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JuiceDefender - battery saver: Effective and advanced app to extend battery life.


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  1. Lawliet89

    Lawliet89 Member This Topic's Starter

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    JuiceDefender is one of the most useful applications out there in the Market for the great price of FREE. Of course, there is the UltimateJuice add on that adds more advanced configuration options but this review is going to focus mainly on what the free version offers, which is quite a lot already! Apologies for some of the "camera screenshots". It's too difficult to take screenshots on an Android!

    Functionality
    Android phones thrive on data. We get "push" features though the use of always on data connection via 3G or WiFi. Obviously, this causes a problem on the battery lifespan. JuiceDefender attempts to extend the life of your battery using several mechanisms to enable or disable APN (3G Data connections) and WiFi depending on several factors. I will use the term "data" to envelope both 3G and WiFi connections in the text below.

    Configuration on the software can range from as straightforward as simply "enabling" the application to head-scratchingly confusing for those who would like to venture into the advanced mode. I simply use the simple interface and I am rather satisfied with the result. I find that the UI can be signficantly improved to use the standard Android configuration menu instead.

    [​IMG]

    I think the most useful feature it has is the enabling of data every set interval (say 15 minutes) for a period of time (say one minute). This enable apps to "sync" with the servers and for push notifications to be sent in (mostly Google Apps). Push notifications will not be instantenous, of course, but a delay of at most several minutes in exchange for longer lasting battery life is worth it.

    JuiceDefender also offer other ways of determining when data should be turned off or not. By default, it will set your data to always on when your screen is turned on, and when it is charging. It will also enable data is there is traffic of more than 10 KB for the past 30 seconds. These options try to eliminate the problems of sudden data disconnection while using the phone.

    I must point out that this might cause some problems for several applications: most notably instant messaging apps. If your instant messaging app is left on and it does not transmit enough data for JuiceDefender to decide that the traffic is high enough, you may get disconnected. There might be other apps but I have not had the chance to fully test them out.

    Apps that do periodic syncing instead of relying on push notifications (like the official Google apps: Gmail, Calendar etc.) might have problems if their sync schedule coincides with the time when JuiceDefender decides to disable data. Most notably, I have seen this with the Facebook App with its syncing of notifications. I suspect this situation might improve with Android 2.2 Froyo when the Google Push API becomes accessible to developers and more apps are written to use the API. Perhaps an option in the application to toggle data on/off when specific applications run will be useful.

    There are some other options such as totally disabling data while you sleep etc but these are only provided with a paid add-on: UltimateJuice. I don't think these are really essential and the free version is sufficient enough.

    [​IMG]
    The app also provides a "log" for you to track when it enables or disables data. The "screenshot" also shows the "simply" interface of the application.

    Effectiveness
    Of course, if you do not have an always on data, this application is more or less useless to you. Effectiveness has been mixed as I have gathered from the forums so you might have differing experiences. Still, I would encourage you to try it out for yourself to see if it works. From the rating of this application on the market, it is obvious that it has been effective for a lot of people.

    On my end, I have seen my battery life improve noticeably. While I do not have hard data, the app claims to have improved my battery life by two times. (I have some problems with how it estimates such a figure. It seems too arbritrary to be accurate). Idle time on the phone has seen less drops in percentage of battery life. You can track your battery life over time in a nice chart with JuicePlotter, another app from the same developer.

    [​IMG]
    On the above "screenshot" from JuicePlotter, you can tell that with mixed periods of idle and high intensive usage, my phone's battery can last for about 20 hours. I expect that if I did not charge the phone, it could well last me another 12 hours or so on very minimal usage. Do note that your experiences will vary!

    On the app front, I don't have any problems (other than Facebook) with my apps syncing. HTC Weather still updates frequently and my push notifications for the Google Apps work. One thing that many users, including myself, have noticed is that sometimes, the data connection cannot be re-enabled after turning the screen on. The only remedy is to reboot the system. My guess is that this is either a bug with Android or the application. This does not occur too frequently so I guess this is still tolerable.

    Conclusion
    Pros:
    - For the price, it is extremely worth it.
    - Does its job well
    - A lot of customisation options.

    Cons:
    - Advanced UI is confusing and difficult to use
    - Causes problems with some apps
    - Mixed Results
    - Useless if you do not have always on data
    - Problem re-enabling Data sometimes
    - Battery life extension estimation via some arbritrary algorithmn that I am not sure if it is accurate or not

    Don't mistake the longer Cons list as an indication of a bad application! There just isn't much to say of the app other than it does its job well. I would recommend you to try it out and see for yourself if it works for you.

    Score: 8.5/10

    Last but not least
    Two apps from the same developer I would like to recommend you to try out in conjunction with this app:
    - JuicePlotter: A useful FREE app to plot out your battery usage over time. Use this to see if JuiceDefender works for you.
    - UltimateJuice: This paid add-on will allow you to configure the app even further for those of you who like to have total control over the settings.
     

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    tarzan12, iownaG2 and babuc2004 like this.
  2. niiloa

    niiloa New Member

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    I have also tried JuiceDefender + Ultimate combo and definitely like the superb control of data traffic! However, using my Galaxy S, the data will not switch on at all even though I have specified '5 min every hour' (and Juice is excluded from task killer, of course). The user interface sure is not the easiest to cope with and I wonder if I got the 'Applications' tab at all!

