Tools for Android battery life and monitoring app have gotten better over the last few years, but stock options are sometimes not enough. But there are ways to scale up your battery usage, the rest of the time, and even hunt for apps to steal your expensive juice.
Before we get into the details, though, let’s talk about one thing to do with your battery. We’ve all seen those terrible “optimization” applications that promise to improve battery life, but you have to stay away from that. Basically, they operate under the old school thinking of chewing through your battery of background apps, so they kill them. This is actually a terrible idea because these applications are the ones who kill the task effectively. No one can use a task killer on Android. Always.
Now, that way, let’s dig in to get a better idea of what’s really going on with your battery, and what you can do about it if something goes wrong.
Check your active CPU frequencies on the system monitor
Computer Monitor (Free, Pro), is one of my favorite apps. While it can do a lot of different things, we are focusing on one today: keep an eye on CPU frequencies. This processor looks at the most used frequency states — 1.2 GHz, 384MHz, etc. — and then tracks how long the CPU spends in each state.
For example, if your phone has been lying on your desk for four hours, the top CPU state should be “Deep Sleep”, which means that everything is processed — there are no processor-powered apps alive and no battery filter. If you’ve been playing a game for the last hour, the top state might be something like 1.5GHz, because it’s more on-line with the processor.
The point is this: Knowing what the processor’s background is and what’s going on with your battery can give you a lot of insight. If you are not using your phone, the top process is not “deep sleep” and then something happens in the background and you have to figure out what it is.
The good news is, the computer monitor can help with that, (although there are better apps to work with, we’ll discuss them later). To the right of the CPU Frequencies tab is a swipe “Best Apps” view, which shows you which applications are most active in real-time. The top application has always been the System Monitor because it is in the foreground application. It’s the stuff bouncing around it that needs to take a closer look.
In order to keep track of what is happening at CPU frequencies, I highly recommend using the widget. I occasionally drop one of my home screen pages. You know what’s going on, you know. The thing that is worth noting here is that it is not always active and up to date, so sometimes you have to tweak the widget and force the loop through multiple states and force it to be refreshed.
Expect the rest of the time and find trouble with AccuBattery
When Android plays up how much battery you have remaining, this number will vary greatly depending on what you are doing. A slightly more scientific approach comes into play, and third-party utility AccuBattery does the trick more than most.
AccuBattery provides quick, detailed information about your battery, including current time (rating, of course), discharge rate, and how much battery consumption (mAh) the screen will turn on and off. Includes the percentage of battery usage for the latter hour. As I said, this is a very small package with a lot of information.
But the usefulness of AccuBattery does not end with a simple widget. When you break down where your battery life is going to be, its “discharging” side is full of great information. This page is divided into various subsections, where you can find specific information such as:
Battery Usage: Screen used in time and mAh; Screen time and mAh used; Every application in MAh; The amount of sleep time, including the percentage of sleep time
Discharge speed: a screen of the discharge rate (hour); Discharge rate (hours); Integrated use; Current battery consumption in mAh
Background Battery Utility: Find out which apps use the most battery when running in the foreground
Average Battery Usage: Screen, screen and integrated usage details over time
Full Battery Ratings: Your battery lasts full time for the screen, screen, and integrated use
This is an easy way to understand where your battery life is going, and the various measurements (percentage and mAh) make it easy to read and understand. On top of that, you can see most of the apps use the battery, although you need to use a bit of deductive reasoning here. If the application you use most is above, it will probably be correct. But if the above application is something you rarely use, it’s an issue that you need to investigate further.
Besides discharging details, you can find more information on your battery health. Here’s a full guide to how to use the AccuBattery to determine your device’s battery health, but here’s the input. If you no longer use your phone with AccuBattery installed, it is very accurate. It takes time to determine health statistics, so after you install the app, you can simply use your phone. AccuBattery operates in the background, calculating the current charge and discharge rates, as well as battery wear, capacity, and overall health.
When it comes down to it, the AccuBattery is my personal favorite battery app. There are others in the Play Store (I’ve tried a lot), but I find AccuBattery to be the best information on easy-to-use packages. The app’s meat and potatoes can be found in its free package, but you can make it out through the $ 3.99 Pro app.