JuiceDefender reclaims your smartphone battery

Having a smartphone has, without being too over dramatic, revolutionised the way I live and work. I can pick up email, read my Twitter and Facebook accounts, access files and stream my MP3s on SugarSync, use it as a GPS, keep track of my appointments through Pocket Informant, keep my life organised with Remember the Milk, browse the web … hell, I can even make calls on it!

But the one big bugbear with any smartphone is battery life. Use it for anything other than miniscule tasks and you can see the battery level drop quicker than a Manchester United fan’s face when he hears Rooney is facing another ban!

I am sure that the iPhone and Blackberry have their own apps for extending battery life but I have just stumbled on a lifesaver for the Android family – JuiceDefender. It’s available in three flavours, free, plus and ultimate and I opted for the plus version for just under one Euro as a special offer.

JuiceDefender extends your battery life by intelligently and transparently managing the most battery-draining components of your Android device, like 3G/4G connectivity and WiFi. Install it and the pre-set modes will give you precious hours of battery life. Go under the bonnet and you can tweak everything to your unique needs.

Features include:

  • 5 pre-set profiles (from default mode to full customization)
  • easy and intuitive user interface (ads free!)
  • 2 home screen widgets
  • mobile data toggle automation
  • 2G/3G toggle automation
  • WiFi toggle automation + auto-disabling option
  • location-aware WiFi control (e.g. enable WiFi only at home/work, disable it otherwise)
  • battery consumption optimization (e.g. when screen off, battery under threshold, etc.)
  • comprehensive connectivity scheduling (regular schedule, night time/peak time, week days/weekends)
  • connectivity control for specific apps (e.g. when Pandora is running, leave connectivity on no matter what)
  • CPU scaling when phone is idle
  • full activity log

It’s early days but I have noticed a significant difference already. During the day when picking up email, checking into Twitter and Facebook it generally comes in at 1/4 full of power but with JuiceDefender I still have 50% left.

A word of warning. I downloaded the free version and then upgraded to the plus and uninstalled the basic – mistake. The basic version is the core and the plus option – and I assume the ultimate – runs as an add in so you will need the basic core program.

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Kevin Tea is a journalist and marketing communications professional who has worked for some of the leading blue chip companies in the UK and Europe. In the 1990s he became interested in how emerging Internet-based technologies could change the way that people worked and became an administrator on the Telework Europa Forum on CompuServe. With other colleagues he took part in a four year European Commission sponsored project to look at the way that the Internet could benefit remote communities. His blog is a resource for SMEs who want to use cloud computing and Web 2.0 technologies.