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An objective method of reporting phone usage

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by jraskell, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. jraskell

    jraskell Newbie
    Thread Starter

    With all the discussions on battery usage, I'm finding the subjective claims of overall usage to be rather useless. I use my phone lightly, moderately, heavily... these are completely subjective statements and depend on your own personal definition of what light usage is.

    A far more useful measurement would be the actual percentage of time your screen is on, and this value can be accurately and fairly easily calculated through your battery monitor. The only minor layer of complication is getting the times converted into a single metric, but that isn't even difficult. It's just a matter of converting any times into total minutes, as opposed to hours and minutes.

    So, for example, my phone has been on battery for 4h 39m, and the screen has been on for 58 of those minutes. I convert the battery time to total minutes by multiplying the hours times 60, and adding the minutes:

    4 * 60 + 39 = 279 minutes.

    If necessary, the screen on time can be converted in the same manner. I then get the screen percentage on by dividing screen time by total time, and multiplying that by 100:

    58 / 279 = .20789 * 100 = 20.789

    So my screen has been on for just over 20% of the time. Now regardless of whether I consider that moderate usage, and others consider it light usage (or perhaps even heavy usage), it's a concrete datapoint with no ambiguity in it. This will make it far more useful to compare various users battery life than multiple people all saying they use their phones moderately while all having a different opinion of what moderate usage is.

    This can also be used with the Android OS times to account for various background activities different users may have running on their phones as well.

    It still does not account for variations in signal quality and it's affect on battery drain, or GPS/wifi/bluetooth usage, and I'm not sure where background music playing gets factored in, that may show up as part of the Android OS times (I think maybe the Keep awake time, but not sure about that). This may not capture ALL possible phone usage, but it's a far better datapoint than a completely subjective <insert adjective> usage statement.
     


    jbdan likes this.

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  2. jbdan

    jbdan Extreme Android User

    Hey I'm all for it and thanks for taking the time to share. Now getting everyone to do it this way.....priceless! and a daunting task!

    Are you an engineer by chance :D
     
  3. jraskell

    jraskell Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Is it that noticeable?

    It would be nice if the battery usage utility in ICS provided this info as well, would make it a lot easier to get people to provide it. I fully understand the challenge of getting people to provide useful data when dealing with hardware/software issues.
     
    jbdan and Mr. Link like this.
  4. Needsdecaf

    Needsdecaf Android Expert

    It's a better data point, but not necessarily a good one.

    For instance, I am in the car a lot. I use the phone in the car, a LOT. During that time, screen is off but the cell radio is pumping away. I often see phone as a high percentage use on the list.

    Also, if you're listening to a lot of music on random, or if you're listening to, say, Pandora and not over Wifi.....well, that'll throw things off big time.

    But hey, I get what you're driving at.
     
  5. jraskell

    jraskell Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Yes, I did finish up saying it doesn't account for any radio use, and that I wasn't sure how background activities like listening to music gets factored in. My guess is that stuff is rolled into the Android OS, but I don't listen to music with my phone, so I can't really say.

    It is a good datapoint, but still just a datapoint, not a complete snapshot of all usage.
     

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The Galaxy Nexus release date was November 2011. Features and Specs include a 4.65" inch screen, 5MP camera, 1GB RAM, TI OMAP 4460 processor, and 1750mAh battery.

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