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Eric Schmidt and Larry Page play the blame game at Google Zeitgeist.  (Source: TechRadar)
Larry Page says that battery should last for a day if apps aren't overworking the processor

Google's Android platform may be the hottest player on the cell phone market, having recently passed Apple in the U.S. market, but it's by no means the perfect platform.  Recently there have been concerns about the battery life of Android smartphones, which reportedly isn't measuring up to the rival iPhone's.

The top executives at Google tackled that issue at Google Zeitgeist, Google's outreach summit for developers.  Google's co-founder Larry Page blamed app developers, stating, "I have noticed there are a few people who have phones where there is software running in the background that just sort of exhausts the battery quickly. If you are not getting a day, there is something wrong."

Google CEO Eric Schmidt chimed in, clarifying the issue on battery drain.  He stated, "The primary consumer of the battery life on these phones is the transmit/receive circuit. So tuning that and obviously figuring out a way to not use too much of that extends your battery life.  And people bring in applications that are not particularly smart about that, which is what Larry is trying to get at."

Mr. Page quipped back, "We can give you a bigger battery probably. I'll see you afterwards."

The concerning thing is that according to some reports, Android's battery life is draining rather quickly even when in standby or idle -- with no apps running (aside from the core phone apps) and no data being transmitted.  Fortunately for Google, these reports seem to be putting little damper on Android phone sales.  

Android 2.2 is about to make its debut, bringing with it Flash (hopefully that doesn't cause
further battery issues).  And the hot HTC EVO 4G, the world's first 4G smartphone, will make its debut on the Sprint network early next month.



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Um, just get a second battery
By mrhumble1 on 5/19/2010 9:36:14 AM , Rating: 5
You can't truly compare battery life because the iPhone doesn't have a replaceable battery. I carry an extra battery and never have to worry about running out. Battery running low? Swap batteries and I am running again.

Try that with any mobile Apple product.




RE: Um, just get a second battery
By MrX8503 on 5/19/2010 9:46:00 AM , Rating: 5
Fix the battery problem through software, not hardware. Swapping a new battery in is inconvenient, costs more, and is inefficient. Lets be smart and solve the battery issue through development, not be lazy and throw more replaceable batteries at it.


RE: Um, just get a second battery
By chris2618 on 5/19/2010 9:56:45 AM , Rating: 3
its not inconvenient if you forgot to put your phone on charge the night before. you can just slip in that spare battery. i liked the older MP3 with AAA batterys just carry a spare just incase it runs out


RE: Um, just get a second battery
By MrX8503 on 5/19/2010 10:02:55 AM , Rating: 2
AAA batteries and carrying extra spare batteries just in case?

Are we still stuck in the early 90's? Let's move forward to the 21st century people. No wonder battery tech sucks, you're perfectly fine with carrying EXTRA batteries?

How about we increase battery tech and efficiency instead of carrying extra crap?


RE: Um, just get a second battery
By Reclaimer77 on 5/19/2010 10:25:44 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
How about we increase battery tech and efficiency instead of carrying extra crap?


Yeah because nobody is trying to do that. You're right. Battery tech is clearly a completely barren field that needs to be looked into. Why hasn't anybody thought of this before??

/sarcasm


RE: Um, just get a second battery
By leexgx on 5/19/2010 7:48:30 PM , Rating: 2
i done one thing that an iphone cant do put an bat thats 90% bigger (2300 bat the default 1200 bat just plane sucks and tmoble users had Loads of complaints about it not lasting more then 4-8hrs, the Iphone is the same and if that bat F up your screwed as its not user replaceable £$£$ for apple), i get a lot more use out of my G1 phone now with out having to remember that i need to plug it in when i get into my car

ok its made the phone bigger but it lasts 2-3days now with 3g turnd on all the time i can watch long videos and not need to turn to the Plug (iphone should be called Iplug as most of my friends who use the iphone most likely will not get an new one unless they fix the batt issues, HTC need to do the same)

Smart-phone makers should be using bigger capacity battery's, yes if fine if you make 1-2 phone calls an day but, orange in the UK are just an Joke on saying how long the bat will last an HTC HD1 can not stay on for 15 days more like 2-3 days if 3g is turned off light phone use no apps running or video


RE: Um, just get a second battery
By afkrotch on 5/19/2010 8:28:44 PM , Rating: 2
They have increased battery tech and efficiency, but it's still nice to be able to use a spare battery.

Guess what? Zero mobile devices (under load) can make it on those 10+ hour flights and I'd like to have the option to swap out batteries. My laptop has 2 batteries, my PSP has 2 batteries, I even carry 2 mp3 players. And you know what? All these devices have much higher battery life than the stuff from before.

