Android Battery Life: 13 Ways to Improve It

Last Updated Aug 11, 2010 2:59 PM EDT

Do you love your Android phone so much that you're killing the battery? (Hey, I've seen that glorious Droid X up-close and personal -- I can understand the addiction.)

Sounds like you need the How-To Geek's Complete Guide to Maximizing Your Android Phone's Battery Life. This 13-step guide covers everything from adjusting backlight brightness to disabling apps that sync constantly.

Here's tip #1, which explains Android's little-known (but incredibly useful) battery usage screen, shown above:

There's a screen built into Android that most casual users probably don't even know about, and it can tell you exactly what is killing your battery. Head into Settings â€"> About Phone â€"> Battery use to see what has been killing your battery life.

From this screen, you can usually see what apps are the worst offenders, and you will probably notice that the biggest problem -- at least, the biggest one that we can fix -- is actually the backlight on the phone. Personally I'd prefer to talk less to other humans, but that isn't always an option!

Many of these tips apply to other smartphones, like turning off Bluetooth, GPS, and/or Wi-Fi when you're not using them. Thus, even if you don't own an Android phone, you might find this guide worthwhile.

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.