The transition from feature phones to smartphones was great for a lot of reasons, but not so great in others. Apps, for example, were an excellent reason to switch from a feature phone to a smartphone; on the other hand, if you valued battery life over the convenience of apps, a feature phone may have been a safer bet. But it’s been nearly a decade since the most iconic smartphone of all was released, and battery life on smartphones is in a much better place today.
Yet, it’s still a far cry from the abundant battery life we were once familiar with. Smartphones are much larger today than they were just a few years ago, but battery life on most devices still struggle to make it past one day without requiring a recharge or at the very least a boost to make it through another day. Theoretically, with larger smartphones that shouldn’t necessarily be the issue, but when you factor in other features like higher resolutions, thinner phones, and more storage space to run more apps and take more photos and videos, battery life stagnates. So what can we do while we twiddle our thumbs and wait for a magical resolution to surface?
One way to combat fast-depleting battery life is to weed through the apps you don’t need.
Earlier today, Rhett Jones of Gizmodo posted an interesting article that suggests deleting Facebook on your Android device, as it could save up to 20% of your battery life. In its place, he suggests that you use Facebook’s mobile site or, if that doesn’t suit you, to try a different app like Metal, which is a wrap for Facebook (and Twitter’s) mobile websites. The answer is unclear as to precisely why Facebook’s app sucks up so much battery life, as it wouldn’t inherently appear so just by looking at battery usage, but Jones speculates that other functions of Android were being used to propel Facebook functions in the background.
Recently I’ve had a similar experience, albeit with different apps. I often read Reddit, and I have been through a number of Reddit apps trying to find the best one for me. I eventually settled on Relay Pro, but just like the rest of apps for Reddit, I find that Relay Pro is a huge battery drain. I eventually decided that it was an unnecessary app, and I would just deal with the newly revamped mobile site instead. Since its removal, battery life has been noticeably better. Another app that appeared to be causing significant battery drainage was the Google Chrome browser. A couple of weeks ago, I ended up switching to Samsung’s native browser, and again I noticed an increase in battery life.
I had always known that the Facebook app had a problem with battery life, but when I see that it only uses 3% of my battery, I didn’t think much of it. Apps are bound to take up some battery life, after all. But Jones brings up a good point that apps can draw from other administrations on Android that makes the system attribute the battery drainage to other functions. I’ve already disabled my Facebook app (I can’t uninstall it – another reminder to go for non-carrier versions of smartphones if you can swing it) since I hardly use it enough to justify using it over the mobile site anyway. I look forward to seeing if it affects my battery life.
Apps are often convenient and more pleasant to use and look at. Additionally, there are phones out there that have no issues keeping up with battery life over a day or two, and sacrificing apps in the name of battery life may be unnecessary. But for those who feel like they need a little bit more juice for whatever reason, it can’t hurt to consider otherwise unconventional or even outdated alternatives to help keep your battery chugging along for longer.