Battery tech isn't going to magically move into the future. R&D, testing, etc. It takes time. In the meanwhile, I'd like spare batteries.


RE: Um, just get a second battery
By Reclaimer77 on 5/19/2010 10:12:39 AM , Rating: 3
It's still a viable option. An option you do NOT have with Apple. He should not be down rated by stupid fanboi's for pointing out the obvious.


RE: Um, just get a second battery
By lelias2k on 5/19/10, Rating: -1
RE: Um, just get a second battery
By Reclaimer77 on 5/19/2010 11:05:17 AM , Rating: 2
Is that a statement about my political beliefs ?? Because we've been trying you "forward thinking" options for over 60 years now. Look what it's got us.


RE: Um, just get a second battery
By lelias2k on 5/19/10, Rating: 0
RE: Um, just get a second battery
By afkrotch on 5/19/2010 8:32:39 PM , Rating: 2
Really? What countries? It's more like we're all just merging together. No one is surpassing the other, as the others are just using parts from each other.


RE: Um, just get a second battery
By weskurtz0081 on 5/19/2010 11:08:13 AM , Rating: 3
Who said anything about being stuck with old ideas? From my experience, the iPhone hasn't solved the battery life issue with better software, it's still a power hungry device that doesn't get good battery life.

So, what the heck is wrong with having a replaceable battery while simultaneously trying to make software more power efficient? Clearly, no smart phones have incredibly power efficient apps yet, not even the iPhone, so at least in this case you can replace a battery if you need to.


RE: Um, just get a second battery
By MrX8503 on 5/19/2010 11:45:49 AM , Rating: 2
Someone was talking about carrying around AAA batteries. That was what I was referring to.

Carrying extra batteries is fine, but its just a bandaid to the problem. We need to look at hardware/software optimization and even battery tech. Extra batteries is a lame excuse of poor performance.

Its like saying, my car isn't fuel efficient, so I'll just carry extra gallons of gas in my trunk. Its backwards thinking.


RE: Um, just get a second battery
By weskurtz0081 on 5/19/2010 12:17:33 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, better battery technology would help, as well as more efficient software.

However, those two thing won't change today's reality. These smart phones do not have good battery life, both Apple and Android based. Right now, the only real solution is staying close to power or extra batteries. That's reality.

Now, of course we still need to push forward with better battery tech and better software, but it's not going to change the fact that the only thing to make it better right now is extra batteries or staying close to power.


RE: Um, just get a second battery
By lelias2k on 5/19/2010 1:14:16 PM , Rating: 1
Hmmm, the article is about Google's outreach summit for developers.

OK, let's just tell all developers to forget about development. Ppl can just get a second battery.

How about keeping it within context???


RE: Um, just get a second battery
By weskurtz0081 on 5/19/2010 1:46:58 PM , Rating: 2
So, why don't you take it to the person that started it? I was just commenting on an already running conversation.


RE: Um, just get a second battery
By lelias2k on 5/19/2010 6:32:53 PM , Rating: 1
I'd think replying to the thread implies that it is for everybody...


RE: Um, just get a second battery
By leexgx on 5/19/2010 7:54:27 PM , Rating: 2
why buy spare battery when you can just buy one battery anything above 2000mAh works fine i got an 2300mHa battery yes its made the phone fatter but i can use it as it was intended to be used now (you brake most covers on HTC if you had to keep on changing the batteries)

i think you can get up to 1600 that does not make the phone fatter that should get you day and an half or 2


RE: Um, just get a second battery
By GaryJohnson on 5/19/2010 11:01:07 AM , Rating: 3
That's not accurate. There are external batteries available for apple devices, like this one:
http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/cellphone/c9f0/


RE: Um, just get a second battery
By leexgx on 5/19/2010 7:56:56 PM , Rating: 2
be better if they made it go behind the iphone makes it look like an long brick prefer it to be fatter the longer


RE: Um, just get a second battery
By Tony Swash on 5/19/2010 10:23:40 AM , Rating: 5
Apple doesn't do multitasking ( scandal! )

Apple vets all apps on the iPhone ( scandal and threat to our human rights! )

Android - unvetted apps and free for all multitasking - yipes crappy battery life compared to iPhone!

Connect the dots.


RE: Um, just get a second battery
By Shark Tek on 5/19/2010 11:29:05 AM , Rating: 2
Brilliant Thinking.

Just wait for flash getting working on android I will bet you that the internet will be flooded with posts about poorer battery performance and statements of Mr. Jobs saying "I told you !!!"


