How to get better battery life on Android

Make these simple adjustments to give your Android phone or tablet a battery boost.

Android gets a bad rap for short battery life, but that's only if you stick with its default settings. Make these simple adjustments to give your phone or tablet a battery boost.

This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

Disable location reporting and history
GPS is a huge battery hog, as it harnesses data from the phone's GPS chip, cell phone towers, and Wi-Fi hotspots to find your location. The more a phone surveys your location, the more battery it uses. And that goes beyond just Google Maps.

Location reporting and location history are two GPS-based services with somewhat unclear motives. According to a Google Help page, the services can be used in conjunction with any other Google Apps, and may be used to improve your experience.

Chances are you can probably live without them, so disable these two features by going to Settings > Location > Google Location Reporting.

Disable Google Now cards
Now is an unmatched personal assistant, but some of its services -- which come in the form of informational "cards" -- are tireless battery drains.

For example, a card titled "Nearby places" shows you nearby attractions when you travel to a place that Google recognizes is out of your usual routine. Cool? Yes. Necessary? No.

To disable cards, go to Google Now, then scroll down to the very bottom, and tap the magic wand. Here, you can pick the cards you actually need. As a general guide, the GPS-reliant cards will demand the most battery, so disable cards like "Travel time" and "Nearby places" to see a battery boost.

Wi-Fi scanning
It's well-known that when Wi-Fi is left enabled, more energy is used. However, on Android, even when Wi-Fi is disabled, a phone could still be searching for networks.

To make sure this isn't happening, head to Wi-Fi settings > Advanced. Here, uncheck the option for Wi-Fi scanning.

Going forward, you'll have to connect to Wi-Fi manually, but you'll get a longer battery life in return.

Get out of sync
When you add an e-mail account to your phone, Google assumes you'd like to sync just about everything. That includes Google Play purchases, Google Keep, and even photos.

That last one is killer: photos. Each time you snap a picture, Google uploads it to your account to back it up. For those who use their phone as their primary camera (that's everyone, right?), this can seriously hurt your battery life.

There are two ways to change this. Head to settings and find your e-mail address under Accounts. Tap the account name again to access sync settings, where you can un-check the items you don't want synced. Included there is that "Google Photos" option.

Alternatively, head to the Gallery app > Settings, and disable Google Photos Sync.

Use the battery tool
If you're unsure how energy-demanding an app is, or you're wondering why your battery is draining so quickly, use the Battery tool. The feature shows you which apps use the most battery, with the top two items almost always being Screen and Wi-Fi.

Get help with apps
If you want to squeeze even more out of your battery, enlist the help of apps. Options like Juice Defender take care of monitoring connections, and identifying mahor culprits. Here's a roundup of the best battery-saving apps.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

Delete your photos by mistake?

Whether you've deleted everything on your memory card or there's been a data corruption, here's a way to recover those photos.