Battery life is always going to be an important spec to me

battery - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

I’ve written articles about a ton of different Tasker creations, but one thing that I’ve steered clear of is dealing with battery drain. As a result of that, I sometimes get questions and comments regarding a Tasker setup’s potential effect on battery life, and even the use of Tasker in itself is subject to a lot of battery savers’ scrutiny. Every time that happens, I reply that it’s a problem I can’t help with, because it’s a problem I don’t have- and never expect to have.

I expect my devices to last me through the day. Plugging them in at night is not a problem, and it’s in fact something I do with my phone every day anyways, because it triggers my Tasker based sleep mode. I have no use for multi-day battery life, because I’masleep for 6+ hours every day, which is more than enough to top off my devices. What I do expect them to do, however, is last me through the day- no matter what I do with them.

I expect to be able to let Tasker run my creations in the background of my phone, not have to turn off WiFi, 3G, or anything else. I expect it to be fine with me leaving the screen on for monitoring a timer, using full screen brightness outside, have it sync stuff over 3G, and be able to use the camera LED as a flashlight. I expect to be able to use my iPad mini as a paper replacement, meaning that I want it to be able to last through a full day of lectures, even if the screen is on every second of it. I expect to be able to put it in its cradle when I come home, and use it as a third screen for my computer setup, perhaps showing some source material while I’m working on an article on my main monitor and playing Netflix on my secondary monitor. Bottom line: I expect never to have to have to worry that my devices will run out of battery power before it’s convenient for me to charge them.

And they don’t run out of power too early. Ever. All of the above works flawlessly, and battery power is never an issue. However, that’s not a coincidence; I buy devices that are actually capable of doing what I need them to do in terms of battery life. When i bought my phone a year ago, I ended up buying the Galaxy S II instead of other phones for several reasons, one of which was the easy access to an extended battery. I haven’t even used the battery that came with the phone, as the 2000mAh official extended battery arrived the same day the phone did, and the phone’s first boot was with that battery. 25% extra capacity is enough to make the phone reliable in the battery department for me, though larger batteries are available, should I ever need that. As for the iPad mini, I’m lucky that Apple appreciates good battery life, as software locks me to iOS for tablets. Had the iPad’s battery life not been sufficient, however, I would have had an external battery pack- or case- as a standard part of my setup. Throughout the years, I’ve had laptops, MIDs, phones, and other devices that have all had one thing in common: They lasted through the day for me.

The point I’m trying to make here is that living in a world where I have to save battery power to get through the day is not an option for me. Nor does it have to be for anyone. Even devices without user-replaceable batteries support external batteries, maybe even battery cases. You can get such batteries in every capacity imaginable, and you get get both solar chargers and other oddities that even takes access to AC power out of the equation. It is completely your own choice whether or not you ever want to find yourself with a dead phone, and it’s your own choice whether or not you want to run around worrying about battery power.

There are probably a ton of reasons people have for actually ending up in situations where battery life is a problem. Lack of preparedness, lack of knowledge that there are products that eliminate the issue, or perhaps just the fact that they want a naked phone without accessories, and at the same time want or have a particular phone that isn’t capable of keeping up with their use on its own. That’s fine; like I said, it’s your own choice. To me, however, battery life is always going to be front and center for any mobile device setup. After all, it doesn’t matter whether your phone has a single core, dual core, or quad core CPU; a 2 megapixel 2006-era camera or a 13 megapixel camera with awesome optics; a device without power tends to be just as useless no matter what other features it has.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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