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Android Battery Drainage

Android Battery Drainage

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A guide to increase battery life on Android Phones...
A guide to increase battery life on Android Phones...

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Published by: Mehmet Fatih Yorulmaz on Dec 28, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/15/2014

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Android Battery Drainage
A-Introduction & Terminology
States of your phone are: 1.
 
Deep Sleep (screen is off) 2.
 
Awake (screen is on or off) a.
 
Awake & Screen is on: When the screen is on, your phone is always Awake. b.
 
Awake & Screen is off: Phone can be prevented from going into deep sleep mode and be kept awake by some apps by using WakeLocks or Alarms. It is easy to figure out what consumes battery when the screen is on, since you most probably use the app that causes battery drainage (e.g. games, web browsing etc.). In this situation, battery drains due to both screen brightness and CPU usage by the app. But the real problem is the apps/services that use your battery when your screen is off. These apps use a mechanism called
WakeLocks
 that prevent phone from going into
Deep Sleep
 mode. Another mechanism is the
Alarms
 that basically wake phone up from deep sleep to perform some common tasks such as syncing. WakeLocks can be classified as partial and full.
Partial WakeLock
 is the one which does not keep the screen on but just keeps CPU running. Whereas
Full WakeLock
 keeps screen on and uses CPU at the same time (for apps such as YouTube or Video Player). Thus, Full WakeLocks are not the main concern since they occur when the
screen is on and you won’t miss them. What really bother us
 is the Partial WakeLocks.
B-How to figure out sources of battery drainage?
You will resort to five different places/apps to understand what is actually draining your battery:
1.
 
Android Battery Settings (Settings/Battery)
Settings/Battery provides a very basic high level battery usage information. There is no WakeLock or Alarm informations provided under Settings/Battery. However, battery consumption statistics and the list provided under Settings/Battery sometimes reveal useful information that is not provided by
Better Battery Stats (BBS)
,
WakeLock Detector (WD), My Data Manager (MDM)
 and
 WatchDog (Dog)
apps
.
 Settings/Battery screen has a graph at the top of the screen. When you click on it, it can show you more detailed info on connection and signal status per time. Below the graph you will see a list of battery using agents/services/apps either in groups or as standalone apps sorted by how
 
much battery they consume since the last full charge. This list and battery statistics are reset every time you charge your phone completely. When you click on any of the items in the list, you will see
Use Details
 and
Included Packages
. Under the Use Details, you will see statistics such as
 CPU Foreground, CPU Total, and Stay Awake
. CPU foreground shows how long CPU is used when the app is in the foreground. It is not a very useful metric. CPU Total shows CPU total usage duration including both background and foreground usage. In either case the screen may be on or off. Stay Awake is the duration when the phone is awake but the screen is off. This may be caused by either WakeLocks or Alarms. So, this is a very important parameter that has a high correlation with battery usage. Below, under Included Packages, you will see which services/packages are used by this line item.
Settings/Battery’s main line items are
as follows:
a.
 
Screen:
Shall be the most battery consuming component with 30-50% battery consumption for a typical with moderate usage. If not, usually, then most probably you have a problem and one application/service is using battery abnormally.
b.
 
 Android OS:
The difference between
Android System
 and
Android OS
 is not very clear.
Android OS
 is the low-level Kernel, while "Android System" is actually the higher-level OS service layer. So, Kernel WakeLock
s’ (
sec-battery-monitor, Wlan_rx_wake, etc.) battery consumption will be shown under
Android OS
 line item. Normally,
Android OS
 battery consumption is around 15-25% when the Wifi/3G are turned on and Location Services are off. Turning off Wifi/3G decreases Android OS battery line item, since Kernel WakeLocks for Wifi decreases. If Android OS battery line item is above 25%, then probably it is related to a Kernel WakeLock problem such as BT_bt_wake WakeLock or Wlan_rx_wake WakeLock problems. See Section C for further info.
c.
 
Cell Standby
For a moderate use day with Wifi/3G turned on,
Cell Standby
 shall eat up around 10-20% of the juice.
d.
 
Device Idle
For a moderate use day with Wifi/3G turned on,
Device Idle
 shall eat up around 10-20% of the juice.
e.
 
 Android System:
Includes various system services including Settings, Direct Pen Input, Pop Ups, Application Installer, Input Devices, Software Update, MTP application, and many other. Most of the time, this should be the second most battery consuming part in your list.
Android System
 shall consume around 5% for a moderate use day when Wifi/3G is turned on. If it goes above 10%, then probably one or some apps are behaving abnormally or not efficiently. For example, some apps such as Juice Defender may be causing too many turning off and on of Wifi/3G toggles that will result in high connectivity service WakeLocks.
 
Another example can be Audio Channel Problem. Some apps such as Viber may leave audio channel open that will result in high Audioout_2 1013 WakeLocks. See Section C for some of these problems and recommended solutions. If some system features starts using too much battery (~3-4%), their consumption will not be grouped under Android System anymore and will be shown as a separate line item under Settings/Battery. For example
Glance View,
 which is
Quick Glance
 feature of Samsung Galaxy phones, uses around 5% of juice if it is enabled and thus is shown as a separate battery line item. As you see 5% is such a big battery consumption for such a trivial feature. Thus, you need to be wiser when enabling fancy features. Here is my recommendation for advanced galaxy sensor related features:
i.
 
Turn off Air Gesture/Quick Glance, Air Gesture/Air Jump, and Air Gesture/Air Browse.
ii.
 
Turn off Palm Motion
iii.
 
Turn off Smart Screen/Smart Rotation, Smart Screen/Smart Pause, and Smart Screen/Smart Scroll.
iv.
 
Leave Air Gesture/Air Call Accept, Air View, Air Command, Motions and Smart Screen/Smart Stay turned on. Just like Glance View, Media Server and Media are actually Android System features, but they are shown as a separate battery line items, if their usage exceeds certain threshold due to user behavior.
 f.
 
Google Services:
This group includes all of the google services such as Google Services Framework, Google Contact Sync, Network Location, Google Play Services, and Google Account Manager. These are the services necessary to keep google account and apps (Gmail, Google +, Google Now, etc.) synched with the cloud. Battery consumption of
Google Services
 shall not be more than 5-10%. Sometimes
Google Services
 can also malfunction and consume too much (above 15-20% battery usage) juice. Usually this happens due to Location Settings that is triggering high NLP WakeLocks. See Section C for further info.
g.
 
Media Server:
Consumes around 2-3% of battery. If it is above 5%, then probably there is a problem. For instance, Viber related Audioout_2 WakeLock problem may result in 35% battery consumption by Media Server.
h.
 
Media:
This is a group that includes Download Manager, DRM Protected Content Storage, Media
Storage and Downloads related battery usage. Media’s battery usage
can peak to all the way to 30% after downloading too much stuff or adding new media content to your external SD card.
However, after couple hours of these kind of activities, Media’s battery consumption
shall return to normal minimal levels (around 1-2%).

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