Monitor What's Using Your Battery
By choosing Settings > About Phone > Battery > Battery Use you can monitor what exactly is eating up your battery life. If your Display percentage is higher than your Android System percentage, you should definitely consider turning down your screen brightness. You can do this by using the Power Control widget mentioned last week or by selecting Settings > Display > Brightness. Disable Automatic brightness and slide the Brightness level as far down as you can while still being able to comfortably see what's on your screen. Disabling the Android Live Wallpaper (by simply selecting a static wallpaper) will also save some battery. Personally I enjoy watching grass sway in the breeze (and it only uses up 2% of my battery) so I leave it be.
Forget 4G (Sometimes)
The penny pincher in me never wants to disable my 4G since I am being forced to pay extra for it every month. But leaving it running gobbles up the battery. Often there is not even a 4G network available and your phone will drain the battery just searching for one. For this reason, I only use 4G when I want to optimize web surfing or download speeds. To turn off 4G, choose Settings > Wireless & networks and disable 4G. If you are running a 3G phone, abide by this same principle and use 2G instead (unless you really need the performance boost).
Many applications leave cached data on your phone that you don't necessarily need. One such app is the Task Killer mentioned last week. To clear these caches, choose Settings > Applications > Manage applications. Select each application listed and if there is a pushable Clear cache button in the Cache area, go ahead and push it to clear the cache.
More Battery Saving Tips
- Going to full versions of websites on your phone will use up more battery. Most sites have a mobile version that can be accessed (typically by adding "m." or "mobile." to the front of the site name) that will use less of your battery to load.
- When your phone is hot, it eats up more battery. Keep your phone out of direct sunlight and avoid using the phone if it is warm to the touch. Or, perhaps, you could show your phone you really care and put some clothes on it. Or maybe not.
- I have not tried them, but I've heard good things about downloading the apps APNdroid and Locale to conserve battery life. APNdroid will turn off certain networks when you aren't using them. Locale allows you to specify how your phone's setting should be adjusted for different circumstances (like when you're sleeping or at work vs everyday use).
Do you have any other battery saving tips? Share them in the comments below.
Note: Image above courtesy www.sprint.com.
Click here for Part I of Tips to Make Your Droid Battery Last Longer.
About the author: AJ George is IconLogic's lead Technical Writer and author of both "PowerPoint 2007: The Essentials" and "PowerPoint 2008 for the Macintosh: The Essentials."