1. Are you ready for the Galaxy S20? Here is everything we know so far!

Battery Drain due to Software Bug w/GPS?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by lexluthor, Jul 30, 2010.


Are you able to replicate this same issue?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  1. lexluthor

    lexluthor Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Ok, let me try this again. I think I had a bad title and started out a little off track in my other post.

    This seems important, to me, so hopefully people will see it this time.

    After reading this post
    I decided to download Spare Parts
    Spare Parts - Android app on AppBrain

    When I ran it, my phone had been unplugged for about 12 hours and I found that Spare Parts showed my phone to have been Running (not sleeping) for 100% of that time.

    After being methodical and getting data points after opening various programs, I determined that after I opened any program that accessed the GPS, the phone no longer would go into sleep mode.

    To get the phone to start sleeping again, all I have to do is toggle GPS off and then back on again.

    It's completely reproducible every time on my phone.

    Now, I don't know what kind of effect this will have on battery life, but seems like it probably would have some effect.

    If others can test this and see if it affect you at all, it'd be helpful to see if there's a potential major software bug here or if it's just something with my phone.

    Easiest way to test is to start with a fresh reboot with GPS toggle on, install Spare Parts, plug in the phone for a second (to reset the counters), let it sit sleeping for a few minutes, then read the Running % in Spare Parts. Should be pretty low. Plug in the phone to reset the counters again. Then start Google Maps or any other program that will activate your GPS. Close that program and then let the phone sit idle for a few minutes. Check Spare Parts running time again and, for me, it's pegged at 100%.

    It stays like that until I toggle the GPS off or reboot the phone.

    Very curious to see if others get the same results.

  2. lexluthor

    lexluthor Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Am I missing something? There are a million battery threads with people complaining about bad battery and, if this isn't happening only to my phone, we may have uncovered a major problem with the phone causing battery drain.

    There's no one who can test this?
  3. Kaleb Randleaxe

    Kaleb Randleaxe Android Enthusiast

    I will test this as soon as I possibly can [read: a few hours]. If this is true, it makes a ton of sense. I've been getting shoddy battery life with a small amount of usage and no other problems that I could find, but I do leave the GPS switched to "on."
  4. dabomb224

    dabomb224 Android Enthusiast

    I will play around with this one a bit as well. I always knew that that one horrible year of my life that I spent in Software Quality Assurance would come in handy at some point.

    While I work on that, could you in return please explain the ramifications of enabling "aGPS" and "Use Wireless Networks" (in Location and Security settings) on battery life? This is assuming that I have my "True" GPS turned OFF.
  5. tbert

    tbert Member

    Hey lex, I toggled the GPS on/off and it allowed my phone to sleep when it wasn't before.
  6. lexluthor

    lexluthor Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Ok, but can you also run my test to see of the same thing is causing you to run 100%. Since the fix is the same It'd suspect so.
  7. tbert

    tbert Member

    No luck. I did a reboot, charge a little, and put the phone to sleep. I didn't even unlock the screen. After a couple of minutes, I checked Spare Parts and my Running was at 100%. When I toggled the GPS on/off and left the phone alone, Running drops to 40% after a few minutes.
  8. lexluthor

    lexluthor Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    What do you mean no luck? Seems like you may have replicated the issue. Did you ever run a program in there to start the gps? If not maybe something else at startup did? Did you ever see the gps icon come on?

    anything from dabomb or kaleb yet?
  9. NoShineMM

    NoShineMM Well-Known Member

    Yup same issue. Bad thing for me is i use Fancy Widget so it displays my Weather like HTC Sense and all. So it hits my GPS as soon as i boot up and ever 30 min. So i have to sit and do toggle GPS atleast every 30 min to counter the affect of this widget and after anything else that uses my GPS. That seems pretty damn lame.
  10. lexluthor

    lexluthor Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for confirming my findings.

    I also use Fancy Widgets and am having another issue with that. Maybe you can take a look at this?

    Anyhow, why not just change fancy widgets to "use my location" only and not "use gps location". Might not always give you the exact city, but certainly close enough.

    So, back to this issue, what now? IF not having the phone sleeping is hurting the battery, then this is a potentially huge bug.
  11. lexluthor

    lexluthor Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Also, I just tested this on a Samsung Vibrant and it still sleep after accessing the gps.

    I'm really starting to think we have a serious bug here.

