Phones and tablets die. It’s a fact of life and one that we must all inevitably plan our daily routines around. But sometimes you can’t. There isn’t always an open plug or an extra battery pack lying around. This is why you need to plan ahead.
To avoid how often you’re faced with the untimely death of your pocket computer, we rounded up three of our favorite apps that can help you get a little more time out of that lithium cell.
GSam Battery Monitor
GSam Battery Monitor may not be the prettiest app to look at, but it’s one of the most effective battery monitoring apps—and one of the most popular—in the Google Play store. Not only does it tell you precisely how much juice you have left based on both current and past usage, but it also comes with the “App Sucker,” a powerful tool that hunts down which apps are draining your phone’s precious energy.
GSam Battery Monitor also allows you to set up custom device power profiles and view historical averages over time. You can set up alarms so that the app warns you when your battery is overheating, for instance, or when it’s below a certain percentage. And it comes packed with a few handy widgets, in addition to a Notification panel indicator that lets you know precisely how much juice you’ve got left.
If your device is rooted, you can download the GSam Battery Monitor root companion app, which offers access to detailed wake lock and sensor usage statistics to help you really narrow down the cause of what’s eating up battery life. There’s also a Professional Edition for tablet users.
Snapdragon Battery Guru
Snapdragon Battery Guru is admittedly an app hawked by Qualcomm, but considering a majority of flagship devices in the U.S. market run on a Snapdragon something-or-other, Snapdragon Battery Guru is worth the free download to check what’s happening under the hood.
Snapdragon BatteryGuru requires no user configuration on your part. It automatically adjusts to whatever your usage pattern is, so it learns what’s going wrong when your battery begins to flounder. The app will first launch into “learning mode” to learn how you use your device, then incrementally adjust based on your usage pattern. It could take up to a few days—even weeks—before it’s really accurate, however. But the pay off is worth it.
Snapdragon BatteryGuru also offers individual application settings. You can manually adjust how much power each app uses so that the least used apps only use up battery life when they’re asked to, rather than working constantly in the background.
Greenify used to be a root-only app, but now it is gloriously open to all. The app aims to valiantly “greenify” your device—that is, to kick those offending, battery-sucking apps to the curb. You can give it permission to do so by selecting those offensive apps and then forcing them into hibernation, which cuts off all background functionality, even push notifications. There’s also an auto hibernation feature that automatically shuts off those juice-sucking apps, though it needs to be enabled in the experimental feature settings and it’s only available if you’re running Android 4.1 and up.
Greenify also warns you against hibernating alarm clock apps, instant messaging apps, and any other apps you end up relying on throughout the day, though it doesn’t completely shut down apps; when you turn un-hibernate an app, it’s almost like reviving a saved state rather than starting up an app from scratch.