• What did the Droid X do all night?

    Got me a Droid X yesterday. That’s one fancy little machine!

    Anyway, I decided to enter the modern age and not turn off my cell phone at home. With the Droid doing so much work, alerting me to all manner of electronic communications that might have anything to do with me, I left it on. All night.

    Upon waking this morning I found the battery drained. It went from a 90% charge to 0% charge in eight hours, during which I received a whopping three emails. I had it on the most conservative battery management option. WTF?!?

    Is it because I left it on WiFi mode? Is there something else running in the background I should turn off? What did the Droid X do all night?

    Tonight I’ll power it down, perhaps plugged into the charger. Still, it’s a bit odd to me that the thing can’t sit idle for 8 hours and not waste itself.

    While I’m talking Droid, some other questions for readers: What’s your favorite app for reading PDFs on the device? What’s your favorite app for reading news? Any other apps I must know about?

    • Austin,
      Get Beeston

    • Whoops sorry about last post my phone misbehaving now.

      Get NewsRob if you use google reader, lets you read rss (like say TIE) without needing to have a net connection.

      Get Juice Defender for battery life.

      And from what I understand wifi actually uses less battery than the data networks but still more than turning data off entirely.

      • Other readers write me to recommend:

        “ColorNote” which is free and is just a ‘sticky pad’ type system.

        Shortyz (crosswords), Runkeeper, Gasbuddy, Doubletwist

    • Droids update themselves at night I’m pretty sure. Since you just got it, it probably had several updates to complete.
      iPhones are better.

    • Wi-Fi is constantly sending out a signal (call it “search/receive) and is one of the highest energy consumers — as well as your GPS signal search. You don’t need to leave Wi-Fi on since 3g doesn’t use nearly as much energy and any Net interactions will happen over the 3g net. I don’t see why you don’t just leave the Droid plugged into its charger anyway at night and that way, first thing in the AM it’ll be 100%?

      • @emilswift – Advice received! My behavior was shaped by my prior phone. Though I used it for email and web, it could go a week or so on one charge. I did not imagine one night would drain the Droid no matter what its settings. I was wrong!

    • I was just reading the OP and I thought…”my husband should reply to this email”. So I start reading the replies and there is his reply. I had to laugh to myself about that. He is my #1 techy geek!

      • First confirmed husband and wife commenters. Next, I want two people to meet in the comments, fall in love, and marry. Then I will consider this blog to have been worth the effort. 🙂

    • Your Driod apps probably have the polling setting rather high. Messaging service is still not widely adopted on a lot of Driod apps.This drains the battery really fast. I have a Galaxy S on Froyo. If I do not touch my phone, the battery will last all day. If I use it lightly, I will have to charge it at about 8pm.

      I adore Flipboard, but it is hard to keep track of articles I like to reread or for future research.

      It is funny that smart phones die so fast. I was at SXSW and my phone died about mid afternoon everyday. My friend’s razor phone (yes that is a 2004 phone) lasts for 4 days without a charge.

    • I use both Acrobat Reader (free) and Repligo Reader (paid) for reading PDFs. Acrobat is the most faithful to the original PDF, but Repligo has a “reading mode” that tries to extract the text of a PDF and make it easier to read on a small screen. Depending on what I’m looking for I use one or the other.

      As for news, I tend to just browse to Google News rather than using an app.

      In terms of other non-obvious apps, my favorite is ShopSavvy (free). It can scan barcodes of what you’re looking at and tell you if there are better local or online deals. Ringdroid (free) is cool for free custom ringtones (it’ll take any mp3 you have and edit it down – it works with other formats as well but in some cases like Ogg Vorbis, you’ll need to pre-edit the sound clip).

      One other tip – make sure you set Flash to load on-demand in the browser. That way you can run Flash apps when you want to, but they don’t get in the way when you’re not interested.

    • From the browser Settings menu go to Enable plug-ins. They’re strangely vague about it, but plug-ins effectively means Flash (I don’t know if there are any other Android browser plug-ins). Your choices are Always on, On demand and Off.

      On demand will make Flash apps appear as empty boxes with little arrows in them – and you’ll have to touch them to execute them. It is pretty-much how things look if you use Firefox with some of the flash-blocking extensions, which I tend to do on the desktop anyway.

      • A friend writes me:

        fun, music, food:

        Google Sky Map
        SoundHound (ID any song)
        TuneIn Radio (easily listen to any radio station on the internet)
        Urbanspoon (restaurant finder)
        Remote for iTunes
        AnDrawing (i got this for my daughter. I usually put the phone in “Airplane Mode” before I start AnDrawing – eliminates advertising.)

        Count It – this simply counts.


        FTP Cafe
        LogMeIn (lets you control your computer remotely)
        Remote Notifier (complex to set up, but lets me see phone activity on my computer)
        StopWatch & Timer
        Tasker (lets you customize phone settings. I have it set to turn on GPS when I turn on Maps, automatically lower sound after 10pm, raise at 7am)
        Navigation – ties in with Google Maps.

        Cable TV:

        FIOS Mobile Remote
        My Verizon Mobile
        Verizon FIOS DVR Manager

        Quick Droid X tip: restart it once a day, or whenever it gets buggy. Just press and hold the power button at the top until it shuts down, then press again to restart.

    • Thanks, Ravi! Didn’t know about that browser setting… I’m sure it’ll help a lot! (NOTE: I was confused, thinking at first Ravi meant the Settings on the homepage — but he said “browser” and that’s just what he meant…!)

    • My Droid X will last a couple of days with light use. Turn off Wifi, GPS & Bluetooth when not in use. I also have my screen setting to low. I only charge the battery when I get the low battery notification, and don’t leave it on the charger more than 2 hours. I was told leaving it on the charger will shorten the battery life. I’ve only had it for 6 weeks, but so far so good.

      Good info on the browser setting , I’ll give that a try!

    • Yes, I know – but I usually put it on the charger around 7pm and take it off the charger before lights out… works for me…

    • Leave the Droid X on the charger as much as you want — the Verizon Wireless User Guide reads: “Motorola batteries and charging systems have circuitry that protects the battery from damage from overcharging.”

      A basic error is made when one thinks of the Droid as a mobile phone — it’s actually a mobile computing platform and performs many, simultaneous processes in the background. Most of these you can control — but you have to educate yourself on what they are and which ones to turn off when not in use.

    • I had the same problem with my droid x but mine was older I just took it in and received a new one but yours may be a manufacturers defect why don’t u go get it replaced and another thing invest into the extended battery it last quite a bit longer

    • I switched to the Droid X from a Blackberry, and spent a lot of time swearing. Mostly about the performance and battery life. However, the following 3 things made the world of difference for me, and I’m happy with it now.

      1. Update to the latest firmware. Settings > About Phone > System Updates. Wipes your phone, but I saw a TREMENDOUS improvement going from 2.2 to 2.3.

      2. Keep WIFI off. As mentioned above, I’ve found it to be a big battery drain unless:

      3. Select “Maximum battery saver” in Settings > Battery Manager. Turns off data if not used every 15 minutes, but all of my apps I care about for data have refresh buttons.