Your Android is a powerful device, but powerful output means powerful input. In other words, the more you use your device the quicker you’re going to drain the battery, and batteries drain quickly on Android devices. This means that you have to be proactive in managing your battery use, or else you’ll find yourself without a phone until you find a charger. Here are a few tips to keep your battery life as low as possible.
Turn off Wi-Fi
Most Android devices include a Wi-Fi radio, so you can take advantage of fast internet speeds when you’re in range of a Wi-Fi network. Unfortunately, Wi-Fi does have its downsides. It’s not a secure connection, so you can’t access some services unless you turn it off. But most immediately it drains your battery quickly, even if the phone is idle. In order to avoid this, turn Wi-Fi on only when you need the extra speed. Also, avoid applications that automatically detect Wi-Fi signal. Those can drain your battery and you won’t even be aware.
Turn down the screen brightness
It takes a lot of power to keep a screen lit up, and the brighter it gets the more battery it drains. One of the best ways to reduce battery use is to turn down the screen brightness unless you need it. When you’re watching a video you might want the full brightness, but if you’re just messaging using other non-graphical applications you can save battery by turning brightness to the lowest setting.
Limit applications that automatically check for updates
Android provides a perfect environment for social networking. Services like Facebook and Twitter are easy and fun to use through the Android applications. The drawback is that if you want to get regular updates from your friends you’ll have to set the application to automatically update. The more frequently your device accesses the network, the more battery it will drain. It is important, then, to go to the Options screen of each application and make sure it’s not checking for updates too frequently. Even once an hour will put a strain on the battery throughout a full day. Setting the applications to only update manually is best for battery life.
Only access the network when you need it
Even if you have limited applications that automatically check the internet, your Android is still active and checking most of the time. This is part of the reason why you might see significant battery drain even though the phone was idle in your pocket for hours. An application in the market called JuiceDefender helps out in this regard. It notices when you’re not actively checking the network and it automatically turns off the connection. Once you’re active again it turns back on. This application is available free in the Android Market.
Word of warning on task killers
There are a number of applications in the Android Market that claim to save battery life by closing unused applications. This might sound useful, but because of the way Android is programmed these applications are not much help. Idle applications that don’t check the internet for updates typically don’t put much strain on the battery, so the task killers mean that one more application is open and active. That will put more strain on the battery than the idle, unused applications.