Don't Miss Out. Customize Your Andriod Mobile

The whole point of owning an Android phone is to customize it to your personal liking (i.e., enhance your user experience). This site explains the things you should do to get the most out of your Android Smart Phone. If you are not interested in modifying what came out of the box, then you should consider an Apple or Windows 7+ phone (obviously other excellent choices).

To get started, please read my post Getting the Most Out of Your Android Phone.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Battery Drain (Ouch!)

My Battery Drains Too Fast!
One of the biggest gripes Android users have is their phone battery does not last for long. This is particularly painful to anyone upgrading from a Java-based phone or similar phone with smart-like-features (e.g., email or web browsing etc). This is because these older phones were not really intended to function like a smart phone and generally had superb battery life.

Smart phones are meant to be always connected to the internet, GPS satellites, Bluetooth devices, social networking sites, and mobile networks. Also they are meant to provide high-quality entertainment (photos, music, videos, streaming TV, and games, etc.). All of this requires lots of power just like your PC at home or in the office.

So if smart phones are meant to act like a mini mobile computer, you would expect smart phone creators to ensure excellent battery life; otherwise what the heck is the point, right?

What You Can Really Expect
Well, its like the smart phone creators (including Apple, though some debate this) ignored the whole point is to use the cool phone features as much as you want while on the go.

The hard to swallow fact is with moderate usage of cool features most Android users should expect their battery to last for about a day to a day and half----and this only after taking the steps below to improve their phone's battery drain.

Best Methods To Improve Battery Life (as of Oct 2011)
Here are four proven ways to get more battery life:
  1. Limit Usage. Try to limit how much you use the phone's cool features (again this makes no sense to me because its the cool features that made you buy the phone in the first place).
  2. Automatic Usage Management. Install applications that automatically manage when the cool features turn on/off. The idea is to easily control when they are on (draining the battery when you need an app) and off (saving the battery when you don't need the app).
  3. Auto-Kill Apps. Install applications that are designed to repeatedly kill or turn-off apps that keep turning themselves on. So its a kind of loop (turn on...autokill...turn on...autokill again).
  4. Stop Apps from Auto-starting (Turning Themselves On). Install a special app that prevents other apps from being able to auto-start (so here you are preventing the loop noted in #3 fromever happening).
  5. Remove Bloatware. Get rid of the junk applications which come per-installed in your phone. You don't need most of them and even if you remove them, can always install them for free later.
Note:  In addition to reducing the display brightness, the most effective way to reduce battery drain is to remove unwanted apps and/or prevent apps from auto-starting. But in order to do this you must "root" your phone and pay for a special application called Autorun Manager (the cost us about $5.00. Trust me its well worth the money).

1) Limiting How Much You Use Cool Features
There are a number of Android phone settings that can increase the battery or juice drain on your phone. One example is the screen or display brightness. To learn how to change these settings manually on your phone, click Manual Settings.

2) Automatically Turn Cool Features On/Off
Cool features usually mean being connected to the Internet (things like GPS, email, Wi-Fi, social networks, etc.). If you simply must always be connected to the Internet world and do not want the hassle of frequestly playing with manual settings, then you can install apps designed to manage this for you. One of the best free apps is Juice Defender.

3) Kill Unwanted Apps
 Perhaps the worst thing about any smart phone apps is the fact that turning one off or closing it, does not in fact actually do so. I realize this make little sense, but most apps leave traces behind and/or simply stay partially on---all the time. Forcing them to turn off is called 'killing them'. One of the best apps to kill other apps is Advanced Task Killer. With this free app, you can tell your phone to keep killing any app over and over again. So no matter how many times the app turns on, it gets killed each time.

 4) Prevent Apps From Autostarting
Apps are designed to keep turning on and the setting to prevent them from auto-starting is not accessible unless you root your phone an install Autorun Manager.

5) Remove Bloatware
OK so when you buy a smart phone it generally comes with pre-installed apps (e.g., voice dialer, Car Home, Pico TTs, Genie Widget, etc). This is often called 'bloatware' because it is taking up unnecessary space and memory. This is similar to when you buy a PC and there is a ton of extras or trial software (e.g., antivirus programs, etc) that you don't want and end up uninstalling.

However, unlike PCs, it is very difficult to remove them or uninstall them in Android. And so they keep switching on automatically and unnecessary drain your battery. So basically you want to uninstall these unnecessary apps. There are two ways to do this:

Root Your Phone
 If you obtain admin rights to your Android phone, you can then manually delete the apps you do not need within the System/Apps folder. Click here to learn more about rooting your phone.

Install a Custom ROM
The best solution is installing a custom version of Android (a custom ROM). The benefits are huge. Its a game changer that will change your smart phone world and make you look cool too. The one I prefer is Cyanogen Mod.

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