Keep GPS enabled without draining your battery

Keep GPS enabled without draining your battery

Many people often disable GPS on their phones to try and save power. While this does work, it’s not for the reason you might think. You might assume that the phone is turning off the GPS hardware. However, the GPS hardware never turns off; it’s always on so it can be used by 911 and some Google location services. Enabling/disabling GPS in Android is really a permission setting. What’s happening is your blocking apps from being allowed to access the device’s location. Since apps can’t access the location, GPS isn’t being used and needing the extra power. So how can you leave GPS on and save power? Simply find what apps are using GPS in the background and disable those that don’t need it. Let’s discuss an easy way to do this. Finding the battery hogs First we need to find out what apps are accessing your location and draining power. Baked right into Android is a couple of tools to help you with this.   Location Settings First, you can see which apps are requesting your device’s location often. Go to your phone’s Settings -> Location.  You’ll see a list of apps that have accessed your location recently. The list is ordered by the most recent location requests first. So if something is requesting your location a lot, it will be at the top. It will also tell you the impact it has on your battery. If anything is showing as High battery use, or is near the top of the list it may be the culprit.   Battery Settings Now check out the battery settings in Settings...
Privacy vs. Efficiency: The Struggle, Part One

Privacy vs. Efficiency: The Struggle, Part One

In this series about the struggles between new technology and consumer privacy rights I will discuss the problems involved in companies collecting information about consumers from a legal and economic stand point while trying to give insight from a person on both sides of the issue. The mobile app market is full of thousands of apps designed to make your life less stressful and more organized but the trade-off could be consumer privacy. More and more products are hitting store shelves everyday that allow you to control them with your smart phone. These products hope to make your life a little less stressful. For example the “SmartThings” app enables you to control everyday objects in your home from your Iphone; therefore alerting you if you left the TV or the oven on. There are also apps designed to save you time, such as “RetailMeNot”, a coupon app that sends you coupons from your favorite stores. Most of these products weren’t available a decade ago and the increase in smart product technology has many questioning the impact it has on their privacy. Consumers are asking for more efficient apps in hopes that they save them time, but the trade off is usually giving up their privacy. One personal example many can relate to involves the weather. When I was younger, while I ate my cereal before school, my mom would watch the weather from the local news to decide if she needed to send a coat with me. The weatherman might talk for five plus+ minutes about this storm cell or that wind current in a nearby county before he got around to...