The best Android apps for boosting battery life

These smart Android power management apps can help you add hours to your smartphone's day

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Green Power has so many useful features I found myself hungering for even more. My phone gets far more power in 2G mode than 3G, but Green Power offers no way to switch between 2G and 3G as a battery-saving measure (using only 2G in night mode, for example), though Android lets you toggle this manually. But the things Green Power does, and does well, make it absolutely worth trying. The newest version adds a plug-in architecture, so new features courtesy of third parties may soon be on the way.

2x Battery is reminiscent of Green Power, but it only manages the use of cellular data connections, providing no control over Wi-Fi.

Android battery savers: 2x Battery

2x Battery (version 1.43) comes off as a lesser version of Green Power, as it has many of the same features but not quite all of them. Whereas Green Power manages both cellular and Wi-Fi connections, 2x Battery focuses on cellular data connections. If it had any Wi-Fi-specific features, it would be outstanding. As it is now, it's only pretty good.

When enabled, 2x Battery can disable cell data whenever the screen dims or after a specific amount of time, but it can maintain the connection if any programs in a user-defined whitelist happen to be running. You can also set an intermittent interval to allow data connections with the screen off, so programs can talk intermittently to the network as needed.

In addition, 2x Battery provides you with a status-bar icon that lets you know, both graphically and numerically, how much power remains. Open the status panel, and you'll see some details about estimated battery life and savings. The program's main panel shows you its current running status -- for instance, if it's paused because Wi-Fi is turned on -- and more details about the battery life.

The biggest omission is explicit control over Wi-Fi. If the phone connects to a Wi-Fi network, all of 2x Battery's data management functions are automatically disabled. This is a showstopper for me because I use Wi-Fi more often than cell data, and I want to manage both where possible. For people who don't rely so heavily on Wi-Fi, 2x Battery might be a good fit. It's free.

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