How to increase battery life of your Android (Pt.2)

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This is the second part of my Android tweaking guide, first one can be found here. In this article we will talk about more complex solutions and tricks. As mentioned earlier, this is not a step-by-step guide, you are free to use any combination of advices, just be sure to check prerequisites first.

Xposed framework

Prerequisites: root, Android version 4.0-4.4.

I will not write much about Xposed, there are many articles about it (for example, this one). This framework doesn’t do anything by itself, but it provides substantial extensibility for the system. Xposed also has its own modules repository, though some are available via Play Store as well. Installer APK can be downloaded from here.

IMPORTANT! With Android 4.4 Kitkat Google introduced a new runtime named ART (Android Runtime) to replace the old one named Dalvik. If you install Xposed framework on a 4.4.* ROM, runtime will be changed back to Dalvik automatically during a necessary phone reboot. However, there is an alpha build of Xposed for Android 5.0 Lollipop, but it is far from stable at the moment, so use it at your own risk.

Amplify

Prerequisites: Xposed framework.

If you are a proud user of Google Now or just have location services enabled on your device, you can notice slightly worse battery life. Understandable, still it can be affected too. Battery drain is causing mostly by several location and alarm wakelocks starting every minute. After installing Amplify from Xposed repo or Play store you will be able to manage time interval between these wakelocks occurences. I’ve set them all to 6 minutes without any lag or trouble. Free version offers limited wakelocks to control, after a small donation you can tinker with any wakelock in the system.

Greenify

Prerequisites: none/root (optional)/Xposed framework (optional)

Usually the most notorious battery eaters are the background services that haven’t been started by user. For example, Smart Connect is very useful when you want to pair your phone with your Sony Smartwatch and very useless otherwise. It has EventMonitor service that runs in background even when there is no events to react. Even if you stop it from Android task manager, it will be there again soon. That’s when Greenify comes to the rescue. This useful app may look similar to Titanium Backup ‘freeze’ feature, but it not freezes apps completely, it just prevents them from background working. You can still launch a greenified app from the drawer and it will be freezed again after screen is off. Greenify offers different bonuses depending on your device configuration. If your device has root, if you installed Xposed framework and donation version of Greenify, then it will unleash its full potential. For example, it will be able to freeze any apps including system and still show their incoming push notifications. This is great for apps you rarely using.

IMPORTANT! You can safely greenify apps that rely on Google push service entirely, but be aware that if the app you want to greenify has a background service to receive notifications (like Whatsapp), they will stop working.

Disable Service

Prerequisites: root.

Sometimes you can’t afford to freeze/greenify an app entirely, though it has a service or two getting on your nerves. Disable Service can help you in this case. This app shows *every* background service of *every* installed app in your system and provides a way to disable it via unticking the checkbox. For example, I have disabled 36 Google Play services without any consequences. It is not necessary to do the same, but I highly recommend to disable at least ConfigFetchService and UserPresenceService as they may cause battery drain. And keep in mind that disabling an important service may end up in a system crash.

To be continued.

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Published by

Victor Lapin

Software Development Group Leader

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