Battery indicator

Some people have been experiencing excessive battery drain with their Android tablet or phone even though they haven’t been using it. It can happen overnight and there is a full charge when they go to bed, but in the morning the battery is nearly drained. Looking at the battery usage, an item called glgps seems to be sucking up all the battery juice. What is it and how do you stop glgps draining the battery?

The cause seems to be a mystery and perhaps it is a random bug. It can suddenly occur for no apparent reason at all to a tablet or phone that has been working fine for months or years.

I picked up my Android tablet, a Google Nexus 7, one morning and noticed that it was warm, which is odd because it had not been used since the night before. It had obviously been working hard and phones and tablets generate a lot of heat when the processor is under load.

Turning on the tablet and I noticed that he battery indicator was really low, even though the device had been charged the previous night and not been used since. When this happens you should always go to Battery in Settings and view the list of apps that have used the battery the most. Here is what mine looked like:

Battery usage on Android

The battery usage showed that glgps had used most of the battery and it was nearly double the next item, Google+. It is obviously a fault with glgps and it hasn’t used this amount of battery before. In fact, I never knew it existed because it hasn’t showed up on battery usage before.

Google+ is second on the battery usage list and this was a mystery too, because I had hardly used the tablet since charging it and I don’t remember using Google+.

glgps has an Andsroid system icon next to it indicating that it is part of the core system code. From the name I’d guess it is a Google GPS service and its function is to work out your location. Many apps use the location services on Android devices and so many apps will use glgps.

In my case I guess Google+ used glgps to get the current location, glgps got stuck and both Google+ and glgps started eating the battery.

It may be a different app on your tablet or phone and I have seen different people list different apps as the cause. There doesn’t appear to be a pattern or a single app that triggers the error.

The solution is the same no matter what the cause is. Hold down the home button on a Samsung device, press the right button on a Nexus 7, or use whatever button your device uses to display a list of running apps. Swipe them all away so they are no longer stored in the background.

On a Samsung Galaxy S4 for example, you can hold down the home button, tap the pie chart icon, select RAM at the top and then tap Clear memory at the bottom of the screen. This stops all non-essential tasks that are running and clears as much memory as possible.

If you don’t have this facility on your tablet or phone, there are many apps that can clear memory in the same way. A favourite of mine is Clean Master, which is free from the Google Play Store. Among the functions is one to clear memory.

Some apps may not work as well with location services turned off, but this is one final task you can perform. Go to Settings, find Location and turn it off. Sometimes you need it, and an obvious one is using Google Maps to center the map on your current location, but a lot of the time you don’t need it. Try using the device with Location off and just turn it on when it is necessary.

That should solve the glgps problem, but to be absolutely sure you can power off the device - really power it off, don’t just switch off the screen. Some devices have a restart or reboot option if you hold down the power button for a few seconds.

Since doing this, the glgps problem hasn’t returned on my Google Nexus 7. Keep an eye on the battery usage though.

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