Battery life; it’s the power users kryptonite. The sense of panic grows as you see the battery meter slowly drain before your very eyes. It can’t always be helped, as many factors come into play. Blame it on a faulty app, leaked OS or too many youtube videos accessed. You can also point your finger (the index, not the middle) at an application not properly closed or too many charges from a rapid charger. As Joseph mentioned a few months earlier, you have plenty of charging options to choose from. There are times when you find yourself far away from any type of charger (or outlet) and without a spare battery to swap with. You don’t necessarily want to turn off the radio to optimize power, as you need to get a few things done asap.
Having a battery monitoring app like BatteryPlus may be just what the battery doctor ordered. The application consistently monitors your battery level, provides estimated battery life and collects a log of your battery level over a period of time. It even starts to shut down processes based on battery level, low signal or even when your BlackBerry is idle. Let’s see how BatteryPlus handles a battery of tests.
BatteryPlus was developed by eMobiStudio Inc, who is all about generating efficiency and dependability. The company was founded in 2005 and provides a library of cross-platform applications. They’ve provided BlackBerry users with applications such as MemoryUp Pro (and Personal), NetworkAcc (a Mobile Network Accelerator) and HotkeyManager. The application is compatible with BlackBerry smartphones running OS 4.2 or higher. The most current version of BatteryPlus is 2.0 and has a file size of 686.8 KB
Cost: $9.99, currently on sale for $5.99
Rating in the CrackBerry AppStore: 5/5
Rating in BlackBerry App World: 4.5/5
So the first piece of information you will see, when accessing the application, is the battery status. It identifies the battery capacity/charge level (given in a percentage), temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit, the voltage and the charging status. I found it a bit confusing to see a status that told me whether or not the battery was removable or not. Any compatible BlackBerry smartphone has a removable battery and the BlackBerry PlayBook isn’t compatible. Perhaps BatteryPlus can detect if you have glued your battery to the inside of your BlackBerry…
This screen also gives you an estimated guess as to what the remaining talk and standby times may be, based on your specific model of smartphone – represented by minutes and hours, respectively. From the menu, you can also choose to view additional device info. Not pertanent to the battery per se, but you can see PIN, platform version, model and memory of your smartphone, as well as your wireless number and network (vendor, type of network and WiFi status).
Reporting for duty. Within the Battery Log is a graphical representation of the power usage. It measures the charge percentage against time on a line graph and can be used to see a log over a day, week or a month. There’s also a Log view, which shows what level your battery is currently at- in intervals of 30 to 60 minutes (your choice). It will also indicate a charge or discharge next to the percentage (using a simple “-“ to indicate a discharge).
Battery Boosting and Processes
Now we come to the most important part – getting as much juice as you can from your battery. In the menu is a Process View option. It works exactly the same as a simple Switch Application where it shows all of the active processes and allows you to jump to one. To make this more effective, the process view should include an option to end the process without having to switch to the application to close it.
Now, the Battery Boost is where you can really tweak with the settings in order to make your BlackBerry more power conscious. You can activate the Auto-Lock after 30 seconds, 1 min, 3 minutes or 5 minutes. Once locked, you can then choose to disable WiFi or turn off your LED. If you want to prepare for Code Red (low battery), you can again turn on/off WiFi or LED, as well as the backlight, play an audible warning and modify vibration feature. BatteryPlus will automatically play a sample of the audible alarm once it is selected. You cannot choose a downloaded tone unfortunately, so you choices are quite limited.
More power is used when you are in an area of poor coverage and that means a decreased battery life while you struggle to maintain a signal. Through BatteryPlus, you can disable the radio and WiFi if it falls below a specific threshold. You can then choose how long the application should wait until it turns them off, as well as how long to wait until turning them back on. These are great options, but I had a suggestion for turning off WiFi for low signal. I would have included an option to not turn it back on automatically at all. The reason is because if a person is leaving to go elsewhere, they may not be going somewhere else with WiFi. So rather than constantly activating and deactivating WiFi, just leave it off until the user wants to connect again.
BatteryPlus is a nearly effortless way to manage your battery life. Again, a couple of additional options here and there will add to the efficiency. Having the log can help you remember what you were doing at the time of the big power level drop and hopefully make you more aware (and more conservative). The audible alert helped remind me that I forgot to close a power draining application a few times. If you want to check out BatteryPlus, you can pick it up for $5.99 (regular price is $9.99).
Promotion: As an exclusive offer to the CrackBerry Nation, you can use the promo code CrackBerry2011 to get BatteryPlus for only $4.99! Offer expires August 16th at midnight PST. Please note: This code will only work in the mobile app store or mobile app store client from your device.