Battery life is a constant problem for Android phone users and it just isn’t as good as our iPhone-owning friends. Apple’s battery technology is clearly the best, but a lot of the time, the poor battery life on our Android phone is partly our own fault and it is down to the apps we install. Here’s what you can do.
Take a look at your Android phone, specifically the apps that are on it. Tap the all-apps button to view the complete list, not just your favourite ones on the home screens. How many do you regularly use?
It has been said that the average person has 100 apps on their mobile phone. If you don’t believe this, just count them. I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 and I’m a pretty light user, yet there are five screens of 20 apps full and a couple on the sixth screen. That’s just over 100!
In my defence though, a good number of those apps are the junkware that Samsung puts on its phones – the apps it forces you to have and doesn’t let you uninstall. I would have a lot fewer apps without Samsung’s collection.
The problem is that many apps automatically run on startup, so whether you intend to use them or not, the app is running. Any app that is running requires memory, processing power and battery, and generates wasteful heat. To be fair, many apps that run in the background don’t use a lot of these phone resources or contribute too much to global warming, except when they go wrong (see here and here), but it is not zero.
Reducing the number of apps on the phone and stopping them from running in the background will boost memory, processing power and battery life, and enable the phone to run cooler.
Apps that don’t run in the background are much less of a problem, so target the ones that do. Go to Settings, More, Application Manager (Samsung Galaxy S4) or Settings, Apps (Nexus 7) – menus vary slightly from device to device.
The initial view is of downloaded apps, so swipe left to view the running apps. Look down the list of apps and see what is running and what you can live without. Here is Camera360, which is a really nice camera app, but I rarely use it. Camera apps with lots of features are very difficult to use outdoors because it is so hard to see the phone’s screen in sunlight. I tend to fire up the built in camera app or the Google camera app because they are simpler.
There are two instances of this app and the first is one process and three services and the second is one process and one service. I can live without it, so the app has to go to lighten the load on the processor, memory and battery.
Although you can uninstall apps in the usual way through Settings, Apps, it is better to use an uninstaller app. A favourite of mine is Clean Master. This is a free Android app that performs several functions and the App Manager enables you to uninstall apps you don’t need.
Just find the app in the list (select Sort By Name at the top), and tick the box next to it. Tap the Uninstall button at the bottom.
The best feature of this uninstaller is the way that it removes not only the app itself, but any associated files it uses too. Here you can see that 40.8MB is removed, which is the app, and it cleans 18.9MB of residual files too. Using Android’s normal uninstaller might leave those residual files behind.
This has made the phone two processes and four services lighter. It won’t make a huge difference, but several small changes add up to a big change. Look at the graphic at the top of the page – after over 8 hours the battery is still at 73%.
Go back to the start and see if there are more apps you can remove.
- Written by Roland Waddilove
- Created: 13 July 2014