Friday, November 9, 2012

Some new Android Apps sucked my battery dry!

So my Android went shopping and I installed a few new Android Apps recently and noticeably got a lot less battery life from my phone. As a bench mark, my phone gives me roughly 30 hours from full charge to fully discharged. I would suggest I was a moderate user, with only a couple of calls per day, numerous texts/WhatsApps and Google Maps whenever I leave my front door, at least it seems and is a habit I want to shake!

An article from Life Hacker caught my attention and drew me towards Call Flakes. It looked like it could be pretty useful as it gives you an immediate reminder after every call or text with options to Email, Text, Add Calendar entry etc. So if the result of the call was some sort of follow-up, Call Flakes will prompt you to action it straight away.
This is nice and I quite liked it after a phone conversation, but the texts killed me. Call Flakes allows you to read the text, but then still leaves the actual text unread. A little mark unread would be nice. The real killer was that when I'm out, I have my phone secured with the system lock. When you receive a text, Call Flakes breaks through this, turns your screen on and I couldn't see how to resole this. Un-installed! If they sort these, they should also add options for WhatsApp and other popular messaging apps. However, I didn't think this was what drained my battery.

Okay, so I'm a Geek and things like Sound Meter just interest me. I was able to set the volume adjustment on my TV accurately  You know! Each channel is at a slightly different volume and usually in the settings there is a manual adjustment to reduce the volume of the channel or raise it slightly away from the default. Otherwise I've not found much use for it, although I intend to go out this weekend and use it to determine if I'm going to enter certain bars or not. A pet hate is going into a bar/pub/restaurant/whatever and not being able to talk/hear people you're with. This app has stayed and I don't think is what drained my battery!

Viber, well known and established alternative to Skype that suggests that it's better than Skype! I'm sure Skype suggests that it's better than Viber in some ways too. I'm not really interested in small differences, I'm interested in being contactable. I have both on my phone, but I leave Skype off as it definitely drains the battery. Viber specifically says that you can leave it on and it won't drain your battery. Bold statement I feel. I've kept the app and am monitoring it and actually am not sure that it does have much or an effect on the battery at all. I've been checking the battery usage (Menu --> Settings --> Applications --> Battery Use) and it's not been listed once. I'm wondering if this is accurate, but for now, it stays!

Now I installed Auto Speaker because is was reviewed in Life Hacker and seemed like it would be really useful as I'm always fumbling around with the speaker button when on hold and a number of times it doesn't work immediately, so I end up pressing it twice and getting frustrated, so this could have been a solution. Sadly not for me, or maybe not for my HTC Desire. Firstly, it doesn't always work. Luckily the speaker is on the back of the phone, so when I picked the phone up after being on hold and put it to my ear, I could tell the sound was still coming out the speaker. I couldn't really fumble around to sort it out during the call, so just left it. A couple of times it's also gone straight onto Speaker from dialling, which Auto Speaker suggests it  won't do for obvious reasons. Lastly, while monitoring my battery use, Auto Speaker is right up there at the top! It uses more power than the voice calls themselves. In fact, only WiFi and Screen On use more power than Auto Speaker, so watch out guys and girls, this is a baddie! Or at least not optimised for the HTC Desire! To be honest, I should have known, I mean, just look that that tacky icon!

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