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I have a Samsung Galaxy Y phone, the battery level indicator that comes pre-installed in the status bar, shows only a graphical representation of the battery level and does not gives a number (percentage).

So, I have downloaded an app to indicate the battery level, but I am afraid that this would further consume more battery. I think so because, it shows up as "Ongoing" in the status bar:

Battery level indicator as an ongoing process in the status bar.

I have tried many different battery indicators.

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If you want a numerical indication of your remaining battery, I'd recommend installing a custom ROM instead so that the actual battery icon gets replaced, seems a lot more effective than having a completely separate app for it. It definitely drains your battery, the only question is how much. –  bigbadonk420 Oct 26 '12 at 9:26
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4 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The battery indicator app in the first picture shown appears to be ours so I'd thought I'd respond. :-)

The ongoing notification shows because all ongoing notifications in Android currently must display a notification as shown, and because the app must always be in memory to work correctly. You do not need a custom rom to be sure the battery is not being drained too much.

Over a year ago I joined with Dmytro Shkil to publish both Battery Notifier (Big Text) and Battery Notifier Pro BT because his original program consumed less battery than any other app I had tried. Tested with SystemPanel with the display intentionally kept on, the free and paid versions of our program today still consume less than .01% CPU over 8 hours.

We have left out fancy graphs and other eyecandy to keep our app consuming as little battery as possible.

larryvgs

http://batterynotifierpro.blogspot.com/

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Yes, it's Big Text app. –  user221287 Oct 27 '12 at 16:35
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The battery power such app uses is very insignificant if well made. I use such app and it never shows up in the battery usage statistics. That makes me conclude that on a full cycle of 100% to 0%, those apps will not be responsible for even 1%. If the app you use does show up, it's too intensive and you should try another.

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Yes, of course they consume battery. You can go and check in Settings >> Battery how much is the app actually consuming. (It should appear something like shown the following screenshot) I think it might not consume a significant amount like other apps, but just check it and see if you are okay with the amount of battery it is consuming.

Also, if all you want is remaining battery percentage, I would recommend installing a custom ROM like CyanogenMod that shows the percentage on the status bar itself. (See the status bar in the screenshot below)

CyanogenMod Screenshot

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All battery indicator apps will consume more battery since they need to monitor the battery and that takes cpu cycles. The only difference lies in the apps themselves, on how often and precise they check the battery level and other extra stuff (stats, eyecandy, ...).

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An app doesn't have to "check the battery level" -- it registers to be sent an Intent when the battery status changes, so it is possible to show the status with very little battery consumption. If the app does other things when it receive the notification, that would be the cause of battery use. –  TomG Oct 28 '12 at 1:28
    
As I said, the difference lies in the apps themselves. A bad developer might not do it the right way and that would be a cause for battery consumption. –  Siebe Oct 29 '12 at 8:10
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