5leep.comxIf you’ve noticed that your phone is getting slower, getting hot, and sucking battery like a frat bro with an unlimited supply of Coors Lite, there may be a very non-obvious culprit. Your flash RAM card could be the problem.

Flash RAM has a finite life. Each location on the chip can only be written to so many times before it loses its ability to retain data. When that happens, the spot is supposed to be marked bad and not reused. However, experience has shown that this only happens on writes, and a write can be successful but not be reliably readable later. So, there may be bad blocks on your SD card that go unnoticed by the operating system until it attempts to write new data there.

The insidious side effect of this is that those read errors will cause many, many retries to access the marginal data block. The result is a series of what are called “wakelocks” that prevent the phone’s CPU from going into sleep mode. Particularly, the mmc0_detect, mmc1_detect, and mmc2_detect functions of the OS kernel will keep trying to access the card and keep your phone’s processor awake. More »

04. May 2012 · Comments Off on Android: From Battery Guzzler to Battery Sipper · Categories: Android, Technology

Sense 3.5 Android Home Screen

One of the banes of smartphone owners is that, while the devices are rife with power and connectivity, using the things in a way that leverages their power just eats the battery alive. Bluetooth, WiFi, high-speed cell data, fast CPUs for smooth performance, all exact their toll on the poor little Li-ion pack nestled in the back of the phone. And, when you ask your cell provider why you can’t get through a full day on a single charge, they’ll tell you, “Well, that’s just the way it is with these new phones.”

But it’s not. It’s more that the standard builds of the phone’s Operating System that come from your cell provider just aren’t well optimized, and they waste power unnecessarily. They have a bias toward higher performance and CPU clock speeds, and that uses more power.

This is where the fact that Android phones use an OS based on an open-source platform comes in really handy. I’ve managed to reduce my power consumption to a sip, with a few tweaks.

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