    The next question is to figure out how big a negative effect this is on battery life.
  12. FabDroidette

    FabDroidette Lurker

    How do I shut off my GPS? I'm so lost...
  13. lexluthor

    lexluthor Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Settings, location & security, use gps satellites.
    There are also widgets I you can put on your home screen to do it in one click.

    Let's get a couple more confirmations that what I reported in my first post is occurring for others.
  14. tbert

    tbert Member

    I misread your post. Yeah, I did replicated your results. I narrowed down the culprit to Fancy Widget which was using GPS location for weather. When I turned that off, my phone could sleep after start up. When I exit out of Navigation, the GPS icon is still on and keeps my phone up. So it does appear that the X is having trouble turning off GPS and drains battery if unchecked. Good find.
  15. ECFfighter7232

    ECFfighter7232 Android Expert

    Not sure if this info will help you but... I have my gps toggle turned on. I leave it turned on for my google lattitude. I've been unplugged for 3 hours and my "running time" is 24.4% and im still at 88% battery life with mild-light use. says I've still got 13 hours of battery left
  16. lexluthor

    lexluthor Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Just to be clear, my GPS icon is going away when I close a GPS enabled program. I can even end the task too.

    But, still, my phone doesn't sleep once the GPS has been activated and until I turn off the GPS in the settings.

    Sure, even if it doesn't back up my findings, it helps. Are you sure lattitude is accessing the gps and not using cell towers/wifi to get your location? Do you actually periodically see the GPS icon? Are you determining running time using spare parts?
  17. ECFfighter7232

    ECFfighter7232 Android Expert

    I'm using "batteryleft" which shows the same breakdown as spare parts. and yeah I have lattitude set to use GPS not cell/wifi. The gps icon pops up every now and then. I think I saw an option somewhere (I dont remember where though) to only use gps when its requested from a program (i.e. lattitude) but I have my Beautiful Widgets and WeatherBug Elite set to draw from Cell/wifi. I think one issue is there are so many programs that MAY ping the GPS so the settings in each program you have have to be set just right, ya know?
  18. lexluthor

    lexluthor Android Expert
    Thread Starter


    Well, thanks for helping so far. Good info.

    Let's try and keep our tests similar.

    Can you run my test at the first post just as I did? Instead of lattitude, open google maps and make sure the gps icon comes up them. Maybe certain programs don't properly close the GPS?
  19. Gareee

    Gareee Android Enthusiast

    Couldn't it be an issue with google maps?
  20. ECFfighter7232

    ECFfighter7232 Android Expert

    Yeah I use maps pretty regularly with the traffic overlay because I have a 110 mile round trip commute 6 days a week in DC traffic. So most of my ride to and from work I am checking maps to see how/where the traffic is
  21. lexluthor

    lexluthor Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    No. same thing happens with different gps programs. I tested with poynt too.
  22. bumpylemon

    bumpylemon Well-Known Member

    i got 100% percent running too. my battery last literally 5 hours....with little use...little as in maybe a 5 min phone call...a few emails...and a map or 2....im not joking.

    im on my second battery
  23. gtmike

    gtmike Newbie

    Lex - I think you've explained my poor battery life, too. I was running at 100% with my normal usage -- having GPS turned on and using Google Maps intermittently during the day. Today, I'm testing with GPS turned off and I'm running at 27% with much better battery levels.
    lexluthor likes this.
  24. lexluthor

    lexluthor Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Yes, after 2 days of use, I think I can say my battery life improved as well. It's just so hard to really tell and yesterday I was in a bad signal area a lot of the day, but today it lasted pretty long.

    Can some others run the exact test at the end of my first post?

    If we determine a problem, is there anyone who has a Verizon or Motorola contact that this can be reported to?
  25. BLK MAJK

    BLK MAJK Well-Known Member

    I can pretty much confirm it to. I noticed it happening whenever i use the camera...with gps geotagging turned on. If i open the camera, close and kill it, i think the gps stays active. The icon is gone, but the phone never goes to sleep and android system climbs like crazy in spare parts.
    lexluthor likes this.

Motorola Droid X Forum

The Motorola Droid X release date was July 2010. Features and Specs include a 4.3" inch screen, 8MP camera, 512GB RAM, TI OMAP3630 processor, and 1540mAh battery.

July 2010
Release Date

Share This Page