Now and Later, the Future of Battery Life.

Now and Later, the Future of Battery Life.

Smartphone battery life is seemingly an ever losing battle. As smartphones become more powerful they remain limited by their size and the chemical makeup of their batteries while more is being expected from an already stressed system. Earlier this month The San Francisco Android User Group held a developers talk on the subject of battery consumption titled "Android Power Profiling" with guest speaker Frank Maker, a Ph. D candidate at the University of California, Davis. The talk focused mostly on the breakdown of battery usage within a smartphone and the limitations of smartphone batteries. Further reading “Who Killed My Battery:Analyzing Mobile Browser Energy Consumption,” gave more of a software side approach to battery consumption in relation to web browsing on a mobile device. While much of the hardware is limited until further chemical advances, there is a lot of room for improvement on the software side specifically web browsing. 

With cell phones today constantly adding new features but staying relatively the same size and utilizing only natural convection and radiation cooling and with no active cooling, fan for instance, it’s becoming a challenge to balance new features and battery life. Maker detailed all the components and the approximate amount of battery life they wear down while in use. He stressed the difficulty in measuring individual battery usage by component. Concluding the presentation with a demonstration of how to measure

Using precise instruments a team of researchers was able to record the amount of battery power used during web browsing, even being able to break it down to individual web elements like Javascript and CSS. Using this data the researchers were able to reconfigure sites like Wikipedia to be more efficient and developed guidelines to building more efficient websites. For instance the researchers found that using JPEG images as opposed to GIF or PNG images saved significant amounts of battery life.

Both the paper and the event provided valuable information on the outlook for smartphone battery usage. It’s apparent that while next generation battery hardware may be some distance in the future; presently there are changes that can be made on a software and website makeup bases that could improve battery life. 

April 2nd, 2013

Tags:

  • science
  • mobile
  • battery
  • life
  • online
  • technology