Wi-Fi Better Battery Reduces Power Consumption And Improves Wi-Fi Security
I’m always looking for ways to save battery and although I’m lucky enough that my current daily driver, the HTC One (M8), behaves properly if I use the classic battery management rules, but the LG Nexus 5 doesn’t play by these rules. If I keep Wi-Fi on all of the time, it drains the battery. The reason for this is because there’s a bug in Android Lollipop‘s Wi-Fi management on the device, which means that if it’s search for a Wi-Fi network to connect to, you can watch the battery meter tick down. For best battery life, then, users currently need to enable and disable their Wi-Fi network depending on if they have access to a hotspot. And this is where an application such as Wi-Fi Better Battery can help, which is a location sensing app that can manage the Wi-Fi radio.
Wi-Fi Better Battery uses Google’s “always on” Wi-Fi functionality, which is available from Android version 4.3 Jelly Bean and later, in order to determine if it should enable the full on Wi-Fi mode. The Wi-Fi location scanning mode has been designed by Google to help improve location services on our Android devices by keeping the Wi-Fi radio in receive mode and not allowing it to connect to networks. It works because Google’s database knows where many Wi-Fi routers are located and so can be used to provide an estimate of where the device is, and it’s part of Android’s location services technology. Checking and looking up the Wi-Fi hotspot location uses much less battery than running the GPS chip for even a few seconds. Wi-Fi Better Battery only enables the Wi-Fi radio in transmit / receive mode if it detects a Wi-Fi radio that the device may connect to.
There’s another benefit to Wi-Fi Better Battery, which is that the developer has implemented a MAC checking feature designed to keep our Wi-Fi passwords safe. This is because of a weakness in Android’s Wi-Fi security whereby the device broadcasts the Wi-Fi key in a way that may be picked up by a malicious router. MAC checking adds an additional layer of security to our devices and is available free on the Google Play Store, although there is also a premium version available. Meanwhile, having played around with the application on a few of my devices, it does make a small but appreciated difference to battery life.