BitDefender released its Power Tune-Up battery management app for Android a few weeks ago, and I was keen to see how it compared to the ones I’ve tried in the past. It turns out that BitDefender’s solution is more of a problem, which was disappointing but not entirely surprising. After many years of trying all sorts of so-called “power management” apps on a variety of Android handsets, I’m starting to wonder if I’m doing something wrong.
The battery inside my faithful Motorola Atrix appears to be on its last legs — I can’t get through half a day with moderate usage. That probably has contributed to my unsatisfactory experience with power management apps, but even on other, newer phones I’ve found them to be only useful for batch-stopping apps. Power Tune-Up also had a major flaw in that it was inaccurate at detecting how much time I had left before the battery ran out of juice.
I’ve tried popular apps like JuiceDefender, Go Power Master, a variety of battery calibration tools and techniques, as well as the root-only SetCPU to underclock my devices in the hope that the battery would last longer. These apps have been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times and consistently achieve high user ratings on Google Play.
My biggest problem is that many of these apps don’t actually give you control over your phone so you can optimise performance — it takes over your phone and shuts down essential apps and services, rendering your device almost unusable. If the app is going to cut off 3G access, dim the screen to the point I can’t see anything and slow everything to a crawl, the phone may as well be dead altogether.
How do you manage battery life on your phone? Do you use apps or manually make tweaks as needed? Tell us how you do it in the comments.