I was ecstatic to trade in my archaic Palm 700 for a sexy new HTC Evo. I was even more excited when a friend of mine pointed out that my new toy had a kickstand (HOW HAD I NOT NOTICED THAT?!). My enthusiasm, however, was a bit dampened when I realized I'd traded in an old clunker (one that could barely hold a charge) for a shiny new speed monster--that still couldn't hold a charge.
A friend (the same one who opened my eyes to the kickstand, this guy is amazing!) heard me lament over my poor battery life and told me the mystical secrets of saving my Droid's battery. Over the next couple weeks, I'll share some of his best tips.
Find Your Zombies
My friend advised me to lay off the "Advanced Task Killer" that the folks at the phone store had installed for me (to help improve my battery life). Apparently, only some apps should be "killed," and, in fact, killing some of them actually eats up more of your battery because they'll restart again within moments.
Go ahead and run your Task Killer. Kill everything. Then check it again within a minute. See those apps that are running again? Those are the zombies. Without blowing them up (read: going into your settings and force quitting or removing them), they'll just keep coming back. So go ahead and deselect them so their lives can be spared upon your next killing spree.
Don't discontinue use of the Task Killer altogether though, as some things (like the camera, for example) may actually need the Task Killer to shut down.
Caution: If you use your phone as an alarm clock, do not kill the Clock application (even if it's not a zombie). If you do, and it is not restarted again before your alarm is supposed to go off, you will be in the unfortunate predicament of not having your alarm go off at all. Trust me on this one.
Add the Power Control Widget
Keeping things like GPS, Bluetooth and Auto Sync running when you don't need them will really eat away at your battery life. An easy way to keep them all in check is to add the Power Control widget to one of your home screens.
On the Evo this is done by swiping over to a screen with some empty real estate and pressing and holding down on the screen. From the Add to Home screen, choose Widget > Power Control. The Power Control widget is then added to your screen.
By simply touching the button for each application (which are, in this order on the power strip: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, Auto Sync & Screen Brightness) you can toggle it on or off. In the case of Screen Brightness, you can quickly adjust it to three different levels.
Most of these applications will have no effect on your phone until you need something that directly accesses them (for example, if you use your phone for navigation you will need to turn GPS back on first). By turning Auto Sync off, your weather, Gmail and Facebook applications will not be automatically updated. For me this is not a problem and is worth the extra battery life I gain by leaving it off. If you would like to continue having these applications automatically updated, you should leave this on.
Note: Image above courtesy www.sprint.com.