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Thread: Memory usage and battery life.

  1. #1
    Junior Member Boylard's Avatar
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    Memory usage and battery life.

    Just got my OneX and I love it, but I'm having issues with battery life and think it might have something to do with the OS and with processes running in the background. I am using the Task Manager and I also downloaded Advanced Task Killer, but even using these apps, when ever I check there are always 10-15 processes/apps running. For example, I killed all the apps and locked my phone so it's sat there doing nothing. Then I unlock the phone, so you'd think there would be nothing running, but the following apps are listed:

    Face Unlock
    Facebook for HTC
    Google Services
    Mail
    News&Weather
    Notes
    Tasks
    HTC location Service
    HTC Account
    Flexnet

    The processor is running at 754MB (222MB free)

    Even when I close all of these apps the phone is still using 671MB to apparently do nothing. Is this normal? Any other ideas to save battery life?
    I also have the energy widget on the 'main page' and make sure that wireless, gps, bluetooth and refresh are all switched off and the screen is on half brightness.

    Thanks in advance.

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator alphawave7's Avatar
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    Normal to have MANY apps in background, and they don't use hardly any battery to remain in memory. I'm afraid it's still the screen brightness and on-time that is using most of your battery. What does it say in battery usage?

  4. #3
    Super Moderator UltraDroid's Avatar
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    Boylard, here's something to think about - you're going to all this effort to save battery and CPU usage... why? I mean, there's a "quality of life" issue to consider. If you turn your thermostat on your home furnace down to 60 degrees all winter, you'll have a lower gas bill. You'll also be cold most of the time. If you use nothing but 20 watt bulbs in your lamps, you'll have lower electric bills, but you'll be spending your evenings in a kind of dim twilight. This is not a dress rehearsal for life, and life is for living and enjoying (same goes for cell phones), so why not relax and just use the phone the way that's most comfortable for you and quit worrying about the battery - when it needs a charge, plug it in to the wall charger and let it rip.
    EODPaul likes this.

  5. #4
    Junior Member Boylard's Avatar
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    I wanted to try and save some battery life because yesterday morning I got up at 6.15, battery had full life. by 8.30 it was back on charge having dropped to 8%. came off charge around 12 mid day, at 2.30 back on charge because it was at less than 10% again. left it plugged in to the laptop for the rest of the afternoon, played on it for about an hour before bed, was below 20% when I put it back on charge.

    It's undoubtedly a great phone, but I don't want to have to keep it in my pocket all day in case it dies and I need it.

    ***I have been giving the phone a lot of hammer with it being new, I realise that I can't play games on it all day long and expect the battery to last, I am just trying to work out how to get the most out of the phone and how to optimise it for what will be my 'normal' daily use.

    With all the apps launching themselves and the processor usage being so high I thought I may have some of the settings a bit wrong. ie turning off auto updates and the news/weather feeds etc.

  6. #5
    Junior Member Boylard's Avatar
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    Having checked the battery use (I didn't realise I could see a split of what was draining the battery) it stands like this:

    Screen 60%
    Draw Free (very addictive) 13%
    Mediaserver (not even sure what this is) 7%
    Cell standby 4%
    Android OS 4%

    Fair enough, screen is already on it's lowest light level, guess I'll just have to be a bit careful.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Bowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UltraDroid View Post
    , there's a "quality of life" issue to consider. If you turn your thermostat on your home furnace down to 60 degrees all winter, you'll have a lower gas bill. You'll also be cold most of the time. If you use nothing but 20 watt bulbs in your lamps, you'll have lower electric bills, but you'll be spending your evenings in a kind of dim twilight. This is arsal for life, and life is for living and enjoying
    I'm a big believer in this, in all aspects of phones and life in general. It's strange how people have phone wars online, how some will even get the newest technology every 3 months because it's some kind of ego thing. I say, get the best you can reasonably afford and enjoy it. I'm even going to go without a case on my One X because I just want to enjoy it without encumbrance. I've been neurotic about this stuff fit too long. I look at all the expensive things I own that are in new condition because I never used them so that they would be in perfect condition. And, instead of being proud, I'm sad that I never used them (expensive guitars, clothes, car, etc.) Anyhow, that's totally off-subject and has nothing to do with a battery, I just really liked what Ultra said.
    alphawave7, newbie and UltraDroid like this.

  8. #7
    Junior Member XSaenen's Avatar
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    I notice that you mention having ATK installed, so I might have an idea as to what the problem is. Please read all of this, because it's important. It'll help you understand how your phone works.

