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Android Tips and Tricks

Let it be known that I LOVE my Motorola Droid and I love the Android operating system. Both are rock solid and fast. The problem is that I’m a power user in every sense of the word. I’m pretty sure they don’t make a phone fast enough to keep up with me. That said I strive to get the last little bit of performance out of most of the hardware that I get my hands on. This has led to a sort of crusade to find the best performance tweaks for my Motorola Droid which should also apply to any other Android based phones. Some of the stuff is kind of face palm simple but some other tweaks might surprise you. Lets get started.


  1. Wifi ON. Traditional logic would say if you activate wifi and 3G that you are running twice as many chips so twice as much power usage. As it turns out Android is very very wifi friendly and will re-direct traffic to Wifi when ever it has it and will sort of low power mode the phone radio. I’ve gone from getting just about a day out of my phone to closer to a day and a half. Here’s how on Android 2.0 and later:
    1. Menu Icon
    2. Settings
    3. Location & Security
    4. Check “Use wireless networks”
  2. Turn OFF GPS. I’ve all ready found 3 family members who’s Android phones came with GPS on by default and didn’t know it. Obviously if they didn’t know what the little satellite dish icon is about they certainly didn’t know how to shut it off. So here’s how on Android 2.0 and later:
    1. Menu Icon
    2. Settings
    3. Location & Security
    4. Uncheck “Use GPS satellites.
  3. Set display brightness to automatic. Android has been designed pretty brilliantly to know when a screen needs to be fully lit or can be dimmed so setting the display brightness to automatic will help extend your battery life. Again it’s pretty easy to get there. Here’s how:
    1. Menu Icon
    2. Settings
    3. Sound & Display settings
    4. Brightness
    5. Check “Automatic Brightness”
  4. Finally get a good task manager. While this doesn’t necessarily save battery it makes your phone feel snappy and “new” which makes you forgive any battery life short comings your phone may have. On Verizon both the Droid and the Droid Eris come with a manual task manager installed by default. Manually running a task killer is a waste of time and seems silly on a phone so grab the “Automatic Task Killer” app from the marketplace. It’s free and will keep you from having to manage your tasks as it sits in the background and does what it’s name implies. You can  whitelist/blacklist apps that are to be automatically killed and which ones are untouched. You can also set the time out where the app will wait a certain amount of time after screen sleep then kill your blacklisted apps. I haven’t manually killed an app or worried about app management in at least a month.
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