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What can I do to increase battery life on my Android phone?

What are the best applications or best practices for fixing slow operating phones and poor battery life on Android 2.2?

I use task killer but it doesn't seem to help that much. I wish there was an automatic task killer that would automatically prevent letting useless applications run in the background. I'm tired of doing a factory restore on my phone every month after it slows down to a screeching halt. Do you think it's worth upgrading to the G2 or does the G2 have the same problems?