Get Better Battery Life on Android Without Root Using This App
If there's one thing every smartphone user can agree on, it's that we want better battery life.
Fortunately, it's becoming more achievable than ever. One of the best root apps for getting longer battery life on Android, called Naptime, is now available for every device running Marshmallow or later -- even on phones that aren't rooted. It can extend your time between charges by hours. Let's take a look.
Doze and Naptime
Android introduced a new feature in Marshmallow, subsequently refined in Nougat and Oreo, aimed at extending the battery life of all phones and tablets. It's called Doze, and it works by cutting power consumption whenever you aren't using the device.
Doze is a great idea, but it has limitations in the way that it has been implemented. One is that there's no way to configure it. The other is that it only works under certain conditions.
You might think your phone isn't in use when it's sitting in your pocket with the screen turned off. But, in fact, the device's sensor would still detect motion, and this prevents Doze from kicking in. As a result Doze only really works when your phone is sitting on a desk untouched for at least half an hour.
Both of these limitations are addressed from the developer of one of Android's most popular custom kernels.
Naptime is described as "Super Doze," and is much more aggressive in initiating the battery savings. By default, it sets Doze to activate five seconds after you turn the screen off. And it comes with a full set of configuration options, including the ability to whitelist apps to ensure those that are intended to run in the background don't get disrupted.
Until recently, Naptime was only available for rooted phones. We listed it among the best root options for extending battery life. But now it works on non-rooted devices as well, although it does still require a bit of extra legwork to get it set up.
Set Up Naptime Without Root
Setting up Naptime on a phone that isn't rooted requires you to activate a couple of settings in Android, via the ADB app. ADB is a part of the Android SDK that enables you to access and tweak system files directly. Read our full guide to using ADB if you want to know more.
To get started, download the SDK Platform-Tools from here. There are versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Unzip the folder when it's done.
On your phone go to Settings > About phone, then tap Build number seven times to enable the Developer options. Now hit the Back button and go to Developer options > Enable USB debugging, then tap OK.
Connect your phone to your computer with a USB cable. The next steps differ depending on whether you're using Windows, Mac, or Linux.
- Open the platform-tools folder you downloaded and extracted.
- Shift + Right-click inside the folder and select Open Command window here, or Open PowerShell here.
- In the window that opens, type (or copy and paste) adb -d shell pm grant com.franco.doze android.permission.DUMP and hit Enter.
- Next, type adb -d shell pm grant com.franco.doze android.permission.WRITE_SECURE_SETTINGS and hit Enter.
- You can now disconnect your phone, and should be able to launch Naptime.
On Mac and Linux
- Locate the platform-tools folder you downloaded and extracted.
- Open the Terminal app on your computer. In the window that opens, type cd[space] then drag the platform-tools folder into the Terminal window. This should fill in the path to the folder, so it should now say cd [path to platform-tool folder]. Hit Enter.
- Now type (or copy and paste) ./adb -d shell pm grant com.franco.doze android.permission.DUMP and hit Enter.
- Next, type ./adb -d shell pm grant com.franco.doze android.permission.WRITE_SECURE_SETTINGS and hit Enter.
- You can now disconnect your phone, and should be able to launch Naptime.
Set Up Naptime With Root
If you're reading this and do have a rooted phone, activating Naptime is as simple as launching the app and then granting root access when prompted. It should work on all rooted phones running Marshmallow or later, and it also works with the excellent Magisk rooting method.
Configure Naptime for Better Battery Life
The Naptime interface is split into two main sections. There's the basic Options panel at the top, and the very detailed Advanced Settings at the bottom. This is hidden by default, and you don't really need to use it.
The Aggressive Doze setting is where the action happens. This activates Doze just five seconds after you turn the screen off, instead of the usual 30 minutes. Below that are three further options to tweak. All three are set to Off by default.
- Re-apply Doze after wakeups: Activate this for more aggressive battery savings. It's off by default to minimize disruption to apps that do need to work in the background.
- Disable motion detection during Doze: Shuts down the sensors when the screen's off. This would interrupt things like a step counter, or a lift-to-wake gesture.
- Disable aggressive Doze when charging: Determines whether Naptime should continue functioning when the device is charging.
Next, there are two further options to look at below.
Apps whitelist for sensors usage during Doze allows you to select a single app (Android limits it to one) that can continue using the phone's sensor when Doze is active. A pedometer app would be ideal for this option.
Battery optimization takes you to the equivalent screen within the Android Settings. This effectively functions as a full whitelist. Apps that are marked as Not optimized are able to bypass Doze, so any that you want running in the background while the screen's off (e.g. music apps) can be added here.
