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Use Normal to target power-hogging apps

This 99-cent iOS utility calls out the apps that are killing your battery and provides help with extending its runtime.

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Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

If there's one thing every smartphone user wants, it's better battery life. Indeed, save for a larger screen, the one thing iPhone 6 buyers are most hoping for is more power.

Of course, there are various ways to squeeze extra runtime from your battery, but current iPhone owners have a new tool for their arsenal: Normal: Battery Analytics. This 99-cent (69p and AU$1.29 in the UK and Australia, respectively) iOS utility relies on crowdsourced data to help pinpoint your iPhone's biggest power hogs.

Specifically, Normal gathers nonpersonal data about your usage, uploads that data for comparison against others', then lists the apps that consume the most power. For any given app, you can see the battery benefits of "killing" it, along with instructions for doing so.

Although Normal works best after it's able to monitor your usage for several days, right off the bat it may be able to give you some help. On my iPhone 5S, for example, it revealed that the average active battery life for this model is 15 hours, 31 minutes. It also showed, to my surprise, that by killing Facebook Messenger, I stood to gain nearly 90 extra minutes of runtime.

I had kind of resigned myself to using Messenger, but given that there are other ways to send Facebook messages, I'll gladly choose a 10 percent battery bump by ridding myself of that single app.

Your mileage may vary, of course, and I've yet to use Normal long enough to see what other recommendations it will provide. For anyone who's already fairly savvy when it comes to apps and their power consumption, the information might not be anything new.

That said, if you're willing to pony up a buck, you might learn how to gain hours of extra battery life -- a pretty small price to pay, in my book.