The Android G1 is a fantastic piece of technology that offers the kind of functionality that a few years ago we could only dream about. However, such raw power comes at a pretty high price; thanks to its ‘always on’ connection and other features, the G1 unfortunately drinks power faster than a football fan downs his pre-match pint.
Even if you don’t hammer the various functions offered by the handset you’re lucky if you get more than a day’s worth of use out of a single charge. If you happen to utilize the phone for surfing the web, accessing email, watching YouTube videos and playing MP3s then you’ll only get a couple of hours’ worth of usage before the battery bites the dust.
Thankfully, David Medina’s Power Manager is designed to help you wring as much time out of your phone as possible before you have to dash to the nearest power point.
From the Power Manager control panel, you can see what services you currently have running and select (and create) various profiles that suit your needs at any given time.
For example, one setting can be used to enable all of the phone’s features – from WiFi to Bluetooth – for when you need to exploit everything the handset has to offer. Naturally, this setting will drain the battery quickest.
If you’re going on a long journey and want your juice to last as long as possible you can select one of the more skimpy options, which turns off all extraneous features and even dims your screen’s backlight so it requires less power. There’s also the option to only use 2G networks, which naturally creates less demand on the battery.
The program also has various automated options, too. Should your battery level drop below 30% capacity, Power Manager instantly shuts down certain features to make sure those last few drops of energy last as long as possible.
If you’re a sucker for information and statistics you’ll be happy to learn that the application also displays data regarding the health of your power unit (so you know when it needs replacing) as well as data such as battery health, operating temperature and voltage.
The app is currently available as a free trial and a paid-for download. The trial version doesn’t let you create new profiles, but the ones that come pre-loaded are fairly useful. However, for a measly $0.99 (about 60p) you can purchase the full version, which grants a fairly comprehensive level of customisation and is really what Power Manager is all about.
Aside from the fact that the new 1.5 ‘Cupcake’ update prevents Power Manager from accessing some aspects of the phone, the main issue we have is the somewhat counter-intuitive nature of the graphical interface; it’s not always instantly obvious which profile you’re currently running and some key options are hidden within menus. Hopefully the developer will look into giving the entire application a lick of paint because at the moment it’s a bit uninspiring.
Still, such an application isn’t really intended to turn heads. The most attractive aspect of Power Manager is that it will enable you to keep your phone going for longer between charges, and for that reason alone it comes highly recommended.
Power Manager info
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Platform: Google Android
Developer: X-Phone Software
Website/Demo: X-Phone website