Tap Not optimized then select All apps. Select the app you want to change, followed by Don't optimize > Done.
Exploring the Advanced Settings
If you don't want to use the Aggressive Doze option, you can disable it and tweak the Advanced Settings instead. These change the built-in Doze settings directly. There are 26 to choose from, and tapping the i alongside each one offers an explanation of what they do. This is for advanced users only. For most, the Aggressive Doze mode will be the best.
Other Battery Saving Tips
Naptime can have a big effect in reducing battery drain when you aren't actively using your phone. It's part of a whole raft of techniques for getting longer battery life, including:
Have you tried Naptime? What are your experiences with it? Do you have any other tips for getting longer battery life? Head down to the comments to share your thoughts.
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Read NextAbout The Author
Andy is a former print journalist and magazine editor who has been writing about technology for 15 years. In that time he has contributed to countless publications and produced copywriting work for large tech companies. He has also provided expert comment for the media and hosted panels at industry events.
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There's a lot of conflicting information out there when it comes to the best habits for charging a smartphone's battery, so let's clear some of that up right off the bat. Lithium ion batteries (the type used in most modern electronics) start to lose their ability to hold a charge over time, and the two biggest factors that contribute to this are excess heat and overcharging.
In a cruel twist of fate, the act of charging your phone's battery causes it to heat up, and topping it off to 100% charge contributes to reduced capacity over time. To be more specific, ResearchGate found that charging a battery to only 85% yielded a longer lifespan than charging to the full 100%. This is not even getting into the whole Note7 exploding battery fiasco — which, by the way, Samsung once tried to remedy by issuing an update that limited the phone's battery to 60 percent.
Knowing that charging to a full 100% isn't the best practice for long-term battery health, developer harsha1397 created a root app that lets you choose your own charging limit. The XDA Portal team was first to spot this innovative app, but I'll go over how it works in layman's terms below. It's not compatible with every device, but if it works for yours, you can simply set a percentage, then your phone will automatically stop charging once it hits that threshold.
Don't Miss: 6 Easy Ways to Increase Battery Life on Your Android Device
Step 1: See if This Mod Will Work on Your Phone
First up, you'll need to make sure this app will work with your particular device. To do that, start by plugging your phone into a charger. From there, open your favorite root file browser, then navigate to the /sys/class/power_supply/battery folder. Next, open the charging_enabled file with a text editor, delete the number 1, and then replace it with the number 0. When you're done there, save the file.
At this point, your phone should stop charging, so head to your battery menu to verify. If the device continues to charge, it's not compatible with this app.
Once you're done with this quick test, make sure to restart your phone. This will reset the number in the charging_enabled file back to 1.
Step 2: Install Battery Charge Limit
Now that you know your phone is compatible, it's time to install the app. To do that, grab the APK from the following link, then tap the Download complete notification and press "Install" when prompted.
Step 3: Set a Battery Charge Threshold
Next, open the app, then tap the "Change" button next to the Limit entry. From here, type in a percentage between 50 and 95 (this is when your battery will stop charging), then press the "Apply" button.
Toggle the Enable switch at the top of the screen, then Battery Charge Limit will ask for Superuser access, so tap "Grant" on the popup. Once you're done there, you're all set to go.
Step 4: Enjoy a Healthier Battery
From now on, you'll see an ongoing notification from Battery Charge Limit whenever you connect your phone to a charger. This is the only time the app runs in the background, so it doesn't have any impact on battery life. Then, once your battery hits the desired threshold, charging will immediately stop.
The app will keep the device from charging until the battery level falls by 3%, at which point it will temporarily allow charging again, then repeat this same cycle. Over time, this practice should lead to a more healthy and longer-lasting battery.
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Battery Charge Limit [ROOT]
NOTE: This app requires ROOT access to work - if you don't know what it is, it is highly probable that your device doesn't have it. There is no other way this app can work on non-rooted phones. Not all devices may be supported as well! If your device is not supported, please follow the help & support text below. Also, checkout xda-developers.com for more information on rooting devices.
The app works when the device is plugged in and starts charging below the max threshold and will stop once the device is either unplugged or hits the max threshold, completely stopping charging!
The app is OPEN SOURCE, with the source code found on Github: https://github.com/sriharshaarangi/BatteryChargeLimit
Check out the XDA thread for more help & support:
XDA forum link: https://forum.xda-developers.com/android/apps-games/root-battery-charge-limit-t3557002
Help & Support
To request support for a device/issue, please open an Issue on GitHub and a developer will assist you soon!
This app is not responsible for unintended behavior - though any changes done by it are usually temporary and typically do not survive a reboot.
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