The truth behind Android Battery Saving Apps

Sometime ago, I did a tear down on Android Antivirus apps and some suggested I do the same for Android battery saving apps. The concept of battery saving on Android phones is very complex and variegated because there are plenty of factors to be considered. It can be compared to trying to catch a butterfly in an open field. You find it near impossible to grasp.

The first factor to consider, is YOU, the user. You cannot permanently set your phone’s brightness to the maximum level and expect it to last till eternity. Your use of the phone greatly affects how efficient your installed battery saver app will work, or how long your battery will last.

The specs of your phone also matters. The size/power rating of the battery, the size of RAM, and the number of cores. You can have a phone with 1500 mAh or 4200 mAh battery, with the former, you can squeeze out maybe an extra 1 or 2 hours, but with the later, you can gain an extra 4 or maybe 5 hours. The quad-cores will more merciful to your battery than the octa-cores.

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All About Android Battery Saving Apps

Battery saver apps, just like Android Antivirus apps are steady background processes and initiates wake-locks (these are processes that wake up your phone every now and then, like notifications). This is a battery hogging feature, and that’s why some people complain they didn’t notice any changes in battery life prior to installing a battery saving app.

The ugly truth is that, on Android, if you really want to experience true battery saving efficiency, then you MUST be rooted. When you’re not rooted, you have no control over how your apps run on the background, especially for system (pre-installed bloatware) apps and some stubborn apps like Whatsapp. For example. If you’re not rooted, you can’t totally shut down Whatsapp, even when you apply task killer apps, it raises its ugly head back up again.

Almost all battery saving apps have one thing in common, an ON/OFF switch for Data, WiFi, Sync, GPS, Bluetooth, controls for brightness, and control for Screen time out. These are the basic parameters that need to be controlled by you, the user to achieve better battery life.

Some battery saver apps include the (background) task killing feature. This feature works, but it’s inefficient for non-rooted phones. When you’re rooted, the task killing feature is on steroids . Shut down an app, say Whatsapp, it stays down. This would really help you keep in check, control the number of running background apps, and save you lots of juice.

Some other more advanced battery saving apps incorporate CPU frequency managers or a feature of lowering CPU frequency. For example, One Power Guard. These CPU frequency managers work with what is called governors.

What are CPU governors?

CPU governors are preset rules that decides how your CPU behaves. We have different kinds and they include: Power Save, Hot plug, On Demand, etc all these, decides how your CPU behaves at different times and consequently affects your battery life. For example, the Power Save governor sets your CPU at the lowest frequency.

This saves lots of juice for you, but the let down is  your phone slows down in performance and lags a bit. So its best to study all the governors, how they work, and how you can strike a balance with power saving, and smooth usage of your device.

Some phone manufacturers claim to have Power Saving features pre-installed on their phones. Like the Samsung Galaxy S5 was advertised to last up to 24 hours on 10% charge if set on Ultra Power Saving Mode. Thing is, I haven’t used any of them, so I can’t say if it works or not.

Greenify to the Rescue!!

Save yourself all the stress of studying governors and trying them out, you can simply use this app called Greenify to save perceivable battery life. First, for Greenify to work efficiently, you must be rooted. Then head to play store and download the app. You can also go ahead to purchase the Donation package for optimum results. Greenify is the only app I’ve used with which I noticed improvement in battery life and general smoothness.

What makes Greenify so efficient? In layman terms, Greenify hibernates any app you open and leave. Here, the app is freezed till when next you launch it. This shuts off its background process and makes your phone run smoothly. Whatsapp is hibernated till when next you open it, before messages start rolling in.

Finally, we can come to some form of conclusion:

  • Battery Saving apps are not effective when you’re not rooted, rather you’ll notice slight difference when you’re rooted.
  • Greenify works better than any battery saver for Android mobile especially when you’re rooted.
  • It finally boils down to your usage. How you set screen brightness, screen timeout, Bluetooth, WiFi, Auto Sync etc.

Your opinions are highly welcomed.

Chibueze is an award-winning gadget reviewer and geek. He loves research, while living and breathing tech. You can reach him on Facebook, Twitter ,OR LinkedIn

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