Android App to Increase Battery Life Comes at a Cost (Video)

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At CES 2013 we learned about about a whole new class of SoC that will power the next generation of smartphones and tablets. These new chips not only come with more speed and capabilities, they also come with promises of reduced power consumption which most interpret to mean “longer battery life”.

The new processors are still several months away from being in devices that we can actually purchase. In the meantime we have to “get by” with the devices in our hands today — which, you’ve got to admit, aren’t half bad!

That brings us to battery life. Isn’t there something we can do to help extend the life of the batteries in the devices we use today? Yes! In actuality there are many, many ways that we can do that. All have their benefits and disadvantages. Some are more technical than others, and others still are harder to implement. There’s at least one more that’s pretty easy, and actually works!

We got a tip about an app that is very easy to use, does what it claims to do, and will give you more run time between charges — but it’s not without some drawbacks.

Our tipster told us that Deep Sleep Battery Saver extended the battery life of his Samsung Galaxy S III by “up to 40%”. That’s pretty impressive, but does it really work? I installed Deep Sleep Battery Saver on my Nexus 4 and went about my day, specifically avoiding plugging in. When I left for work I had a full charge. I normally plug in during my short commute, then plug in again at my desk. This time I didn’t do either. At the end of a very long work day (around 11 hours) I finally got my first “low battery notification”. After that I was not only able to get home, but I kept using my phone all the way up until bed time — about 14 hours total. Before I placed my phone on my wireless charger I still had 2% battery remaining. That’s impressive.

How does it work?

Deep Sleep Battery Saver puts your phone or tablet into “deepsleep mode” while your screen is off. In this mode Wi-Fi and 3G are turned off, and background apps are stopped. Then, depending on the savings mode you have set, the device periodically returns to “normal sleep” to allow apps to check for email, status updates, etc. This means you may get a notification later than you would have otherwise.

It’s not without side-effects: when I first installed and turned on the app my data stopped flowing completely  even with the screen on. I had to manually turn on data services to get my HSPA+ working again. Sure, it’s just a simple check-box, but one that took me a little while to troubleshoot.

Hiccups notwithstanding, the app does pretty good at what it says and it’s available free in the Play Store. If you want more customization options like day/night settings, active period, screen timeout, sync strategy, and ignored apps, there is a “Pro” version available to buy.

Source: Google Play

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About The Author
Joe Levi
Joe graduated from Weber State University with two degrees in Information Systems and Technologies. He has carried mobile devices with him for more than a decade, including Apple's Newton, Microsoft's Handheld and Palm Sized PCs, and is Pocketnow's "Android Guy".By day you'll find Joe coding web pages, tweaking for SEO, and leveraging social media to spread the word. By night you'll probably find him writing technology and "prepping" articles, as well as shooting video.Read more about Joe Levi here.