These Are The Worst Phone Apps For Battery Life

Image: Getty Images

While the tech in our smartphones has progressively improved, there's one thing hardware can never defeat - poorly written software. And the one part of your phone most likely to suffer at the hands of a dodgy app is the battery. So, what apps are most likely to send you running to a power outlet or battery pack and what can you do about them?

Which Apps Drain Your Battery Most?

A recent report, conducted by security company Avast, found many the worst apps on Android phones come pre-installed. But they add that social and chat apps, which keep churning power cycles in the background are particular bad. Avast pointed the finger at ChatON, WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook and Facebook Messenger as particularly power-hungry programs.

David Walke, the CEO of goCharge, added Snapchat to that list of social apps. His company makes mobile device charging kiosks.

Unsurprisingly, Spotify is another to watch out for as it's using your data connection to bring those tunes to your ears. And Microsoft Outlook is another that is reported to enjoy drinking from your phone's energy well.

How To Get Your iPhone Battery Refund

If you paid for an out-of-warranty battery replacement for your iPhone, then Apple want to give you some money back. They're offering $80 refunds to any customers who received replacement batteries for their iPhone 6 (or later devices) last year. Here's how you can get your refund.

Read more

If you're running a Samsung phone, there are several apps that Avast and other researchers have found can suck the power from your phone. Samsung WatchOn, Samsung Media Hub, Samsung AllShare and Samsung Push all get marked down for their power-draining ways.

On the iOS side, the news is similar. Chat apps, that stay active in the background and receive updates and send notifications are notorious for draining power. I find that Words With Friends is a killer on my iPhone. Unsurprisingly, mapping apps, like Apple Maps and Google Maps can be a significant drain.

A recent update to the Fitbit app has resulted in increased data and power use. When you install an app update keep an eye on battery life changes as it's not unknown for developers to make mistakes that result in excessive power use.

It's also worth noting that any app you have installed that has notifications enabled is a potential siphon on your battery's tank.

What Can You Do?

Start by uninstalling apps you don't use. Aside from sucking up storage space, if those apps are generating notifications or updating in the background, they'll be stealing power from you. That includes pre-installed apps as well as the third-party software you've added.

Then, go to your phone's notifications settings and go through each app, disabling background network access and updates unless they're necessary.

With email, do you really need the software to update automatically, on every mail account, every minute? Can you dial back the updating? I have my email set to only update when I launch my email app, rather that checking the mail server every few minutes. The same goes with your calendar app.

With other messaging apps, like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and whatever else you use, I'd suggest only enabling notifications if they're absolutely necessary. For example, I don't have Facebook Messenger notifying me on my smartphone as I mainly use it for personal messages. But I allow WhatsApp to send me notifications as it's a work tool for me.


Comments

    I would concur with the recent Fitbit one. It's jumped from 10% of my usage to 25%.

    It makes it now my #1 battery using app, which given how little time I spend in it is probably not a good thing.

    Came here looking for a way to uninstall pre-installed apps on my Samsung, most of them can't even be disabled anymore. Thanks Samsung.

      That's a gripe with practically every phone company to be fair. I've seen the same thing on Samsung, Sony, HTC and ZTE phones. I'd like to see an antitrust action against them (not just google all the damned time) to enable users to actually get control over what's installed and uninstallable on our devices.

      Back to the article, you missed a fundamental point in the "what can you do section". The first thing users should do is look at the battery information and try to identify exactly which app(s) are doing the most damage. Why uninstall an app or turn off it's notifications if it's not the one actually using the power? Sure you might eke out a little more battery life but unless you get the real culprit as part of your sweep it's not going to solve the problem.

      Case in point, my mother was having problems with her phone and it was the "android" process causing problems. Turns out it was trying to download a large system update over a spotty connection so the radios in the phone were always on and working hard. Connected it to wifi and did a forced download and once the update was installed power use and battery life returned to normal levels.

        There's another option - buy a phone that has a "pure" version of Android. Samsung et al and their bloatware can go whistle.

          That's fine if you're happy with the hardware but I wouldn't buy a Pixel (for example) because it lacks features I want. So while you can theoretically buy a less bloated phone it's not necessarily viable.

    On iOS Snapchat is by far the worst as it stays running the background despite not doing anything useful, I'm glad I don't use it.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now