is how to get to it:

    Settings > Wireless and network > Wi-Fi settings > hit your Menu softkey > hit the Advanced button that pops up > Wi-Fi sleep policy

    From there you get 3 settings, I have set mine to Never.
    I will be looking forward to see if I really do get any significantly better battery life.
     

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  2. dsjr2006

    dsjr2006 Well-Known Member

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    It may result in worse battery life because 3G can idle when it's not actually being used and Wifi connection usually don't do that and its keeping the cell connection open anyways.
     
  3. tekonus

    tekonus Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Yeah, I'm not entirely sure of how the technology works behind it. I know that on my Aria it was set by default like this, and on my Captivate it is not. I figure its worth a try for a few days. If I see negative results, I will post them here.
     
  4. Jofaba

    Jofaba Well-Known Member

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    This default setting also eats up your data plan.
     
  5. tekonus

    tekonus Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    :p Also a good point. Never really thought about it... I transfered over my unlimited plan from my previous iPhones.
     
  6. Croak

    Croak Well-Known Member

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    As the man said, setting WiFi to never sleep when at home or work where you've got a steady WiFi connection is best, the 3g radio never turns on. If you're moving in and out of WiFi coverage a lot, it's best to put it in sleep mode, else it's constantly scanning looking for new networks, even if you're getting data via 3g.

    If you're in Airplane mode at home or something, then it's also best to put WiFi to sleep when idle, providing you don't care if you miss emails or updates when it's asleep.
     
  7. Sledutah

    Sledutah Well-Known Member

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    I set mine up yesterday for the wifi to NEVER sleep. Went to bed with the battery at 20%, when I got up 5 hours later it was at 19% :D. I have wifi and bluetooth enabled & email checking every 10 minutes (2 accounts) and 3 active widgets (weather, facebook & twitter).
     
  8. tekonus

    tekonus Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    This is exciting to hear. On the average night I plug my phone in when I'm settling down for the night, and unplug it when it hits 100% and the message pops up. This usually happens between 12-1am. If I wake up the next morning at around 7-8am my phone has usually already lost 5-6% battery life. Thats with no bluetooth on and the wifi sleeping as per the defauilt setting. I only have one gmail account and it syncs as often as the default setting tells it to. I'm hoping I'll see different results tomorrow morning after this change.
     
  9. tekonus

    tekonus Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Update: I plugged in my phone about an hour or two earlier than I normally would, so it obviously finished charging for the night a little earlier. When I woke up in my morning with all settings the same as the night before except the WiFi not sleeping it was at about the same percentage it normally would be when I wake up. So I'd say for this first night, at least, that battery usage either way is pretty equal. Within a % or two.
     
  10. ranova

    ranova Well-Known Member

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    tried this out last night on a fully charged battery.

    Before, best case scenario, after 8 hours, I would have about 85% batt left.

    I awoke this morning (after 6-7 hours) and still have 99%!

    3G is definitely the culprit for battery drainage
     
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  11. tekonus

    tekonus Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks for the added input. The more data we can get the better we can tell if this really works to our advantage.
     
  12. ranova

    ranova Well-Known Member

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    If we could use something like juicedefender to switch from 3g to edge when the screen is off, it would also save a bunch of battery (not as much as wifi, but still a significant amount). I don't think this is possible currently.

    I don't see switching off auto-sync as a viable solution, I use my phone to retrieve work emails, personal emails, gtalk, gvoice, etc to turn it off ever.
     
  13. tekonus

    tekonus Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I grew up as a very PC savvy kid, always tweaking and building PC's to be the most beastly I could for gaming on a budget. I learned very quickly, even at a young age, that taking power from a system to free up power is rarely an efficient process. I dunno if anyone remembers those old little utilities you use to run in the task bar that would "clear out your memory to free it up for other use" back in the day. They were dumb, never worked, and sat there taking up system process themselves that could have been used for other things. Thats kind of how I look at battery savers and task managers. My logic is find out what is causing the problem, be it settings or crap that doesn't need to be there, and fix it.
     
  14. BigCat8

    BigCat8 Well-Known Member

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    First time poster. Been seeing better battery life out of my Captivate (15-18 hours) the past couple days, but I'm going to give this a shot and see how my phone handles it.

    Going to try the same overnight sleep test Sledutah and ranova used, and I'll report back in the morning. Or maybe late afternoon.
     
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  15. ranova

    ranova Well-Known Member

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    tested again tonight also keeping BT and GPS on. Awoke with 100% charge after 6 hours of sleep.
     
  16. tekonus

    tekonus Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I tested again as well, I had better results this morning. Took it off the charger around midnight with 100%, awoke 8 and a half hours later with 99%... we might be on to something here! Now the only thing I'm curious of... Does keeping the Wifi on ALL the time kill your battery faster when you are out of range of your "remembered networks"? I mean... I know when you are out of range of a network that you auto-connect to it is always looking for more networks. I would think this might put more strain on your battery. I'm just curious how much. I'll have to think up a simple way to test this reliably.
     
  17. MrTony

    MrTony Banned

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    Hey guys, I could've sworn I saw an app somewhere that actually tracked your location and when you came "home" to your preferred wireless network, it actually turned your WiFi radio on. Then, when you left, it would turn it off. Wish I could remember where I saw that.
     
  18. tekonus

    tekonus Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I would think that would waste more battery keeping track of your location than it would save doing what it is doing...
     
  19. sremick

    sremick Well-Known Member

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    It's called Y-5, although I'm having issues with it thinking I'm near an open wifi that I'm not, and constantly turning wifi back on.

    Could be the Captivate's flakey GPS... :rolleyes:
     
  20. MrTony

    MrTony Banned

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    I don't think that was it, I'll see if I can find it. It was specifically for your networks, not known open networks, iirc.
     
  21. MrTony

    MrTony Banned

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    I still don't think this app is the one I saw, but it does what I was describing and more based on location. It's a $2.99paid app called Ultimate Profile.

    [​IMG]
     
  22. Argastes

    Argastes Member

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    How would the program track your location though? The Wi-Fi would have to be on and scanning in order to know that you're in range of your home network. What Y-5 does is use the cell tower triangulation method to determine if you are in range of your saved networks. Other than GPS which uses the most power out of the 3, I don't see how else your phone would be able to know. Regarding power consumption, as soon as you leave your Wi-Fi network your phone automatically switches to 3G anyway and Y-5 turns Wi-Fi off.
     
  23. BigCat8

    BigCat8 Well-Known Member

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    So, due to my ability to get distracted from sleep at absurd hours (combined with having the day off from work), my test was done over an almost 12 hour period from 1:50 AM - 1:30 PM. During this time period, I went from a 95% charge to approximately 87%. Not the 0% and 1% being talked about in this thread (though those were over 6-8 hours), but still an extremely marked improvement.

    JuicePlotter had me pegged for 30 more hours of battery life when I looked a little while after waking up. After 2 hours, a little bit of browsing, checking e-mails, a little bit of gaming, and a couple app downloads, I'm sitting at almost 18 hours and 72% battery remaining.

    Nice little way to extend idle time battery life.
     
  24. tekonus

    tekonus Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Yeah, everybody has their phones on different settings, so mileage will vary, obviously. A marked improvement isn't something to scoff at, though!
     
  25. King Stampede

    King Stampede Well-Known Member

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    Question. Would having your Wi-Fi turned on all the time gradually affect the phone in a negative way? Excuse me but I'm not very tech savvy. What I mean is if I kept the Wi-Fi on would the mechanism controlling my Wi-Fi fail over time since it is in constant use?
     

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