You already know that your Android phone is the one that “does.” But while you’re checking e-mail, organizing your calendar, surfing the web, and playing “Angry Birds” on your phone, you may find yourself wishing that the battery lasted a bit longer. You undoubtedly already know that dimming your screen and keeping GPS turned off until you need it will preserve battery juice, but we’ve uncovered five other ways to maximize your Android phone’s battery life.
1. Nix roaming mode.
Not everyone lives in an area with perfect coverage. And if you frequently travel in and out of strong signals during the day, your phone will sometimes slip to Roaming mode, which uses more power. If you can live with slightly delayed e-mail and social networking updates, disable this feature under Settings > Wireless Networks > Mobile Networks. Then uncheck Data Roaming.
2. Disable or change auto-sync frequency.
Apps that pull updates from the web—e-mail, social networking, weather, news—work in the background and can easily drain the battery before the day is out. Users can turn off Auto-Sync completely and opt to grab updates manually: Settings > Accounts & Sync. Uncheck Background Data to disable Google’s auto data, and uncheck Auto-Sync for all other apps.
If this is too extreme, try lowering the sync frequency of individual accounts and apps. Instead of updating Twitter or the weather every hour, set your phone to check every three or five hours, for example. Update sync frequencies in Accounts & Sync or in the settings of individual apps.
3. Turn off haptic feedback.
It’s useful and sometimes fun, but haptic feedback can zap your Android’s endurance, especially if you spend a lot of time typing. If you don’t need the feature, turn off vibration for the on-screen keyboard only or for everything, including soft keys where applicable.
These settings are buried in different menus depending on your Android version and the phone manufacturer. To turn off keyboard vibration, look under Language & Keyboard in the main Settings menu, and uncheck Vibrate on Keypress, Vibrate When Typing, or similar options. Turn off haptics altogether under Settings > Sound (or Sound & Display) > Haptic Feedback.
4. Banish battery-draining widgets.
Widgets provide quick access to player controls, information about your phone’s battery status, the weather, or the time. But some widgets hog resources more than others, particularly if they rely on information from the web. Use your phone’s battery monitor app to keep track of what’s using the most power, and eliminate widgets you can do without. To trash a widget, hold it down until the bin appears at the bottom of the screen, then drag and drop.
5. Don’t let Wi-Fi sleep.
To keep battery-draining 3G from kicking in when your phone is idle, change the Wi-Fi Sleep policy to Never under Settings > Wireless & Networks > Menu > Advanced.