This is a guest post by Kat Cole
A diverse range of people now own one of the various smart, internet-enabled 3G mobile phones available on the market. Although it would hardly be catastrophic should your kid neighbour’s battery conk out right when he is in the middle of sending a text message to his college sweetheart, a reliable battery reserve is often essential to a fully fledged businessman or woman. Unfortunately, 3G mobile phone batteries are completely paradox to the pink Duracell bunnies which keep going…and going…and going…
Luckily for those who – like me – own a HTC Android model, I can offer you some practical advice for getting the most juice out of your battery.
When I first got my HTC Desire last year, I was simply using the “Power Control” toolbar – which is available as a free download from the Android Marketplace – after it was recommended to me by a friend. The toolbar allows one to turn off/on five features of an Android phone; Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPRS, instant refresh and the screen brightness.
As far as energy saving goes, this app is quite useful but it is dependent on your memory. Often when I was using this toolbar alone, I would open up the phone’s browser only to then realise (when my chosen page refused to load) that I had forgotten to switch the phone’s Wi-Fi feature back on again.
This is where an application called Juice Defender comes in.
The app itself has a nice, clear interface which is not crammed with the type of technical jargon which would prevent tech novices from using it and most users won’t have to delve past the standardised options into the advanced ones. The HTC sense interface of your phone is extremely intuitive and as such, you can get your phone to turn off all of its connectivity options when it is in your pocket or the bottom of your handbag – as soon as you re-interact with the phone, you will be instantly reconnected.
This means that emails, tweets and Facebook communications (etc) will only be downloaded when you are actually looking at the phone, with it essentially in sleep mode the rest of the time. The application also comes with a home screen widget to inform you of how much battery you are saving by using Juice Defender. A 1.58 rating, for example, will see your phone lasting almost 60% longer.
The app is a free download though it is worth mentioning that the paid version – Ultimate Juice allows users to access power saving options based on GPRS location. Being located at work could have automatic power save settings which differ from to those you prefer to have installed when at home. You should – at the very least – download the free version to extend your battery lie to its full potential.
Other ways you can save battery power on your HTC phone:
Use Advance Task Killer: When you are clicking through various apps (either because you need to or you’re just showing off the capabilities of your gadget to your friend) it can be quite easy to have plenty of them running in the background without your knowledge.
Connect to the internet with 3G instead of Wi-Fi: This is not a solution that is ideal for many people due to data plan limitations but if at all possible then your should connect to online services using 3G instead of a Wi-Fi hotspot. Android users have noticed that Wi-Fi uses far more battery power over time compared to 3G and it is thought that this is because the former is a constant connection and 3G transmits and receives data as required.
Play music from your phone – don’t stream it! I love using my phone to listen to music on my long, daily commutes but playing that which is stored on my phone uses considerable less battery power than streaming music does. This is also a great way of restricting your monthly data usage – each song streamed through the Last.FM app can see you using up to 6MB and this can add up really quickly!
Stop fiddling with your phone! Obvious advice really – needlessly playing with your phone will see you unnecessarily draining the battery!