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Power Saver "modes" for Android (battery life)

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by mjschmidt, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. mjschmidt

    mjschmidt Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Here are the settings I am trying out as my "Power Saver Mode" for my HTC Magic (Rogers). Not sure yet how much of a difference this whole set up will actually make, but I'll try to make it a scientific study.

    Please take a look, I am interested in comments on the setup in general, and on individual settings (ie. will a particular setting really make that much of a difference to the over-all power usage?).

    As of the moment I changed all these settings, my battery is at 97% (After I turned on my phone this morning, all these settings were previously opposite so i could get my email, etc).

    Android Power Saver Mode
    1. Screen Brightness 15%
    2. WiFi = OFF
    3. GPS = OFF
    4. Auto-sync = OFF
    5. "Enable always on mobile" = OFF
    6. Background Data Usage = OFF
    7. Use only 2G Networks = YES

    I am also using these apps:
    "TasKiller" to kill BG apps
    "Useful Switchers" to modify settings.

    It would be nice if there were an app that could work like the power setup in the system tray of Windows where you can choose different power modes for your laptop. A simple app with a Power Saver Mode, Balanced Mode, and Power User Mode that could all be set by the user.

    It would be nice to be able to run the app, choose the "Power Saver" mode and have it automatically change all the settings as I've listed them above, and then be able to choose "Power User" to reverse them easily so I don't have to go through all the separate steps to do it myself.


  2. dkaufman1

    dkaufman1 Android Expert

    Interesting experiment. It should yield good results.

    Screen Brightness is a big killer so that should help greatly.

    I was always told GPS is a big killer as well, but recently I read that apps that use GPS need be active to use it. I am not sure I believe it, but I am leaving GPS active to test that theory and not running maps, or other apps. (BTW the app that says/needs GPS is Mobile Defense.

    Power Manager - which I used to use, handles the profile power management settings you are looking for. The developer pulled a free to pay switch and many users were unhappy with that move.

    Toggle Settings - this seems to have some of the features you are looking for. I am working on trying to make profiles in mine, but haven't gotten to far.

    Timeriffic - I use this to manage my audio profiles and screen brightness (just released) by time of day. (work, home, school, etc.) Full disclosure - I am part of the development team of this free app. Cyrket - Timeriffic
  3. mjschmidt

    mjschmidt Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the input. I looked at Power Management, but haven't installed it yet (just read through the comments). Unfortunately in Canada (Rogers) we don't seem to have access to paid apps yet (am I wrong?) so I need to find something free, or do it the hard way, (or learn to write apps!).
  4. dkaufman1

    dkaufman1 Android Expert

    Toggle Settings and Timeriffic are free.
  5. gnur

    gnur Newbie

    I think it is odd to cripple your phone just so you can use it maybe 1 day longer without charging.
    It`s a geniusphone (smartphone just doesn`t cut it), use it!
  6. mjschmidt

    mjschmidt Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I wouldn't say I'm crippling it. By turning off certain functions, which _don't_ need to be running all the time, I am prolonging the availability of those functions when I do need/want them. For example, when I'm at work, my phone doesn't need to be updating my calendar or email, since I can check those things on my computer.

    If I _never_ turned on those functions, I would agree with you, but I use them when I need/want them.
  7. thekurgan

    thekurgan Newbie

    A genius phone would have better battery life. The current battery situation can make the phone unreliable when you need it most, so the OP is right and I have to do exactly what has been done, cripple it until I need the features.
  8. punkzanyj

    punkzanyj Android Expert

    I use a couple apps to manage my phone.

    I don't use the location information because phones & T-Mobile's network aren't at the right stage for that feature to really take off. If the phone looses cell tower signal for too long (in certain buildings, underground) the location gets lost, and when the location gets lost, so do all profile setting changes associated with location -- it reverts to whatever your default settings are. It's a great idea, and a great feature, but the phone and network just aren't up to speed to make use of it reliably.
    HOWEVER, the rest of the functions work great.
    I only have a few profiles for locale

    - Bluetooth turns on whenever any of my friends call, the headset (if it's on) usually connects within a few seconds of picking up the call.

    -When I plug it into the charger, the screen lights up bright and stays on for ten minutes (I usually charge when I go to bed).

    -For certain calendar appointments, the phone goes into vibrate or silent, the screen dims to 10%, and the timeout goes down to 30 seconds. I have it change the wallpaper to give a simple background as a visual cue that the settings have changed.

