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How to monitor Android system information easily

Even the simplest Android device has a lot going on that users rarely see. Those of us who want to dig deeply into our battery life, RAM use, and other aspects of our system can use the lovely, free Elixir 2 app suite to get what we need quickly.

Information wants to be free, and in the case of Android, Elixir 2 is its best bet for liberation. Beautifully designed, exhaustively detailed, and attractively priced (there's that word "free" again), it is handy both for serious hardware nerds and the rest of us. Here's how to get started with it: 

  1. You start with four installation options: The main Elixir 2 app is what I'll cover here, but there's also an Elixir 2 widget builder that doesn't require installation of the main app, an Elixir 2 Personal add-on that offers features requiring personal data access, and an Elixir 2 Admin add-on that offers features requiring admin access. 
  2. Once you've got Elixir 2 up and running, it's easy to access reams of data. I'm focusing on battery info here, but it's easy to check out apps, memory, CPU use, sensor info, and more. To start, tap the "information" icon in the top left. 
    Step 2--Select "information."
    Step 2--Select "information."
  3. You should see an information overview screen with a wide range of basic system data. Tap any one of them to bring up a context menu to expand what you see. 
    Step 3--Battery context menu
    Step 3--Battery context menu
  4. This brings up a much more detailed view of the battery (or whatever you're inspecting). This can be handy for checking settings or seeing if recent changes have manifested. 
    Step 4--Extended battery info
    Step 4--Extended battery info

Elixir 2 has a robust widget creation system that can take on almost any notification you'd want to see. It's easier than you'd think, but does take some time and effort. Still, for the price, it's hard to complain.