Home > Articles > Home & Office Computing > Entertainment/Gaming/Gadgets

This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Getting the Best Battery Performance

To get the most use out of your Android phone or tablet, you will need to manage its battery life. You can do this using either the tools that come with the device or with extra tools that you add. You can identify features and apps that consume large amounts of power so that you can either disable them or simply not use them. You can reduce the amount of power your device needs by choosing settings to spare power. And you can give yourself the means to recharge your device at every opportunity.

Identifying Power Hogs

To identify power-hogging features and apps, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Quick Settings panel. For example, pull down from the top of the screen with two fingers.
  2. Tap the Power icon to display the Battery screen (see Figure 1.13). This screen shows currently running features and apps listed in descending order by power consumption—in other words, greediest first.

    FIGURE 1.13

    FIGURE 1.13 Look at the Battery screen to see which features and apps have been consuming the most battery power.

  3. Tap the Battery graph at the top to display the History Details screen (see Figure 1.14). This screen shows a larger battery chart, enabling you to see the relative rates of power consumption more clearly, and bar charts showing when each feature was consuming power.

    FIGURE 1.14

    FIGURE 1.14 The History Details screen shows you exactly when each feature was consuming power.

  4. Tap the Back button to return to the Battery screen.
  5. Tap the button for a feature or app whose usage details you want to view. The Use Details screen appears. Figure 1.15 shows the Use Details screen for Google Play services.

    FIGURE 1.15

    FIGURE 1.15 The Use Details screen gives you specifics on what an app has been doing.

Eking Out Battery Life

To get the most runtime out of your device, you need to reduce power consumption to an acceptable minimum. What that means depends on what the device is and what you’re doing with it.

Here are 10 ways you can easily reduce the amount of power your device consumes:

  • Turn down the display brightness. Open the Quick Settings panel, tap the Brightness icon, and then drag the slider as far to the left as you can bear. The display gets through a huge amount of power, especially on a tablet with a large screen.
  • Set a short sleep interval. Open the Settings app, tap the Display button, and then tap the Sleep button to display the Sleep dialog box. Tap a short time, such as 15 Seconds or 1 Minute, to save power by turning off the screen quickly when you’re not using it.
  • Use Airplane mode when you can go offline. Open the Quick Settings panel and tap the Airplane Mode icon to quickly shut down all communications services. Repeat the move when you need to go back online.

  • Turn off communications services you don’t need. Open the Quick Settings panel and tap the icon for any communications service that is currently turned on but which you can afford to turn off: Cellular (on a phone or cellular-capable tablet), Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth. If your device has Near Field Communication (NFC), turn that off as well.
  • Set the Location mode to Battery Saving. Open the Settings app and tap the Location button in the Personal section to display the Location screen. Tap the Mode button at the top to display the Location Mode screen, and then tap the Battery Saving button. Alternatively, set the Location switch on the Location screen to the Off position to turn off location tracking entirely.
  • Check for email less frequently. Unless it’s vital that you receive all your messages as soon as possible, reduce the frequency of checking for new messages to a minimum. See Chapter 6, “Taking Gmail to the Pro Level,” for instructions on configuring the Gmail app and Chapter 7, “Becoming Expert with the Email App,” for instructions on configuring the Email app.
  • Store copies of cloud files on your device. Services such as Dropbox are great because they enable you to access your documents from anywhere you have an Internet connection. But to save power, you can store copies of files on your phone or tablet so that you don’t need to download them. For example, in Dropbox, you can mark a file as a favorite to make Android store a copy of it locally.
  • Avoid playing videos and music. Playing videos eats through battery power quickly because it uses the screen, but even playing back music takes a fair amount of power. If you find your Android device runs out of power regularly, consider getting a minute music player (such as an iPod shuffle or one of its competitors) so that you can listen to your essential music without running down the battery on your phone or tablet.
  • Turn off live wallpapers. Live wallpapers look pretty, but they make your device’s processor work harder and consume power. To turn off live wallpapers, open the Settings app, tap the Display button to go to the Display screen, and then tap the Wallpaper button to display the Choose Wallpaper From screen. You can then tap the Wallpapers button to set a static wallpaper, tap the Gallery button to choose a picture from the Gallery app, or touch the Photos button to use a photo from the Camera app.
  • Streamline your Home screens. Widgets that require updating, such as those for email or social networking, consume power both through updating and network connections, so run as few widgets as possible if you’re trying to squeeze more time out of your battery.

Recharging Secrets

As you saw in the previous sections, you can take various actions to reduce your device’s power consumption. But given that most of these actions make your device not only less useful but also harder to use, you may prefer to take a damn-the-torpedoes approach and confront the power problem head on by running your device at full bore but also recharging it whenever you get the chance.

Here are suggestions for recharging your Android device:

  • Carry a spare battery. If your phone or tablet enables you to easily change batteries, carry one or two spare—and fully charged—batteries with you wherever you go and swap them out as needed. Being able to easily change batteries is one of the great advantages of some Samsung phones, such as the Galaxy Note 4 and the Galaxy S 5.
  • Get a battery case. If your phone or tablet is a high-profile device, you may be able to find a case with a built-in battery. If you consistently need more battery power than the built-in battery delivers, a battery case can be a great solution.
  • Get an external battery or portable charger. No matter which device you have, you can choose from a wide range of external batteries, also called portable chargers, to which you connect your device via USB to recharge it. If you live in a sunny climate, consider getting one with a solar charger.
  • Upgrade the battery. If your device’s battery is user-replaceable, you may be able to replace it with a higher-capacity version. First, if your device is still under warranty, check whether replacing the battery will invalidate the warranty; if so, decide whether this is a sacrifice you’re prepared to make in your pursuit of power or whether to wait until the warranty expired. Next, look up the specs for your device’s battery, and then search on the Internet for a higher-capacity version.

  • Get a car charger. If you drive a car, get a car charger so that you can plug your device in to charge for the duration of each journey. That should more than offset the power taken by using your device for navigation in the car.
  • Get a spare charger. Carrying a charger to and from work is a headache, especially when you leave the charger at your workplace for the weekend. Get a spare charger to keep at work.
  • Carry a USB cable. When no external battery or dedicated charger is available, plug your device into the USB port on whichever computer is handy. The battery may charge more slowly, but you’ll pick up at least some power.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020