Not Happy With Your Battery Life? A few Hints To Increase...

Discussion in 'Viewsonic gTablet' started by rgc6789, May 29, 2011.

  1. rgc6789

    rgc6789 Member

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    I've had a few discussions recently with some new Tablet owners and one thing they all "complained" about was battery life. I thought with all the new tablet owners here, a thread with some hints would be useful.

    The Display:

    In most cases, the single biggest battery hog is your display. There are a few simple things we can do to reduce the drain the display puts on the battery.

    1. The first thing I do with a new phone and now tablets, or whenever I load a new ROM, is put a toggle on my home screen for brightness and set the display at 25%. I'd say 75% of the time I use my tablet, this is a perfect setting. For the 25% of the time I need more, the toggle is there for the quick boost.

    2. Next, where you can, set application themes to dark/black. In order for a display to show a white page with black text, the display needs to turn on every pixel that is white and leave off every pixel that is black. This means on a white page with black text, a large majority of the pixels are turned on. Changing this to black background with white text allows the display to leave a majority of the pixels off.

    3. Set your display timeout. I know a number of people that have the display timeout set to never. I prefer setting mine to a number that won't disrupt my reading of news etc, but will still turn it off in case I get distracted by the kids and don't return to the tablet in the few minutes I thought I would.

    WiFi:

    Another big hog is your wi-fi connection. When your wifi connection is turned on, even if you aren't downloading anything, it is still being used by background processes and even by the network itself. Here is a couple of things you can do to reduce it.

    1. Turn off background synching on apps you don't need it on. Many news readers will continuously update their content throughout the day. If you are like me, I only read at night when my work day is done, so updating throughout the day is a waste. I set all non-essential applications to only update/sync when the app is opened.

    Keep in mind that this includes email apps. I have a business account and two personal accounts. My business account, an exchange account, is setup for push, but my personal accounts I have increased the update frequencies to every 30 minutes.

    2. Turn off the wifi completely when you don't need it (a toggle on the home screen). Even if you had everything turned off and you just had an open connection to a network, there is some network communication going on. Wireless routers send out "hello" and "are you still there" requests every few seconds, which your tablet will answer. Even if you aren't connected to a network at all, your wifi is, by default, setup to continuously scan for a network to connect to. Though these things don't eat a lot, they take up cpu cycles, which in turn eat up battery.

    What other suggestions do you have for saving battery life?

    Other suggestions listed in the thread:

    * Do not use Live Wallpapers - they look cool but are a battery killer. - Spider
    * Do not use Animated Icons - Spider
    * Turn off Bluetooth until you actually use it - beastman
    * Use a good task manager - jeffC83 (task managers are a touchy subject so research and use are your own risk)
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2011
  2. Spider

    Spider Administrator Staff Member

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    Excellent advice, the only thing I'd add is don't use any live wallpapers or animated icons.
     
  3. jeffc83

    jeffc83 Member

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    Agreed....I would like to add: make sure you properly close all apps that aren't needs with a good task manager. I use auto memory manager for root users on my phone but can only be used on devices with 256mb of ram. (I do use it for the Honeycomb alpha build on the gtab because of a low memory issue). I also use atk from the market...works well when set to aggressive. I noticed that the less applications that I have running, the longer the battery will last.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2011
  4. beastman

    beastman Member

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    Turn off bluetooth unless you are actually using it.

    Sent from my GTablet using Android Tablet Forum
     
  5. rgc6789

    rgc6789 Member

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    Great additions. Jeff, I'm running Hc also. Your memory manager has helped stabilize the gTab quite a bit.

    Sent from my Bottle of Smoke using Android Tablet Forum
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2011
  6. Corvette

    Corvette Member

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    Actually, that's completely backwards on a LCD panel-LCD panels must apply voltage to activate black, proven by a recent power comparison done by Tom's Hardware:

    As for power numbers, another interesting point leaped off the spreadsheet. In retrospect, we should have guessed it all along, but so many years of using CRTs caused us never to question the assumption that black was better. Black saved energy. That’s why we have Blackl.com (yup, still running) for all those users who have Google Search as their home page. But in the LCD world, where LCD matrices must apply voltage in order to twist the crystals within a panel cell in order to block the backlight from shining through, black is bad. Black wastes energy. This is why a screen showing HD video usually consumes less energy than the same screen sitting at a black Windows desktop. Often, the most energy inefficient thing you can do is run a blank screen saver, that old power-saving standby from the CRT era. Things change.

    Asus Power Draw : CCFL Versus LED: Is There A Downside To Going Green?
     
  7. rgc6789

    rgc6789 Member

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    This was taken from an article from Scientific American - "New advances in LCD technologies could eventually validate the belief that black is better. Newer types of LCD include a dynamic dimming capability that changes the strength of the backlight based on the image being displayed. Heap also points out that many of the new monitor technologies such as LCDs backlit with light-emitting diodes (LED), plasma screens and organic LED screens do not have a constant backlight "so we will see larger savings with Blackle as these new monitors replace the CCFL LCDs," he says."

    But, you are right, the difference in all the reports I read were negligable. So, maybe I can start reading white screens again!

    Thanks for correcting me.
     
  8. jeffc83

    jeffc83 Member

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    Great info....thanks! It's good to know that dark settings make the battery drain faster.
     

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