back to article Qualcomm app 'extends battery life' by analysing fandroids' privates

Qualcomm wants the world to know that lousy battery life isn't its fault, and will prove it with a free Android app for optimising consumption by tracking users' behaviour. BatteryGuru is supposed to help Android handsets with Snapdragon processors make better use of Qualcomm's flagship chip. In fact, it just blocks the constant …

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FAIL

Eugh - what a horrible band-aid solution

If you really wanted to switch off your WiFi when asleep you can use NFC tags on your nightstand, or (and I'm assuming this exists) there's the Android equivalent of the old Nokia Situations app (which is still available for Symbian and MeeGo, but now spun off as Pastili Labs).

Better still of course, would be for OS level improvements that meant battery draining resources are not being tickled 24x7.

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Hope Blackberry give Qualcomm a holler

Having this baked into the BB10 OS rather than an app would be quite nice, and Z10/Q10 use Snapdragon so there is a business relationship there.

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Bit useless

Just looking at my battery usage, 46% is the screen, and 20% is the mobile radio; wifi is on permanently, but is only 8%. Since the screen is only on when I am looking at something, and I need the mobile radio on to, you know, receive calls, there are no savings there, and pretty limited savings available from the wifi. Since those three things constitute almost 3/4 of the power usage, and a lot of the rest is also needed at least some of the time, the possible savings to be had would seem to be pretty limited. Looks like a gimmick to me.

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Rob

Re: Bit useless

Consider yourself a savvy user. I have a profile app that sets volume and connectivity depending on what I'm doing, e.g. my home profile lowers the volume and switched WiFi on, Car raises the volume, mutes notifications and switches Bluetooth on.

Most non-savvy users (like my wife) tend to leave WiFi switched on all the time, regardless of whether their husband/partner has told them that they'd get more time out of it between charges if they used it smartly.

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Don't think it will help me

I turn off WiFi, Data Services and GPS when I'm not using them. Or, to put it another way, I only turn them on when I need them. Doesn't everyone?

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Facepalm

Re: Don't think it will help me

I've found on the Android phone I'm currently using, the difference between disabling mobile data overnight and having it running all night is about 45% of the battery, so I turn it off before sleeping... If someone really needs me overnight they can use that most old fashioned of communication approaches - make a call.

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Re: Don't think it will help me

Me too, when I remember, and that's the rub - I'm forgetful and only remember when I pick up my S3 and it's just a collective of metal and plastic with no function.

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Tasker or similar

Tasker (and no doubt other apps - I have no affiliation but have bought Tasker) will allow for quite sophisticated phone scripting - it's certainly very easy to set the phone to switch off data and sync for a specified period - or to have wifi switch on when e.g. your home network is detected.

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Re: Don't think it will help me

GPS only comes on when needed in Android, WiFi already enters a low-power sleep mode when not in use and I really don't understand why people turn off data on a smartphone. A smartphone with no connectivity is an expensive dumbphone with lousy battery life.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't think it will help me

"I really don't understand why people turn off data on a smartphone. A smartphone with no connectivity is an expensive dumbphone with lousy battery life."

I'm one of those people. Allow me to explain, I only need data when *I* need data. I don't receive work e-mails on my phone, I check my personal e-mail when it's convenient for me, same with Facebook, I'll look when I'm bored, I don't need my phone vibrating every 3 minutes to tell me someone's invited me to a gig in 3 hours on the other side of the planet.

I turn my data on when I need it and off when the phone goes in my pocket. This means my battery lasts 5 days instead of 1 or 2 at a push.

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Silver badge

Re: Don't think it will help me

I actually leave data service and GPS on all the time because my security system depends on them. Basically if my phone is stolen I can pinpoint my phone's location as long as GPS and data are on , thus enabling the nice men in blue uniforms to go pick it up for me.

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Re: Don't think it will help me

Your security system can't turn on the GPS itself when it's needed?

Prey can do that (as can most recovery/tracking apps that I've looked at).

Re: the original article

I use Llama, which works out a location based on cell towers and can be configured to do pretty much anything you like depending on location, battery, time, etc...

So at night, at home, my phone disables everything, at home it enables wifi, at work it enables wifi and goes to quiet, in unknown locations it disables wifi and enables mobile data, etc...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't think it will help me

"Your security system can't turn on the GPS itself when it's needed?"

Turning on GPS means 2 things in the Android world. There is the GPS setting which determines if GPS can be used as a whole and there are GPS updates which determine whether the GPS receiver is actually active and updating it's location.

While there are various hacks about, the first option is only configurable in Settings (or the power widget) and cannot be changed by installed applications that aren't system applications. Only when that is on can applications enable/disable the GPS updates.

As I said, there are various hacks about, so it's possible they're using one to change the OS setting, for e.g. there's a bug in the power widget that can be used to toggle GPS, prior to 4.0 there was an intent you could send out, but these are all undocumented methods that may stop functioning with any given OS update.

So just a heads up, if your app is turning GPS on/off itself, make sure it still works after updating your OS.

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That's when it's charging.

I put my phone on the charger when I get home and it more or less stays there until morning so the overnight thing isn't much use. And as for using GPS to turn off WiFi, I generally have wifi turned off as it seems to use more power than wifi... Nice idea but I wouldn't expect it to save me much power.

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Anonymous Coward

Facebook app tears the arse out of your battery, absolutely awful for it.

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Anonymous Coward

Impressive.

Extended my Nexus4 to two days of moderate use between charges (up from about 30 odd hours).

I live in an area with good 3G signal strength, so the phone radio is on low power anyway, helping battery life.

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I found that disabling auto-sync on all the accounts saved far more battery life than anything else. I don't need notifying about emails arriving during the day, I'll read them either at lunch time or after work, when I have time to do something about any that are useful, and delete the junk.

As for Facebook killing my battery, I found that uninstalling it completely and using the web page solved that problem... along with all the background spying it does, triggering GPS and reading contacts even when the settings say not to.

The biggest hit on my phone battery life is the poor phone signal itself, with me losing all connection for long periods of the day... not sure if it depends on which way the wind blows...

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Works a treat

Have had this installed on my HTC one since it was in beta, showed a massive improvement.

Full day + of using the phone, thought impossible before

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GPS on in order to turn Wifi off

That's not a good compromise, GPS sucks far more power than wifi does, so having to enable GPS to intelligently turn off the wifi will result in reduced battery life, not increased.

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Unhappy

Am I going mad? I thought my S3 was a Snapdragon, but it's saying it's not compatible

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