A very long-awaited update to Google Fit began rolling out earlier this week, but it seemed to focus almost entirely on improvements to the Wear micro-app while the main app was all but ignored. As it turns out, that was a mistake. A fresh update to the app started rolling out yesterday and it brings the rest of the features that were intended for this release – and what a list of features they are.
Note: Everything here was about to be part of a teardown, but the update stole that thunder. Read More
We've already talked about Doze in Android M a few times. That's a system-wide state that keeps your phone or tablet in deep sleep when it's not being used. App Standby is a distinct feature that works to keep individual unused apps from gobbling up power in the background. Depending on how many apps you install on your phone, this could be a bigger deal than Doze. Read More
Doze is one of the more interesting features of Android M, and also potentially huge for the platform. Google has said again and again that the new version of Android would improve battery life, but they might have actually done it this time. Doze puts apps into deep sleep when the device isn't in use to save power, and Google's developer docs explain exactly how this will work. Read More
One of Google's big projects for Android M is battery optimization. It's doing this by implementing a new Doze mode that puts unneeded apps into an ultra low-power state that keeps them from doing too much in the background. While this should all work smoothly on its own, it turns out you can go into the settings and fiddle with things.
Have you ever wondered why the blacks on your Samsung phone look so, well, black? Ask your nearest videophile, and he or she will tell you that it's because AMOLED screens emit no light from pixels when they're assigned to draw the "black" color. It's black because the pixel is almost literally turned off. By the same token, an AMOLED pixel displaying black will also draw almost no electrical power. So AMOLED phones with black wallpapers or black-themed apps can, at least theoretically, boost their battery life significantly.
That's the principle behind Pixel OFF, a new tool available in the Play Store. Read More
When we hear about smartphone advancements, usually it revolves around cramming more pixels onto our screens or beefing up our devices with even more powerful processors. Yet in this move to take everything mobile, where are the bigger batteries?
Dyson, the company that makes that cool-looking fan you picked up the other day, wants to help change things. The hand dryer-producer has invested $15 million in Sakti3, a Michigan-based company whose battery technology potentially has a higher energy density than the Lithium ion batteries powering our smartphones and Dyson's handheld vacuums.
No, it doesn't run Android. Yes, it's still relevant. Read More
Google introduced the power saving mode in the last developer preview, and it seems to work the same this time with one notable exception—orange. Lots of orange. When you activate power saver mode, your status bar and nav bar will turn orange and stay that way until you shut off power saver.
Android Wear is naturally more limited than regular builds of Android, but some of the omissions just don't make sense. No battery monitor, Google? Really? Well, there's finally an app that fills in some of the gaps, and it's called Wear Battery Monitor. That's a descriptive, if predictable name.
The app can be opened on the watch to get a battery percent graph over time with a maximum of 24 hours of data. The phone app can also be used to explore your battery performance, but it will only sync with the watch when you open it as a way to save power. Read More
Every now and then an app pops up that looks like it was designed entirely for people like us. And by us, I mean tech reviewers, enthusiasts, and people who just somehow end up with more gadgets to maintain than we know what to do with. In this situation, it can be challenging to keep up with all the electronics and make sure each device is charged enough for use. Potential is a new app (still in beta) that can keep track of everything's battery life from a single location, and with its slick Material-inspired design, it looks good doing it.
What It Does
Potential is an app for monitoring the status of multiple devices from a single spot. Read More