RE: Um, just get a second battery
By lelias2k on 5/19/2010 1:17:30 PM , Rating: 1
I'd love to think that Flash won't be power hungry in cell phones, but considering how fast my laptop's fan turns on every time I go into a flash-intensive website, I find that really hard to believe.

From a developer perspective, Flash is definitely not irreplaceable.


RE: Um, just get a second battery
By alanore on 5/19/2010 3:22:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Apple vets all apps on the iPhone ( scandal and threat to our human rights! )


Apples app approval does not take into account the efficiency of the code. The average time spend approving an app is 6 minutes, the app is tested to make sure it doesn't crash and doesn't use illegal API calls, that's as far as code analysis goes.

It has no link what so ever to efficiency or battery life.


RE: Um, just get a second battery
By afkrotch on 5/19/2010 8:37:17 PM , Rating: 2
The app isn't tested to make sure it doesn't crash. If that were the case, why are apps still crashing on the iPhone or iPad? That or just simply causing the phone to lock up?

The app approval process is nothing more than Apple trying to make sure nothing tries to compete with Apple. The only time someone can, is if a threat of legal action comes about.


RE: Um, just get a second battery
By alanore on 5/20/2010 5:18:04 AM , Rating: 2
They do apparently test for crashing/lock-ups.

It might be that if the app doesn't crash during testing it passes that test.



what is "some reports"
By the goat on 5/19/2010 10:02:32 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
The concerning thing is that according to some reports, Android's battery life is draining rather quickly even when in standby or idle -- with no apps running (aside from the core phone apps) and no data being transmitted.

How about a link to these reports? I assume they are published critical analysis reports not some random blog comments.

My random comment: The battery in my Droid lasts much longer then a day. I usually have half a battery left when I plug it in before I go to sleep. I think the "low battery" warning has appeared all of two times in the past six months.




RE: what is "some reports"
By RamarC on 5/19/2010 10:39:02 AM , Rating: 3
apps are definitely the culprit. my wife's htc hero could barely get through an 8 hour work day but after i got rid of a few apps -- viola! 20% left at the end of the day.


RE: what is "some reports"
By Starcub on 5/19/2010 1:20:36 PM , Rating: 2
There was an article out a few days ago stating that the developer tools for Andriod were inefficient. Evidently Google developed a new compiler for the HTC line which should improve app performance and presumably battery life as well.

Google seems to be doing what it needs to to resolve the issues. If it's true that the phones are draining the battery without any apps (except the phone) running, then my guess is that HTC needs to improve the design of the phone. In part, that would address the issue Eric was talking about, but developers that use the TX/RX component of the phone would still need to get smart about it.


RE: what is "some reports"
By highlandsun on 5/20/2010 11:13:28 AM , Rating: 2
It's true, but in pretty specific conditions. If I leave my G1 idle with 3G active, it won't last 8 hours. If I turn off 3G, it can sit on standby for a couple of days, no problem.

But yes, there probably are also issues with background tasks sucking down the juice. I had an instance where my phone was repeatedly trying to download a new firmware update from T-Mobile, so again, the phone wouldn't last a night. (Strange bug caused that - the phone already had the update in question, but it kept trying to download it again and again...)

Anyway, it's obvious that the radio is the biggest power consumer - try streaming some videos to the phone and see how fast the battery gauge drops. Now think about all of those apps that are constantly syncing or downloading twitter updates from the web. Of course your battery life is going to suck.

Me, I've turned all background activity off - no IM client, no Gmail syncing, no nothing. When I want to use IMs I use ConnectBot to ssh to my server running Finch and chat from there. That way I know for certain - when I'm done and exit the session, the connection actually drops, instead of staying active in the background.


RE: what is "some reports"
By alanore on 5/19/2010 3:07:22 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah sometime it just one bad app that can cause it. My brother's N97 mini could only last 12hours tops, after a bit of investigation he found out that it was the facebook app which cause the problem. Removing it improved his battery to 2-3days light usage.

Just proves that any platform with multitasking can suffer because of poor coding.


Different approaches, different problems
By Taft12 on 5/19/2010 10:12:57 AM , Rating: 4
This problem is the result of greater freedom over the hardware Android developers are given than iPhone developers. One isn't necessarily better or worse than the other, just different.

It seems this is a real thorn in the side of users and Google execs. The solution may be some sort of a battery usage app rating so users can be aware of the impact before installing an app.




By Drag0nFire on 5/19/2010 10:18:42 AM , Rating: 2
If anyone is interested, there are people who spend a lot of time working on this:

http://www.androidcentral.com/keeping-your-charge-...


