Google is a big fan of using artificial intelligence and machine learning to make our phones do a lot more, with less. And for the most part it works. And it works well. One of those features is the Adaptive Battery mode which is now included in Android. It can learn how you use your phone and optimize your battery to last longer. But there is something more to it.
So let’s take a look at what exactly Android Adaptive battery is, how to enable it and what it does.
What is Android Adaptive Battery?
On Android, there are many apps that run in the background, compared to iOS where many are idle. That’s one way iOS can provide such better battery life with smaller battery sizes. Many apps on Android are constantly fetching data such as your contacts, location data, and other things. Which comes at the expense of battery life.
It’s clear that pulling your contacts uses much less power than getting your location data. And without something to regulate and coordinate power consumption, you would notice a huge drain on your battery. That’s where Adaptive Battery comes into play. It does a few things to make the battery last longer without affecting how you use your phone. Those things include:
- Limit background activity
- Learn how to use the phone; and
- Reduce performance
Now let’s take a look at each of these and what they actually do.
Limit background activity
The biggest way Adaptive Battery works to extend your battery life is by limiting how apps can run in the background. Some apps will obviously use a lot more power than others. And if Adaptive Battery is enabled and the app is running too much, you’ll receive a notification with an option to put it to sleep.
As you use your phone more and more, Adaptive Battery learns which apps are taking up the most background use and limits some of those features. This doesn’t really affect your phone’s performance, but it will make your battery last even longer when the phone is idle. You may also notice that your phone does a lot more when you pick it up again, with more notifications.
Learn how to use the phone
Perhaps not the easiest for the Adaptive Battery to learn how to use your phone. And adjust the battery accordingly. After about a week of enabling Adaptive Battery, you will notice that your phone will last longer. That’s because it’s learned which apps you use the most, how long you use them, and how quickly your battery drains if it’s not optimized.
So the longer you use your phone, the better it works for you. If you notice that your phone is getting longer battery life for a week or two, that’s probably the reason.
The last way Adaptive Battery works is actually quite subtle. Many of our phones have processors that can run up to 2 GHz, which is pretty fast even for many phone tasks. So Adaptive Battery can reduce that performance when it’s not needed. For example, if you’re not using your phone and are just polling for notifications, it doesn’t need to be running at full speed. It can instead run at a much slower speed, saving your battery. Another example is if you’re just surfing Twitter. You don’t need 2GHz to browse Twitter, but you might if you’re playing a game. So the phone can slow down for Twitter and speed up for something like Genshin Impact.
Enable adaptive battery
Adaptive Battery is unfortunately not available on every phone. But we do know that it is available on the Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy smartphones. So here’s how to enable it for any phone.
Go with the Google Pixel to Settings. Then find Battery and tap that. From there tap “Adaptive Preferences”then tap the switch for Adaptive battery.
For Samsung it is similar. Start by going to settings and paste “Battery and Device Maintenance”. From there, tap the battery. Then scroll down and tap “more battery settings”. Finally, tap the switch next to Adaptive battery.
Adaptive battery should be enabled by default, but sometimes turns off. So still good to know how to enable it.
Manage battery usage for each app
Google also lets you control battery usage for any app on your phone. Which is very nice to have. Like some apps, you may not want optimized or unlimited. Like Life360, for example, that’s an app you don’t want to optimize because it can’t grab your location — which is really the only reason it exists.
So to do this, go to the app settings for the specific app you want to change battery usage for. Then scroll down to “App battery usage” and tap that.
This screen shows you how much battery it has used in the current cycle. Below that, you’ll still see the same options to open the app, shut it down, and perform a Force Quit. But what we really want is underneath.
You will see three options here:
- Unlimited: Allow battery usage in the background without restrictions. Could use more battery.
- Optimized: Optimize based on your usage. Recommended for most apps.
- Limited: Limit battery usage in the background. App may not work as expected. Notifications may be delayed.
Apps here use the Optimized setting by default. For the most part, you won’t really want or need to change these settings, but it’s good to see that Google does offer this as an option. An app like Facebook could benefit from Restricted unless you really need those notifications to come in as soon as they happen. As we all know, Facebook already uses a decent amount of battery.
What is Adaptive Charging?
Adaptive Charging is a bit like the Adaptive Battery feature, but the opposite at the same time. Basically, your phone learns when you charge your phone and makes sure it gets to 100% around the time you would normally unplug it.
So, for example, if you normally charge overnight when you go to bed and you unplug it every day around 7 a.m., your phone will slowly charge to 80% and stay there for about an hour or two before using it. normally disconnects. Then it fully charges to 100%. This is so that the phone is not overloaded and charging slower will also make the battery last much longer.
Should you use Adaptive Battery and Adaptive Charging?
Yes, you should, especially if you plan on keeping your phone for a few years. Not only do both these features work really well to keep your phone running all day without charging, but it also helps extend battery life.
Adaptive Battery is something you will see a little more than adaptive charging. Because Adaptive Battery will give you benefits during the day when you are at work and such. While Adaptive Charging usually works at night when you are sleeping and the phone is charging.