Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tips and Tricks: Extending Battery Life for the Kindle Fire

It occurred to me today that I haven't done a post about extending battery life for the Kindle Fire. How did I forget that? Anyway, let's get into some ways to maximize your use of a charge with the device, which should be helpful for a lot of people because the life of a charge can vary a lot, depending on what you have on, what various apps are doing, and how you use the device. Some of these things can mean the difference between getting 10 hours out of a charge and getting 5.

Keep Wi-Fi Off When You Don't Need It
A substantial portion of energy gets used by apps and programs that constantly check for new updates or new content. It's easy to eliminate this drain on your battery by keeping the Wi-Fi off unless you are browsing online or downloading new apps, books, or movies (or streaming them). It's important to remember that streaming video or playing graphically intensive games does the most to run down your battery.

Know What Your Apps Are Doing
In addition to the above, there are some apps that run in the background and drain energy even if you're not using Wi-Fi. A good way to tell what is active and what is eating away at your charge the most is to use the provocatively named free app Badass Battery Monitor. Using it will give you a clear perspective on what is hogging the majority of your charge, and if you discover one particular app is using an unjustified amount of energy, you may be better off just removing it from your device. Here's the image for the app as well as a screenshot of what the breakdown might look like.

Badass Battery Monitor                


Giving Your Fire the Rest It Needs
If you're finding that your battery vanishes much faster than it should, there is another possible problem. Your Fire may be stuck in "Held Awake" status even when it looks like it's asleep. Most likely it's an app that is doing this, and using the Battery Monitor to see what is hogging the most energy will tell you which one you need to get rid of. Also, if you know you won't be using the Fire for several hours, turning it completely off will save you energy, though you will have to go through the start-up process.

Also, when charging your Fire, the green light can come on when it's at 90% charge, which obviously starts you off with less battery life. Leave it in a little longer for the full 100%.

Using a Startup Manager (Advanced)

There is also a way to dictate which apps will or will not open at start-up, which could be useful for both saving energy and having the device start-up more quickly. Reviews specifically mentioning the Fire are positive, though people with other devices have had some issues. If you have a lot of apps, it may be worth experimenting with the Startup Manager to see if it helps.



A final bit of information: the Fire has a lithium-ion battery that will last for 2-3 years. According to Fixit's tech analysis, "when the battery decides to go kaput – it will be significantly easier to replace the battery in the Kindle Fire than its Apple competitor." Hope this helps and stay tuned for more ultra-cheap apps later today!

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for reading, Shannon! Glad we could help!

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  2. The Badass Battery Monitor is badass for sure. Great post. Love you guys.

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  3. Thanks so much, I will immediately check into this as it just didn't seem like just reading should burn through the battery so quickly.

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  4. Glad you found it useful, Walker. Hope it helps, Corinne. Thank you both for visiting!

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  5. Have to check out those 2 apps... I went from the ultra low 1 week charge on my Kindle 3 to a maybe 4-5 hour charge on my Fire. Sadly though... my wi-fi stays off unless downloading, and there aren't that many apps...I just tend to read anywhere from 3-4 hours daily at a minimum.

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  6. Those apps can make a difference, Jamie, but I've also heard of situations where people just have Fires with abnormally low battery power. If the apps don't help you get it up to a reasonable time, put in a call to customer service and they may say it's a problem with your device and give you a switch.

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