Huh?
By Chaser on 5/19/2010 9:51:43 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Fortunately for Google, these reports seem to be putting little damper on Android phone sales.


How is this fortunate?

Android has a pretty cool usage app that details and lists individual processes that cause the most battery drain. With my phone not running anything but core apps I found the culprit. The display. I found on my Droid the biggest battery hog was the display! By reducing the duration time the display stays hot after each use significantly lowered my battery use.




RE: Huh?
By MrX8503 on 5/19/2010 9:58:06 AM , Rating: 2
I think you misunderstood what Jason Mick was saying.

What he's saying is that despite poor battery life, Android devices are still selling well.


RE: Huh?
By Chaser on 5/19/2010 10:47:59 AM , Rating: 2
whoops :)


Hmm
By adiposity on 5/19/2010 12:00:53 PM , Rating: 3
From the article:
quote:
The concerning thing is that according to some reports, Android's battery life is draining rather quickly even when in standby or idle


There will always be reports like this. What would be concerning is if they were true. Personally, I am skeptical. My Droid lasts over two days and it is checking a gmail account and a business account constantly. It has the best battery life of any smartphone I've had.

I heard the incredible has a slightly worse life due to a higher clocked processor. Even so, I don't think it's that much worse.

If anyone can name a smartphone out there where someone isn't complaining about battery life, I'd love to see it.




RE: Hmm
By Alexvrb on 5/19/2010 9:03:41 PM , Rating: 2
I have family members that have Droids. If you actually use the device as a smartphone (any dumbphone can sit there and check email), the thing sucks down batteries like a <insert inappropriate hooker reference here>.

At least with the Moto Droids it's easy install an (internal) higher capacity battery, unlike the 3GS. However, after playing with the Droids, I decided I wanted something with comparable battery life to my VX10000 (Voyager). I ended up getting a killer deal on an Omnia II, and it's actually pretty decent.

It has far better battery life than the Droids, and better than my Voyager (fully up-to-date Voyager firmware too, as original Voyager firmware was NOT very good on battery life). I was originally planning on getting an extended battery, but it doesn't look like I'll need it.


Battery
By Xarthos on 5/19/2010 3:32:52 PM , Rating: 2
I run a HTC Incredible on Verizon.
The battery is lasting me from 7 am to 6pm running stuff all day long including pandora most of the day. I can charge at my desk at work if I need to but often don't need it. At home I charge it when I go to sleep around 11 pm.
So far battery life has been awesome.
Key battery items that should be turned off when not in use:
GPS,wifi,I use medium brightness because the top brightness setting could give the sun a run for its money.
Love this phone. This phone is way more professional and useful as a tool versus an Iphone.




RE: Battery
By leexgx on 5/19/2010 8:00:25 PM , Rating: 2
correct about the top setting is very bright
i wish the G1 had an Lower setting as when its dark it can light an room up


By msheredy on 5/19/2010 11:42:48 AM , Rating: 3
Go figure!




Anecdotal evidence.
By HandiCapable on 5/19/2010 10:23:49 AM , Rating: 2
Just curious what other folks have experienced. I'm hard on my phones and went through 2 iPhone 3G's before switching to the Moto Droid. I'm certain I get better battery life with this Android based handset. With that said, I know the 3GS is probably the more appropriate comparison however. Like most users, I run a task manager in the background that shuts down apps I don't specifically exclude. I would think that letting multiple apps run continuously is more likely to be the cause of some people seeing poor battery life. One of Android's best features, multitasking, gives the user the freedom to cause this situation. So isn't it more a user issue? More platform flexibility/freedom creates more opportunity for user inefficiency.




By Bateluer on 5/19/2010 11:05:05 AM , Rating: 2
Under stock Android 2.0.1, my Moto Droid would usually peter out after about 10-12 hours of normal usage. With Cyanogen Droid, and a 1Ghz LV OC kernel, I routinely make it to 18-20 hours before I need juice.

Never ran Android 2.1 stock so I cannot comment on it.




My battery is great!
By Calindar on 5/19/2010 11:40:35 AM , Rating: 2
My Droid lasts over 2 days with each charge, and that is with me using it regularly to surf the web, make phone calls, etc. 2-3 days worth of battery out of a device this powerful is pretty remarkable.




Where's reader1?!
By DaveSylvia on 5/19/2010 12:49:05 PM , Rating: 2
I figured this would be an opportune time for him to spout about how Apple's closed App Store trumps Google's App Store. Bah what am I saying, forget I said a thing!




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