#FridayHacks: How To See App Draining Your Battery

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Most of the times we often wonder why the batteries on our smartphones wont last an hour.

At times, most phones bought at second hand dealers are sold with battery defects. some are sold with batteries that last a long time.

If your Android phone is feeling a little low on battery, you can find out exactly where your battery power is going.

Android’s Battery screen shows you what’s used battery power since your last charge, from apps to system services and hardware devices.

How to Access the Battery Screen

This information is found on the Battery screen in the Settings app. Open the “Settings” app from your app drawer and tap the “Battery” option under Device to access it.

You can also pull down the quick actions panel in the notifications shade and tap the battery icon to go straight to this screen.

The Battery screen will only show battery usage since the last full charge. If you’ve just recently charged your phone or tablet, it won’t be very helpful. Ideally, you’ll want to check this screen when your device is fairly low on battery to get an idea of what apps, hardware components, and system services actually used battery power throughout the day.

Assuming your device has been running for long enough, you’ll get a good luck at exactly what’s been draining battery power and when it happened. You can tap an app or service to view more detailed information.

Android actually collects a lot more battery usage information than it displays on the Battery settings screen. Previously, it was possible for an app like Better Battery stats to request the BATTERY_STATS permission and access this information. You could then view more detailed battery statistics–for example, you could view information about wakelocks or view battery usage for periods of time not displayed in the Battery screen.

Unfortunately, with Android 4.4 Kitkat, Google removed this permission from Android and apps can normally not view it. If you’ve rooted your android device, you can still install an app like Better Battery Stats to view more detailed information on battery usage. But without rooting, you’re stuck with the information provided by Android’s built-in Battery screen because these apps just can’t see that data.

What Are All These Hardware and System Services?

You can get more information about how to prevent a hardware component or service from draining your battery by tapping it. Apps are self-explanatory–they use battery power when you have them open and may also run in the background. Here’s what all the non-app items in the list are:

  • Screen: This is the amount of power used by the screen and its backlight. Your screen will always use a significant amount of power. It’ll always use some power when it’s on, but you can reduce that by lowering your screen brightness and configuring Android to turn the screen off when you’re not using it.
  • Wi-Fi: This shows amount of power used by your device’s Wi-Fi radio. It’ll always use some amount of power when you’re connected to Wi-Fi. You could save some power by disabling WI-Fi when you’re not using a Wi-Fi network–for example, when just using cellular data.
  • Cell Standby: Assuming you’re using a device with a cellular connection, that cellular radio is always using some power. If you have a weak cellular signal, this could result in higher power usage.
  • Android OS: This accounts for all the battery power used by the underlying Android operating system, which manages your running processes, interfaces with your hardware, and does all that low-level stuff.
  • Android System: Despite the name, this is separate from the Android operating system itself. It represents the battery power used by things like the Settings app itself, input devices, and various other system services. You could make it use a bit less battery power by enabling battery saver mode.
  • Google Services: This includes a variety of services, including Google Play Services, the Google account manager, Google services framework, and Google backup transport. This is just another package of services used by your Android device. Battery saver mode can reduce power used by these background processes in a pinch, too.
  • Phone idle or Tablet idle: Your Android device uses some amount of power just because it’s on, even if it’s completely idle in a low-power state.
  • Users: If you have multiple user accounts set up on your Android phone or tablet, you’ll see a separate “User” item for each user here. This helps you understand how much other user accounts contributed to your battery usage.

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