One of the great things with Android phones is the gigantic collection of widgets that you can install to show all sorts of information on your screen—but what if you don’t want a widget? Here’s how to see the exact battery level without a memory-wasting widget.
Why wouldn’t you want a widget, you ask? All widgets require extra CPU cycles and chew into your memory, and it’s probably a good idea to cut down on your widgets if you want to maximize your Android phone’s battery life.
View the Battery Level without a Widget
To check the battery levels with the built-in software, all you need to do is open the Settings application, and then browse down to About phone –> Status.
From this screen you’ll be able to see the exact battery life, which is sometimes hard to tell on the tiny little icon.
Create a Shortcut with LauncherPro
If you’re using the excellent and free LauncherPro home screen replacement (and you really should be, it’s great), you can easily make a shortcut directly to the battery status page to save you a bit of time.
Long press on the desktop, choose Shortcuts and then Activities.
Then select Settings, which will expand to show a whole bunch of other items—the one you want is titled Status and has com.android.settings.deviceinfo.Status underneath in smaller text.
Now you’ll be prompted for a name and an icon, and once you click OK you’ll be able to get to the battery status page in a single button press.
Use a Free Battery Status App (Not Widget)
If you’re not using LauncherPro and you’d like a one-button push solution, there’s any number of free battery status applications that do nothing but show the status when you launch the application, and they don’t run anything in the background.
Here’s an example of one of the many applications in the market (just do a search for Battery). This particular one takes a second or two for the battery indicator to show correctly, but it does work. You might want to look around… or just switch to LauncherPro and make a shortcut.
While you’re learning how to use your built-in Android features, you may as well take the time to learn how to kill tasks without using a task manager.
Programmer by day, geek by night, The Geek, also known as Lowell Heddings, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on Google+ if you'd like.
- Published 09/15/10