Greenify your Android Phone

Greenify is an app for rooted Android phones that will cause any named application to hibernate when it is no longer in the foreground.

An app can remain running in the background on Android devices even after you think you’ve exited it. That’s all well and and good when the app is a timer or alarm but not so good when it’s a misbehaving app sucking down network data or slowing down your device. This is where Greenify comes in and it boasts that it will allow your Android device to multitask like iOS does. A dubious boast if ever I heard one!

greenify

It was easy to configure after installing it, I selected the Facebook app and hibernated it. Greenify causes the app to hibernate after turning the screen off for 30 seconds. Once I launched Facebook again the Facebook logo appeared as if the app was shutdown and it took longer to start. It worked! It doesn’t kill the app. If it did then it might be restarted automatically.

I haven’t been able to figure out if Greenify helps extend my phone battery. Yesterday I carried out a small test which I may have botched. I launched Facebook and then left my phone for one hour with and one hour without hibernating the Facebook app from fully charged. After an hour:

  • 93% battery left with the Facebook app hibernated.
  • 95% battery left without hibernation. (Ooops!)

The difference is small and unfortunately it’s not as conclusive as you might think. During the hibernation test I fired up Ingress to paste a passcode in. I did it as quickly as possible but the Ingress app likely remained running in the background for a time. Could it have chewed through 2% of battery?
Also, charging batteries to 100% is notoriously unreliable. Even though it says 100% the battery may not be at at level.

A better test would be an overnight one starting from perhaps 90% of battery. I’ll also keep an eye on things with Better Battery Stats. That app reported that Google Maps caused several “partial wakelocks”. Unfortunately system apps like Google Maps can’t be hibernated.

This app may not save much battery power but it probably will help people with older phones and slower CPUs, but they’ll have to be running ICS. I guess if they’ve rooted their phone it’s likely they can update the ROM too..

Further reading on reddit and AP.

How to replace and calibrate your new Macbook battery

Last week I bought a new Macbook battery from the Apple Store to replace the slightly aged one that came with the machine. I’m travelling shortly and I need enough juice to play MAME and Doom do some work while I sit in airports waiting for connecting flights.

Late last week a parcel came for me, my new battery! Here’s how I replaced the old battery and calibrated the new one, with nice pictures.

macbook battery box

Continue reading How to replace and calibrate your new Macbook battery

How much of your Macbook's battery is gone for good?

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Rechargeable batteries start deteriorating from the moment they are manufactured. I’ve noticed my Canon 20D’s batteries don’t last quite as long as they did 2 years ago. AA and AAA batteries seem to be even worse. As I’m heading to San Francisco in July I’ll be doing a lot of flying so it’ll be important that my Apple Macbook laptop have a decent battery life.

There’s no quick fix for this as it’s not reversible but if you’re wondering how much life is left, then Coconut Battery is a must have. I installed it last night and it looks like my battery still has 85% of it’s capacity left after 11 months of use. That’s not bad. It’s not enough to get me across the Atlantic but I don’t know if I want to spend €139 on a second battery when I’ll only ever use it once a year.

I think it is possible to slow down the deterioration. Don’t unplug your laptop! The less you use the battery, the longer the battery will last.