About a week ago Terran Brown mailed me to recommend something called JuiceDefender. It’s one of a few apps which claim to extend your battery life so, as I’m usually running low on battery for most of the day, I gave it a try.
First, a little insight into my use. The phone in question is a Samsung Galaxy SII. It’s my main phone and unfortunately I don’t take much care of it. I didn’t really charge it properly from day one and it’s hit the floor more times than a Nokia share price. I have it on charge all night, then unplug it at 7AM and hammer the battery to heck for most of the day. Bluetooth, GPS, WiFi, you name it, it’s on. I’ve started using Llama to turn off WiFi and GPS when I’m at work but, if I’m honest, it’s not made a great deal of difference.
So I approached JuiceDefender without a great deal of confidence and, in my typical lazy fashion, started it up and left it on the default “Balanced” profile. You can adjust this and choose from more aggressive battery-saving profiles if you wish, but heck – I’m lazy. I’m also quite demanding, so when an app says that it’s going to control my 3G data consumption I immediately dismiss it and think it’ll lead to my tweets and emails arriving hours late. I want data NOW, else the world WILL stop spinning and I’ll have a mini personal crisis and start stomping my feet like a five-year-old.
Got it ? Good.
But, after sitting in a dark room and calming down, I decided to give the app a chance. It sits in the information bar at the top of your Android screen and displays a small coloured dot to let you know what’s happening. If it’s blue then some of your radio / interfaces have been disabled. If it’s red then they’re all off. If you’re a geek like me then you’ll love the logging facility which details what’s been happening and when.
But it’s not just about turning off data connections and re-enabling them every 10 minutes or so (which isn’t as bad as you might think actually, I survived!) This will scale your CPU when the phone is idle, it’ll adjust your brightness, control your Bluetooth connectivity, change between 2G and 3G and adds location-aware WiFi control, so I could potentially remove Llama completely.
There’s full customization too, so you can really dive into the settings and have it match your daily usage needs – then you can save you profile too.
But like I say, I’m lazy. Sometimes I want a big fat button that says, “Make battery last longer”, so I had this on default settings running alongside Llama, which disabled my WiFi and GPS at work.
The result? Well, if I’m honest my Galaxy SII was always sounding the infamous “Battery critically low” sound at around 7PM, just 12 hours after unplugging it. Now, with JuiceDefender on, I still have 15-20% battery left when I’m hopping back into bed at 11PM.
This app, I have to say, does what it says. Even for lazy people like me. I wasn’t inconvinienced by slow mail or late tweets, it seemed to strike the perfect balance between usage needs and battery saving. Oh, and it’s free. Get it, honestly. Get it.
Link – JuiceDefender (Google Play)