    -After 11pm, the ringer goes down to 1, and I change the background to this picture of the moon.

    -6 days a week, the screen brightness is reduced from 6am - 8am for my workout, my gym is lit well enough in the right way that I don't need the screen very bright at all.

    Additionally I use:
    TasKiller Lite
    Toggle Settings

    For those of you not interested in Locale, Toggle Settings has some of the features of locale built in. I'm using the battery saving profile in Toggle settings to reduce my screen brightness when my battery dips below 30%.

    Speaking of screen brightness, man did we luck out. most of the time 40% brightness is PLENTLY bright for me.

    Also, I noticed the other day when we left for the fireworks (around 6pm) my phone was at 80% battery. I turned the screen brightness down all the way. I was still able to check email, send texts, use GPS to help friends find us in the crowd at Lake Michigan, and take a bunch of pictures with SymmetriCam. I believe that since I turned down the screen brightness so much, that's how my phone was only down to 60% by 11pm.
  9. uefear

    uefear Lurker

    The current battery situation is nothing. The battery works fine. Anyone that has a phone that does all these things and has a 3.5" display will tell you that their battery dies quick. I laugh at the people who expect more battery from this phone. My 3.5" GPS in my car lasts for less than two hours on a full charge. This phone can use GPS/WIFI/BLUETOOTH and make calls for longer than that.

    Another thing is, I don't think people are giving their batteries a chance to fully drain before charging again which leads to degraded battery performance very quickly.

    I have gone a whole day with 25% battery. Yep thats right a whole entire day on 25% battery. The last 20% of the battery in your g1 will last longer than any other portion of the battery so use it, don't assume your phone is about to die when it gets that low cause its not.

    I wanna just add that I use toggle brightness, toggle wifi, toggle gps and toggle bluetooth. These are four widgets on my home screen that I tap and they adjust the settings (unbelieveably faster than the old fashioned way). I also use BatteryLife to show me my actual % of battery life left, if you don't have anything that tells you your exact battery life %, then you need to get an app that does. BatteryLife is free so go get it if your reading this and don't have it.

    Lastly, I had T-Mobile send me another G1 because my screen was incredibly loose from the beginning. I expect that over time the screen becomes lose anyways from normal wear and tear. I find that the hinges used and the sliding mechanism is just a complete design flaw that was massively overlooked by many. If I could go back and erase my original G1 purchase I would. Not because I don't enjoy the phone (It is the best AND most expensive phone I have ever owned), but because of what I feel is a major design flaw. Although, when companies make cell phones, they make them to break. They want you to break the phone so you have to buy another one. This is how "Capitalism" works. Funny how Capitalism = Corporate scandal driven by greed and unethical practices.
  10. kizer

    kizer Newbie

    I bought one of those Seidio Batterys that are the 1400mAH and I use my phone. I take it off the charger at 7am and when I put it back on the charger around 11pm I normally have 50-60% battery. Also I do turn my phone off at night since I don't need to have it on.

    Screen set to 32
    GPS on, since it only fires off when an app needs it.
    Wifi Off
    Location by wireless off
    Sync on since it only syncs when it needs to.
    Screen set to turn off after 1minute

    Battery saving apps seem useless to me since I'm doing what they would do anyways.
  11. mjschmidt

    mjschmidt Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    @uefear: Actually, I've read in a forum somewhere that the type of battery used for the Magic is NOT the kind you want to drain completely before charging again. Apparently this can damage it. I am trying to find that thread again so i can post it here, the poster linked to an article explaining it.

    Can't find the original thread, but found this: http://www.batteryuniversity.com/parttwo-34.htm

    It recommends the discharge/charge once every 30 cycles ONLY to recalibrate the battery's meter, but that it does not actually make the battery _life_ better.

    As for my experiment, it has been going well. I actually decreased my screen brightness even more to 9%, which is more than enough in most situations.
  12. Jayziac

    Jayziac Well-Known Member

    New lithium-ion batteries (in almost all current cell phones) should NOT be drained to almost empty. That was a technique used for older ni-cad and niMH batteries to get rid of memory effects (not able to fully charge above a certain point). Also battery charge vs voltage curves are like a slope that goes down steeper as it has less charge. So usually the amount remaining should deplete faster as the battery has less charge left. But the calibration may be off on some phones.

