Research tool can save phone battery by intelligently killing apps

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Devindra Hardawar
September 11, 2015 5:10 PM
In this article: Hush, mobilepostcross, smartphones
Research tool can save phone battery by intelligently killing apps

Even if you're a task-killing ninja, there are still plenty of apps that somehow bite into your battery life. And that problem can be even worse when your phone is asleep, when you can't even tell which apps are being battery hogs. A new tool called Hush, which was developed by Purdue researchers, aims to solve that dilemma for Android phones by intelligently stopping apps that run in the background while your phone is asleep. It prioritizes the apps you use a lot and stops apps that you rarely use from gumming up the works. Researchers say it can save around 16 percent of battery life -- that's not huge, but it could be very useful if a similar tool were embedded with phones. You can test out Hush for yourself via its Github page, but it'll likely be a while before it's available in a more polished form.

"During screen-off, the phone hardware should enter the sleep state, draining close to zero power," Charlie Hu, a Purdue professor of electrical and computer engineering said. "Apps wake the phone up periodically during screen-off to do useful things, but then afterward, they should let the phone go back to sleep. They are not letting the phone go back to sleep because of software bugs and, specifically, due to the incorrect use of Android power control application programming interfaces called wakelocks."

Both Apple and Google are already implementing "low-power" modes in their most recent mobile operating systems, so it wouldn't be surprising to see something similar to Hush implemented directly in the future. It's a simple tool, but one that could have a lasting impact.

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Research tool can save phone battery by intelligently killing apps