    Firstly, it's important to realize that a phone OS like Android is nothing like Microsoft Windows. Windows runs faster with the memory near-empty, but for Android it doesn't make a difference if it's empty or nearly full. However the more apps you have loaded into the memory, the less the CPU is needed to load something into the memory. CPU usage is a big battery drainer on such powerful phones.

    Everything an Android phone does, involves processes. When it polls for mails, there's a specific process that runs. When you make a phone call, there's another process for that.
    By default, Android (versions 2.2 and higher) logs all of this. Which processes run, how often they run, etc.
    It'll use that information to decide which processes are important and should be kept into memory. When the phone runs low on memory, it'll selectively kill those that are least important to free up space for those that it considers important.
    Of course it takes some time to gather enough data for accurate statistics, so give Android time to "learn" how you use the phone. Once it has enough data, it'll optimize everything for you.

    What ATK does, is just kill everything it can. True, this frees up memory, but memory usage isn't what really drains the battery.
    When a process is killed by ATK, the phone will need to load it again the next time it's needed. This loading takes more time and requires the CPU to work. So not only does ATK actually slow the phone down, it also forces the CPU to kick in more often, draining the battery faster.

    On top of that, android's logs will show that it always has plenty of memory, so the phone doesn't learn to kill processes by itself.
    The data on process activity also isn't accurate anymore, so when it has to kill an app, it could kill the wrong one.

    On 1.5-2.1, there was a use for ATK, but only because those versions didn't have a proper task manager.
    However we've long passed those times. Now Android is best left alone. It knows better how to handle itself than you do.

    My suggestion would be to uninstall ATK and to give the phone 1 or 2 weeks (depends on how intensively you use the phone) to sort itself out.
    On my previous forum, I made the same advise to a lot of Desire owners, and it did speed up their phones and preserved the battery a lot better.
    I'll add a link to the topic. -> LINK <-
    (If any mod objects, feel free to remove the link. I'm not trying to advertise for another forum, just sharing information.)

    -----

    Also, it's worth mentioning that the battery needs to go through a few cycles before it reaches optimal capacity. Keep that in mind as well. The difference between a new battery and one that's properly broken-in can be huge.

    Give the phone some time and keep a charger with you the first week. It'll all work out in the end.
    Last edited by XSaenen; 04-08-2012 at 12:12 PM. Reason: Because I'm too dumb to spell properly.
    id10t likes this.

  9. #8
    Super Moderator alphawave7's Avatar
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    Boylard-
    Coupla things to consider, since it seems you may be new to Android...

    New phones are a BLAST! They're SO much more than phones, and their capabilities are ever-expanding. It's perfectly normal to 'kill' (drain) your phone, especially when new, as you explore/play with new apps/new capabilities, and run apps that indeed use processor (games, video-intensive,etc.) and anything requiring significant 'screen-time'. Truth is, you're usage will eventually fall into a pattern as you settle into it, and cell life will also improve after a few recharge cycles, so even doing nothing and not worrying will gradually improve your performance. Play hard for now, though...and I recommend getting a car charger:
    http://www.amazon.com/Motorola-Vehic...3915794&sr=8-1
    to keep my phones charged when I commute/navigate on weekends...just that little extra helps get me through a heavy-use day. Cheers!
    Last edited by alphawave7; 04-08-2012 at 04:53 PM. Reason: corrected respondent
    UltraDroid likes this.

  10. #9
    Junior Member Boylard's Avatar
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    Cheers. Makes sense. I've un-installed ATK, I'll leave processes running and not kill everything in Task Manager either and let the phone build up a profile. I put Easy Battery Saver on the phone. Does that have any benefit over the standard energy widget and just closing wi-fi, bluetooth, gps etc manually? If not I may as well remove that as well.

    Thanks again.

  11. #10
    Junior Member XSaenen's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that battery life will be horrid the first few days, so don't despair right away. It really takes a week or more for the phone to sort itself out.

    Turning WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS off manually will probably improve battery life a bit, but of course you'll need to keep in mind that you need to turn them on and off when necessary.
    Once you and the phone settle down in a regular pattern and it makes it through the day without running low on battery, I wouldn't even bother turning them off anymore.

    If that battery saver turns unused things off, you can always use it. It doesn't sound like it's messing with the OS, but merely tells it to turn off unused hardware. I see no harm in that.

    Here's a little tip that can make a few hours of difference :
    The phone will need to use the data connection quite often to poll for mails etc. You can browse through the POP3 and IMAP accounts and set up the intervals for each individual account. I have my Desire S set to poll every 15 minutes between 8AM and 5PM, and every hour after that. That alone had a big influence on both data usage and battery life.
    No idea how this is done on the One series, but the option should be somewhere in the settings menu.


 
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