The Apps That are Killing Your Battery

by Sandra Henshaw - , Last Updated on March 9, 2015, App Guides

Smart phone battery life is improving, though slowly. The problem is though, that with all those big screens and fast processors that we want on our phones, extra juice from improved battery sizes doesn’t make that big of a difference. There’s not much you can do about hardware draining your power, but there are things you can do about software. And fortunately, anti-virus giants AVG have done a lot of the work for you. Early this year, AVG published their findings on the biggest battery draining apps. So let’s take a look at just what might be guilty of stealing those precious few percent of battery life…

What’s Going On?

What many people don’t realise is that apps don’t necessarily need your permission to run all the time. Some apps start  up automatically when you start your phone, so you may not even know that they’re running at all. Other apps don’t close down when you click out of them, they simply run in the background until you open them again. And that means that you might not necessarily be aware of which programmes are stealing your juice.

One of these apps might not make a huge difference to your life. But (as you’ll see from the lists below) the chances are that you’re running far more than just one. And that means that your phone is losing a ton of battery power without you doing a thing. So which apps should we be holding responsible?

Automatic Start Up Apps

The first list we have for you are those apps that start up automatically when you turn your phone on. Just to be clear, this means that these programmes are running even if you never click on their icons. So, in order of how much juice they steal, here are the top ten battery draining start up apps:

  1. Beaming Service for Samsung
  2. Security Policy Updates (also a Samsung product)
  3. Facebook
  4. Waze Social GPS Maps and Traffic
  5. Vault-Hide SMS Pics and Video
  6. Path
  7. Candy Camera
  8. App Free Calls
  9. Al-Moazin Lite
  10. WhatsApp Messenger

We’re willing to bet that you’re running at least one of these apps, if not more…

Run in the Background Apps

There’s more bad news though. There’s a whole other list of apps that could be draining your power that run in the background. These are apps that you do have to open yourself, but once you’re done using them they don’t “switch off” rather they continue running behind the scenes. So, once again in order of how much power they’re taking from you, here are the top ten behind the scenes battery drainers:

  1. Samsung WatchON Video
  2. OLX Free Classifieds
  3. Telstra
  4. Spotify
  5. Amazon Android
  6. Retrica
  7. Truecaller Caller ID and Block
  8. LINE: Free Calls and Messages
  9. Amazon Kindle
  10. Walmart

Again, you’ve probably got at least one of these on your device right now, and it’s stealing your battery power!

So, What Can I Do?

All is not lost, however, there are things that you can do to minimise battery drain, or even do away with it altogether. The rather obvious solution is to delete any of these apps if you happen to have them. Okay, that might not be realistic in all cases, but if you’ve got one of these listed apps and you don’t use it, then you should certainly ditch it.

For All Apps

If you dig into the settings menu of your phone you’ll find a list of apps that are currently running. You should be able to completely close down an app from this list. This is a bulky work around, since it means that every time you switch your phone on (or open one of the behind the scenes apps) you need to navigate into your settings menu and manually close down everything that you don’t want to be running. However, it’s a simple solution, one that works, and one that involves little technical know how.

For Start Up Apps

Unfortunately, there’s little you can do to stop apps running automatically on start up. However, if you’re willing to download a task manager app, you may be able to stop at least some apps from opening automatically. The free Startup Manager is a fairly good solution to the problem, though it’s Android only, and will allow you to see a list of your start up apps and check the ones you wish to keep. Do be careful that you’re not limiting anything made by your phone manufacturer or operating system, however, as this could make your mobile useless when you start it up!

For Behind the Scenes Apps

The simplest solution for the behind the scenes apps is not to open the app unless you really need it. And if you do, then manually close it down through your settings menu. Some task manager apps will allow you to limit behind the scenes apps, though most don’t, and even those that do make the process complicated…

Battery Life Apps

Maybe one of the most valuable things that you can do is to download a battery life app from your chosen app store. These apps allow you to see where your power is going. Open the app and you should get a nice break down of what’s using your juice and how much it’s using. Some phones (the Samsung Galaxys, for example) include this function automatically in their settings menu. You can then decide whether to delete certain apps, or at least know that if you’re low on power that you should go ahead and manually close the programmes that the app shows you are using more than their fair share of juice.

Finally, if you’re in dire straits and you’ve got three percent battery and an hour long commute back home to your charger, then the best thing that you can do is to switch your mobile off, or at the very least switch over to airplane mode, since this will generally let you save the little juice that you have left for emergencies.

Whilst it might seem unfair (and slightly unethical) that apps can run on your mobile without you giving them permission to do so, the truth is that it happens. And not only does it happen, but it also sucks away your precious battery juice. Staying on top of what’s running and when, as well as which apps are battery hogs, should let you take that control back. It might seem like a lot of work, but choosing your apps carefully and watching how much power they use could be the difference between a full day between charges and a few hours…

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