    I'm all for saving battery power. Another big drainer is vibrating function, it uses an actual internal motor, which draws more power than speakers.
  13. thekurgan

    thekurgan Newbie

    Wrong ... My crackberry does everything the G1 does and has at least 3 days worth of battery life. The G1 O/S is hungry and the apps make it worse, not to mention T-Mobile 3G coverage is shit so the phone is constantly switching modes, making the battery life even worse. Right now it's my most unreliable phone ... next ....
  14. dkaufman1

    dkaufman1 Android Expert

    Off topic! - where did you watch fireworks?

    Off Topic - Thanks for the SymmetriCam app, that was a nice find. Very fun.
  15. dkaufman1

    dkaufman1 Android Expert

    I use Battery Widget which shows a percentage and if you click it it brings up brightness, wifi and gps. I leave gps on as mentioned in this thread, but only GPS Satellties, not wireless networks. Also the Battery Widget and all other widgets I have found don't offer 1 click gps toggle anymore. Do your widgets offer that? Wifi still is 1 click toggle. Brightness is also not 1 click toggle.
  16. punkzanyj

    punkzanyj Android Expert

    The cupcake update changed something in the GPS setup. No app can alter GPS settings (on or off) anymore. If you want to turn GPS on or off you have to do so manually in the settings menu. The most any app can do is provide a direct link to that part of the settings menu.
  17. dkaufman1

    dkaufman1 Android Expert

    I noticed that. I think it has to do with that "agreement" you approve when connecting to the towers. Must be some legal reason, since that is required each time.
  18. punkzanyj

    punkzanyj Android Expert

    Not sure what you mean there, I haven't had to deal with any "agreement". Used GPS the other day and didn't run into that.
  19. ChilledMatt

    ChilledMatt Well-Known Member

    Whenever I activate Use Wireless Networks in settings/security & location I get the following:

    !Location Consent.
    Allow Google's location service to collect anonymous and aggregate location data. Collection will occur regardless of whether any applications are active.
    Agree. Disagree.

    If you choose agree it switches on, if not it doesn't. I am a uk 1.5 user. Weird how yours isn't the same.
  20. punkzanyj

    punkzanyj Android Expert

    That's not GPS. That's Wireless Networks. GPS is satellites.
  21. dkaufman1

    dkaufman1 Android Expert

    Hey Punk - this is what I meant, and I did say when connecting to the towers. Thanks Matt.

    My point was this consent is likely the reason that Google doesn't want auto gps toggle since - location services consent by tower is in the same dialog. Again I don't know, it's just speculative.
  22. balazer

    balazer Newbie

    I use WiSyncPlus to manage battery life and data usage.

    I don't need to have my data constantly synced, so I sync once per day when I charge my phone. Here's how I set up WiSyncPlus: disable APN, Wifi, and auto sync; turn on Wifi when charger is connected; force sync when a wifi connection is established; turn off wifi when charger is disconnected. I turn on Wifi or APN manually when I want to use a network application.

    You could also make it sync your data periodically instead of constantly: disable auto sync and APN, and create a WiSyncPlus schedule tha turns on your APN, force syncs your data, and then turns off the APN once every two hours.

    The program has many options.
  23. punkzanyj

    punkzanyj Android Expert

    Dkauf, I'm not following. GPS and Wireless location are two different services. The consent is for the wireless location, not for the GPS. So consent doesn't have anything to do with the GPS or GPS setting.
  24. dkaufman1

    dkaufman1 Android Expert

    I agree they are 2 different services. My thought was that some legal arm (Google, Carrier?) said to the Android folks do not allow toggle switches for location based services. And either they meant only tower based, or they meant gps and it was left off, or they meant to add the consent to gps. Basically there is "some" reason that it was able to be toggled previously and now is it not allowed, my guess was is this is a work in progress. I will inquire further and report back though.
  25. SkinnerY2K

    SkinnerY2K Lurker


    So I ordered the Magic today, should be here 2moz. YAY - Will be putting the Hero ROM onto it so I can use the Sense UI.

    Does anyone know of an app that will control the features of the phone on a timed profile basis?

    Basically I want to set the phone to turn off things like GPS, 3G and Wifi overnight (EG. 10pm to 6am) as that is a big factor to the battery life. Plus anything else that may help to be turned off

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