Even if you’re firmly on Team Android and sneer at the superficial slickness of Apple’s iOS operating system, there is one thing you have to give it: it makes managing battery life on paired Bluetooth devices much easier.
A battery life manager is coming to Android, however, in Android 8.1, but as we all know, that may take literally forever to get to your particular device. If you want to monitor your Bluetooth battery life in the meantime, here’s the best way to do it.
The simplest, way of getting your Bluetooth device battery to display on your Android phone is a nifty little app called BatON. Note that this will only work for devices that act as handsets. (This means it includes things like Bluetooth earpieces with mics.)
Using it is simple. Download and install BatON from the Play Store, then open it. The app will request your location permissions, which is no cause for alarm, as on Android 6 onwards, the Bluetooth API is for some reason integrated into the Location API. Accept the permissions for the app to work.
Once open, BatON should automatically detect all your paired Bluetooth devices, displaying them in a list.
Switch one of these devices on, and a little battery icon should appear next to the device, as well as in your Notifications pull-down menu.
There’s not much else you need to do from here. If the app malfunctions for whatever reason, you can reset the Bluetooth on your device by tapping the menu icon in the app and tapping “Reset Bluetooth.”
If you go to “Settings -> Auto measure” in BatON, you can change the regularity or frequency with which the app checks the battery life of your Bluetooth device.
By default, it’s set to 3 hours, which is a little too rare by our reckoning. (Some devices can go from half-full to completely drained in that time.) We switched this to thirty minutes, though this will depend on what kind of devices you’re using and how closely you want to monitor their power.
Another good option in the “Settings” menu of BatON is the one for “Close Notifications on Disconnect,” which ensures that you don’t have the Bluetooth battery icon sticking around in your notifications pull-down when your Bluetooth device is off.
Most of the major manufacturers for Bluetooth devices have dedicated apps that allow you to control battery levels, among myriad other functions. Plantronics has one, as does Turtle Beach and Jabra. Check to see if your Bluetooth manufacturer has a similar app, and give that a go if you like.
The above apps worked perfectly well for us, but as with many things, root users are at an advantage here. A lot of custom ROMs have a Bluetooth battery monitor onboard, including the excellent LineageOS, which is now on Android 8.1 and features the integrated Bluetooth battery monitor. So if you’re rooted and on the right ROM, you’re in a good position.