Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Improve Android Battery Life by Changing The Way You Charge

With the introduction of smart phones we quickly saw battery life drop to only a day long if you're lucky.  Having your phone die halfway through the day has quickly become the norm.  Good news is there's something you can do about it. 

After doing some research in to the way Android phones charge I found an interesting quirk.  It's has to do with the way the phone tracks the charge level.  I've had my phone shut off several times claiming to be dead only to find out when I plug it in it claims to have a 50% or more charge.  Research revealed that the phone tracks the battery level in two ways.

1. Part of the Android OS.
2. The phones internal systems.

It appears that the Android OS(At least Android 2.2 in my case) fails on a regular basis to correctly calculate the charge level, in many cases by up to 50%-60% less than it actually is.  The good news is there's a charging method that will allow you to get that extra charge.

1. Power down the phone and charge it to 100%(tip: a quick press on the power button while off with show this screen.

2. Don't make the mistake of unplugging at this point.  Pulling the plug while the phone is still off results in the shortest battery life possible.

3. Power on the phone and wait.  Letting it sit for about 15-30min allows everything to boot and appears to allow the phone to sync the battery level.  I like to power it up when I first wake up and let it sit while I have breakfast, shower, etc.

4. Once the phone is all powered up and ready to go it's safe to unplug and enjoy the charge!