    In case there are other Galaxy S and Juice+Ultimate users, it would be great to hear from your experiences. The way it's now, I was forced to uninstall the app. Is there another app that would come close as to controlling the data traffic and scheduling apps start/stop?
     
  3. TambourineMan

    TambourineMan Well-Known Member

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    When I go into the market it shows two options at the same price:

    UltimateJuice!

    UltimateJuice! (alternative)

    What's the difference?
     
  4. reinbeau

    reinbeau Klaatu barada nikto VIP Member

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    I'm going to forget JuiceDefender, because of the lack of developer support (I bought it). Thanx, Alex, I'll give Green Power a test!
     
  5. BookLover

    BookLover Well-Known Member

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    I wrote some detailed instructions about UJ and app control in this thread: http://androidforums.com/samsung-captivate/211380-juice-defender-settings.html#post1831152

    HTH
     
  6. BookLover

    BookLover Well-Known Member

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    I purchased UJ (alternative) as that had a higher version number, so I assumed it was the latest version.
     
    Pinmac1 likes this.
  7. EinZtein

    EinZtein Well-Known Member

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    After 5 installs and uninstalling and testing, determined this app did nothing more than slow my Incredible down.
     
    Gmash likes this.
  8. BigDreZ28

    BigDreZ28 Well-Known Member

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    Should I have background data enabled in the phone settings? Or can i have it off?
     
  9. harto

    harto New Member

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    I wasn't put off by the horrible UI, or even the noticeable strutter it caused on my Desire.

    But UltimateJuice had to go when after several days of testing and configuring it was still consuming more juice than actually saving, despite the juice meter was showing ratings of 1.5 to 2.

    Too bad the market money back only covers the first 24 hours :mad:
     
  10. BigDreZ28

    BigDreZ28 Well-Known Member

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    Got the new version. Old version worked fine for me, this one works great for me; even better. Interface is nicer, battery life was greatly improved even more then the old version with ultimate juice. Stock battery.

    edit: lmao, maybe yesterday was a freak show or something. Yesterday I had 60% after 8hrs and today im at 60% after 3. yesterday it said 2.16x improvement, today it says 1.80x.
     
  11. gilbequick

    gilbequick Well-Known Member

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    I bought it, not really happy with it. Initially I thought it would help save a bit, but it's actually been using more than saving. I had it set to turn off data when the screen was not active, which would be great if you only turn your phone on a few times a day. But if you use your phone like most people do and check it frequently it will disable and enable your data setting a lot throughout the day....which I'm pretty sure was hurting my battery life.
     
  12. foobah

    foobah Member

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    I bought both the JuiceDefender Pro (Ultimate Juice) and Green Power Pro. I have tried each alone for several days. My conclusion is that Green Power Pro does a far better job. By 10 PM with JuiceDefender my battery is at 15% and gasping. With Green Power it is still at 40 or 50%, and I leave it sit next to the bed all night without charging. In the morning it still has 40% that quickly drops to 30% as I start to check email, etc.

    In the morning I use the Wifi connection heavily the first hour or so checking the stock market and emails. After that I use it intermittently during the day for the Web, email, text and voice.

    If I contact Green Power Gael sends an email reply.

    The only problem -- a minor one -- I found with Green Power that the developer doubts is:
    It froze my phone then shutdown when I tried to turn on Bluetooth while in night mode. Verizon Motorola Droid. In my case from 10PM until 8:30 AM, and this happened at 7 AM. I was using the widget that controls certain settings, like WiFi, Sync, GPS and Bluetooth. Don't ever recall a freeze and shutdown from this at any other time. When Bluetooth was not responding I was clicking the on/off button repeatedly, but never went through a power-off confirmation.
     
  13. tuposman

    tuposman New Member

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    I've been using Juice Defender (free version) for a month or so now and it seems to make a big difference on my Evo.

    I just changed the settings (still free version) to "Extreme" right after a charge. Its been 5 hours now and I'm still at 96% charge. I've checked email and Facebook a couple times and I sent a few texts and took one very short call just to make sure it hadn't turned the phone off.

    Try the "Extreme" setting and see how well it works for you. This is a huge improvement without any noticeable drawbacks so far.
     
  14. tuposman

    tuposman New Member

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    Edit... was at 6 hours and at 95% charge! I tried to open "Marketplace" and it wouldn't let me so I switched from "Extreme" to "Aggressive" mode to upload the app. Went from 95% to 89% in about 10 minutes.

    I think it lets you pick 4 programs that don't get shut down in Extreme mode. That's enough for me to work from most of the time. Switching to "Aggressive" mode when I need to is very quick so not a big deal.

    Down to around 83% about 45 minutes after switching to "Aggressive" and using the data constantly.
     
  15. JRank

    JRank Member

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    I've been using Juice Defender for 2 days, after going back and forth between it since having the phone. After unplugging it (100% battery) on Sunday night, I had 35% juice left on Monday night. (only reason I turned it off and plugged it in was for the next day) I had been getting maybe 12 hours a day out of it before needing charging. (I usually start charging at ~30%, I know, I know, you're supposed to let it drain all the way but I don't :p) So from 12 hours to 24, and JuicePlotter said I still had 10 hours to go! My settings on it were basically turning data off when I had WiFi on (I have WiFi at my house), and when the screen was off. I would definitely recommend this app, and am considering going to Ultimate Juice. I haven't tried Green Power yet but may give it a shot tomorrow.
     
  16. EinZtein

    EinZtein Well-Known Member

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    I've tested this with many roms and kernels.
    This app only slows rooted phones.
     

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