Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Survive a day with Android Mobile phone

Well it is kind of obvious that whenever i suggest my idea around Android OS it is always backed by a little experience of Apple's iOS. It is because of 2 facts 1. I’ve used iOS a lot and that usage helped me a lot to utilize the full potential of other OS 
2. The iOS is built in an amazingly optimized manner that gives you an idea of how to configure other OS. In this blog i will focus around how to configure your android device (In my case HTC desire HD) to use it all day long without having worried about the battery drain. When I bought my HTC I assumed that the manufacturer must have designed and configured the devices in such a way that i can use it's full capability or at least all interesting feature which they demonstrated during their advertisement, can be used minimum for one day on full recharge. Truly speaking, it was my myth and in fact I think most of the user around the world wuld have experienced it. On a very first date when I setup my phone to use required features of HTC's in built applications, Android OS and the application I used in my day to day life, unfortunately my battery rested in peace within 5-6 hours of use and my brain blasted with anger. I yell at HTC design, this shouldn’t be happening. After this massive disappointment from device, I began my journey to survive my phone all day long without any interruption. To make this dream reality, I had to decide the top usage which cannot be compromised (obviously Other than calling, texting, emailing). Before moving further I just want to give you all an idea that why I use most advance and optimized mobile phone available in the market. My idea is to not carry multiple gadgets in my pocket for general use. One device should fit for most of my general purposes. e.g. Mobile phone, Music player, Camera, video recorder and a all time Internet connecting device. Over a period of time Mobile has evolved dramatically to meet all these needs for a consumer like me. Now you’ve got an idea about my usage. Now let’s move to the non compromised usage.

Top Non-compromised usage (On an average Day = 18 Hours)
  1. 60 min of MP3 player
  2. 2 still shots/day
  3. 60 min of Facebook application usage including 3G and Wi/fi
  4. 5-10 min of Twitter
  5. 15 min of Angry bird game
  6. 60 min of Voip over 3G and Wi/fi (Includes people other than my fiance :P )
  7. 5-6 Mb of application installation/Update on 3G and Wi/fi
  8. 30 min of Internet surfing while travelling to office and back to home
  9. 5-6 e-mail responses
  10. A very little 10 min gallery surfing

There are others too but not on regular basis.
Now it's time to optimize the android device. Well I read on several blogs that android is best in terms of memory utilization. I don’t know in technical terms as I am a dumb user who just wants to make most out of his device. I must tell you before writing further that while doing all these hacky wacky thing I thought if I have to do all these what is the need of buying a device where I cannot use most of its branding feature but peeps this is necessary for running your battery long. If you are OK with the short battery don’t go further this is not for you. Now, below are the points which must be used very very efficiently.

  1. Data Syncing – Data syncing plays very important role in battery life. You need to optimize the frequency of mails, social network, weather and other apps to be synced. Keeping it too frequently does not make any sense as no one want to stare the screen all day long (Not good for eyes and brain :P ).  Don’t use push service until unless highly required. 15 min is a decent interval to check email, same we use in our office outlook too. During off-peak time let it sync to bare minimum interval. HTC provide some pre-installed application especially for social networking like twitter, face book. If you are planning to use original application don’t forget to disable their data syncing. Some application run the data syncing in background be cautious while using them and set them up to not sync. Explore HTC data syncing all over the phone and disable whatever you don’t need.
  2. HTC sense – Most of the HTC owners and me too, are proud of this experience that distinguishes the phone from other available android devices. But believe me if it is not used correctly it be a curse for the battery. Sense has lot of widgets and features and most of them require full connectivity to internet and real time access to API’s. If you don’t care about the sense remove all widget and disable all feature that requires internet. If still you want it, use it with bare minimum sync interval. e.g. No one cares about real time weather condition on phone, disable it and sync when it is opened. Just in case you are bored about the sense UI, go for some beautiful launcher in android market.
  3. Display - 4.3” display looks too beautiful in every sense but good things never comes without heavy price and hence the display too. When you see the battery usage statistics in system setting you will be surprised to know the usage of display. If we can’t avoid it so why not optimize it. Simply adjust your display to automatic.
  4. Start UP - In app store there are several apps that have the property of starting up with device startup. If the undesired apps is running in the background, unknowingly they are sucking up the mobile battery. These feature can be disable in their option but if they don't have such option, decide  whether you really going to need these application or not. If not remove it. Have a look on Setting>Application>running application in your android phone and stop the application that you wont need.
  5. Hardware Usage – Don’t let them keep on if you are not using it. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and there are other hardware that we don’t need often. Just use quick setting and switch them off when not in use.
  6. Task Killer - you may have read this before also. Do not use task killer app, they are not going to help you in any ways. In fact they suck your battery more. How, when you close an application with task killer some application has the property to start up again and when they do this, apps use the whole process to run again and heavily use the CPU and drain the battery. Believe me I used it and not found helpful at all.
  7. Live wallpaper - This is very beautiful and unique stuff for android user. Somehow this eats up battery too. Be careful while using it. If the wallpaper seems to use a lot of graphics and data i recommend you to not use it or find some light live wallpaper.
Remember one thing, if you have really bad connectivity of cellular signal nothing can help you, week signal is really a bad thing for any mobile phone made on earth. Hope you will find this topic practical to use and understanding. For any feedback please write to my feedback email id.
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