Rabu, 03 Oktober 2012

How Managing Your Wireless Connections Can Help You Save Android Battery

For all their convenience and power, poor battery life still afflicts most smartphones. In short, the phones' capabilities create their battery's limitations - and Android smartphones are no different. Their brilliance drains battery. Fortunately, Android users can take several simple steps to help save Android battery life.

Turn Wi-Fi off When out of Your Hot Spot's Range. Each of us likely only connects to several Wi-Fi networks each day. Although Wi-Fi might surround our every movement, we connect only to those networks which we have previously configured. For most people, that includes some combination of home, work or school, and perhaps a gym, coffee shop or intermittent open network.

The problem is that our Android smartphones don't appreciate this patchwork paradigm. When not connected to Wi-Fi, our phones endlessly (and indefatigably) search for their next Wi-Fi connection. Whether we're at the beach, taking the subway, or walking down the street, it doesn't matter - our phones search for WiFi (every 30 to 90 seconds), and this endless searching consumes precious battery life.

The good news is that avoiding this unnecessary battery consumption really only requires the right software and a little patience. A user's first, if less convenient, option is to purchase a newer phone, one whose firmware includes the ability to easily access a Wi-Fi toggle (located on the notification panel). If your phone offers this option stock, then simply toggle the Wi-Fi once you've moved outside of a configured or open network's range; and if your phone lacks this convenience, don't worry, as you can simply download a widget or application that allows you to easily access a WiFi toggle. After download, you'll simply toggle the WiFi on and off when you're within (toggle on) or outside of (toggle off) a configured network's range. Finally, there exist several applications that allow users to reduce the frequency with which the phone scans for a Wi-Fi connection. Download one of these if all else fails.

Disable the 4G Radio when Outside of 4G Coverage. The advent of 4G heralded a new era in cellular data speeds. Compared to Edge and some 3G connections, there is no comparison. There are some drawbacks, however, as 4G also requires larger hardware and consumes much more battery than do Edge or 3G networks. Additionally, just as a phone's Wi-Fi radio endlessly scans for available networks whenever it's not connected and working, so too do 4G radios endlessly scan. Thus, the same advice from above applies.

To avoid unnecessary battery consumption, users can disable their 4G radios if they're not within range of a 4G-enabled tower. (NOTE: users can determine their proximity to 4G-enabled towers using sites like http://www.OpenSignal.com. Just ask Google.) While no general procedure exists for disabling 4G - since the steps vary from phone to phone - users can download free and paid applications/widgets which offer easier toggling. Finally, for users who find themselves always (or nearly always) connected to Wi- Fi, leaving 4G disabled makes a lot of sense because, while Edge might only be barely serviceable, it is far easier on a phone's battery and a strong Wi-Fi signal will almost certainly represent most users' fastest available option.

Kill Bluetooth Unless You Connect Frequently. A final way users can save Android battery is by disabling their phone's Bluetooth. Although some users rely on Bluetooth for phone calls, many do not - yet their Bluetooth radio will, just as in the above examples, endlessly seek a connection. Thus, unless you rely on Bluetooth regularly, simply disable the radio and forget about it. Doing so should absolutely save Android battery.

smartphones represent a modern convenience that many simply cannot live without, and that's why preserving their battery's life is so critical. Luckily, there are a handful of simple steps Android smartphone users can take to preserve battery life. Managing your Wi-Fi connections represents one such step to a longer-lasting charge.

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