Monday, March 12, 2018

Review: Accubattery

I will admit to not usually reviewing apps, but I'll make an exception for Accubattery, which was good enough that I paid to remove ads from it. The idea behind Accubattery is that if you want to prolong the life of a lithium ion battery, what you want to do is to (a) keep it cool, (b) don't deep discharge it, and (c) don't charge it to the maximum charge level.

Accubattery is an app that helps you do (c). Obviously, (b) is already well within your control, and (a) is not usually within your control. The app lets you set a charge alarm to remind you to unplug your phone from the charger once it hits about 80%. If you can do so consistently, the number of discharge cycles you get out of the battery goes from 300-500 cycles to about 850-1500 cycles, basically tripling your battery life. This is not so  big a deal if you tend to buy cheap phones like I do, but if you're the kind of person who spends big money on phones, this app would let you hang on to your fancy phone for longer.

If I run cheap phones, why do I care? The main reason is that most of the time, I don't really tax my phone. Which means if I start the day partially discharged, I don't care. But when I'm bicycle touring, I'll start the day with a full battery every time, since the phone becomes a crucial information tool. (I've had days when a weather forecast at lunch completely changed my route and gave me a much better experience than I would have had otherwise) So to some extent I do want to preserve battery life on my phones, despite it being no big deal if I had to replace my phone prematurely.

The other use of Accubattery, of course, is that the app will tell you what the current charge capacity of your phone is, so you know when you either need a new battery, or need to recycle your phone and replace it altogether. The information provided is detailed, though 2 of the screens provide conflicting information. I sent a query about this to their support e-mail address (which wasn't easy to find), and got back a satisfying answer on how to use the "battery health" info.

It's a good app. Recommended.

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