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Battery

Can you believe it, back already for yet another round of some of our favorite Android applications. Finding them is the hard part, and using them is the fun part, so why not skip the hard, and jump into the fun as we take a look at some of our favorites for you this week.

Anndrew Vacca - YouMail Visual Voicemail Plus (Free)

YouMail

If you're still using carrier-provided voicemail, it's time to take a step back and reevaluate your decisions. There are plenty of great visual voicemail apps on the market but none, in my opinion, youmailwork as flawlessly as YouMail. Once you configure your number to direct voicemails to your YouMail account (don't worry, it's novice friendly), messages will begin to appear in the app, which is clean and organized. Messages will remain in your account, accessible through youmail.com or on any device with YouMail installed, until you choose to delete them (storage isn't unlimited). From the app, you can delete or star messages, configure your greeting, and even forward voicemails as an MMS or email attachment. YouMail also offers transcription service that's free to try and starts at $4.99/month thereafter. Don't be afraid to make the transition, I promise YouMail won't bite. [Market Link]

Chris Parsons - Kids Proof Launcher (Free)

Kids Proof

If you have kids at home and are like me -- you may from time to time let them play some games or kidswatch some videos on your device. Aside from the mass destruction a child could cause to your device, you also run the risk of them calling, texting or whatever else you can imagine on your device. In an effort to stop that from happening, you could install Kids Proof Launcher. Essentially, it allows you to select which apps your kids can see and make use of. e.g.: Games, media etc all while blocking the calling and texting functions. The app is available under a fermium model, you get two game slots that can be permanent and visible to kids but if you wish to allow for access to more apps you'll need to update to the paid version. [Market Link]

Alex Dobie - Battery Calibration (Free)

Battery

If you're noticing slightly wonky battery performance compared to other users of the same model of phone, then it might be that your battery isn't properly calibrated. This can sometimes happen if you're a rooted user switching between various custom ROMs, or if you neglected to charge your battery all the way before playing with your new phone. NeMa's Battery Calibration app, which requires root access, allows you to wipe your phone's battery stats file and then repopulate it from batteryscratch. You should do this with a fully-charged battery, and once it's done your phone will automatically generate new battery stats as you use your phone normally, hopefully resulting in a more efficient rate of discharge.

Using this app, I managed to get an extra 5 or so hours out of my rooted Optimus 3D with moderate usage, bringing it up to around 19 hours on a single charge. I've also had had good results manually recalibrating the battery stats on older devices, like my power-hungry HTC Desire. This isn't a sure-fire way to get better battery life, but if you're noticing any anomalies with battery performance, and have ruled out other possibilities like runaway apps, then battery recalibration is certainly worth a shot. The app is available for free from the Android Market, and requires root access in order to work. [Market Link]

Sean Brunett - Goodreads (Free)

GoodReads

goodreadsGoodreads is a social networking site that allows you to share what you read, write reviews and get recommendations. If you’re a Goodreads member, you’re going to want to get this free Android app. With the app, you can search, rate and review books, write status updates which can be shared with Facebook and Twitter, use the built-in barcode scanner to scan books onto your digital shelves and browse through the 8 million titles to find your next read. It’s a fantastic app if you’re a big reader who enjoys sharing what books you like and discovering news ones. [Market Link]

Richard Devine - Alarm Clock Free (Free)

Alarm

Harking right back to my (bad) old days running an iPhone, this was one of my most used apps. It's so simple. It just puts a big digital clock on your screen, which can also be used to set the phone alarmalarm. Plug your phone in at night, pop it in a charging dock or in my case, prop it up against the bedside lamp, and presto! One bedside clock.

I like the app so much, because my day job sees me rock some pretty odd sleep patterns, and stay in a lot of hotels. Its always nice to know what time it is when I wake up without having to reach for my phone. There is a pro version available which allows you to change the colours, and play music from your phone to wake you up. The free one I find serves just fine. [Market Link]

Joshua Munoz - Stadium Weather (Free / $1.49)

Stadium

It's football season. That means big stadiums, long days, and no voice when you go to work on WeatherMonday. Just about the worst thing that could happen to you is your stadium gets rained out or delayed. Fortunately, you can stay one step ahead with Stadium Weather. With current weather conditions and forecasts for game time, you'll always know what's coming, even up to a week in advance. Better yet, Stadium Weather doesn't just support football. If you're an baseball, soccer, or Canadian soccer fan, this app has you covered, too. If you never want to get caught in bad weather at a packed stadium far from home, Stadium Weather is for you. [Market Link]

 
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Android Central Editors' app picks for Sept 24, 2011

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Youmail? It was a reasonable option until Google Voice came along. Voice does everything Youmail does and more, better.

I don't know about now, but I seem to remember that Youmail was created partly because the Google Voice service was not available in some places (Like Great Britain) at the time.

You are aware that the calibration information is stored in the battery itself and has absolutely nothing at all to do with the OS, right?

M.

The clock app is nice, I really like it, but I'd rather it acted more like a screen saver so I could leave it all on night and if someone else say my girlfriend tries to access its locked out. (Maybe you can do this with something else on android? ) Useful!! (Glad i spotted this article this evening as its something I need atm!)

Is there a battery calibration app for non rooted phones? I was getting about 24 hours out of a full extended battery charge now I am getting about 12-14 pm my TB...

Battery Left is nice, but none of these is necessary.

Look, folks, there is no mystery about battery calibration.

Run the phone to automatic shutdown, then charge it fully, like over night.

Done.

You don't need an app for this.

Further you are not calibrating the battery you are calibrating the charge measuring circuit of the battery controller chip in the phone. It has to be "taught" just how low the battery can go before the battery protection circuit kicks in to take the battery off line. Normally it will learn this in normal use, but it doesn't hurt to run the phone to exhaustion once every 3 or 4 months. Its pointless to do it any more often.

Further, this info lives in the charge controller in a few bytes of NVram that all of these chips have. Therefore you are fooling yourself if you think you need to do this each time you load a new rom. The battery stats bin is just there for the OS to read, it has no real function as far as phone usage, its just pass thru storage so that programs don't have to deal directly with the battery controller. It is loaded by the battery controller. The values in the battery controller survive a rom flash, and it rebuilds the OS fields every time the battery state changes.

This app deletes the batterystats.bin file from the phone, this file can become corrupted between the flashing of ROMS, it's rare, but it happens, as many "real world" users have reported better battery percentage reporting after using this app.

It is recommended but not totally necessary that this be done when the phone is fully charged. The use should then use the phone normally, it is not necessary to use the phone til it's totally dead and this behavior is not recommended for Lith-Ion batteries

This app is useful for those who may not know how to calibrate their battery or those who don't want to mess around in recovery or mess around with file managers with root privilege.

So next time don't go around using the statement that something is not necessary, as you are not a representative for everyone that has an android phone or all that may want to calibrate their battery, android is about choice, so allow others to exercise theirs while you exercise yours. It's good to know that "there's an app for that"

Thanks icebike... I did know about running the battery all the way to shut of the charging it full.. I was hoping for an easier way since I work insane hours & can be called in at any moment for a power outrage so its difficult for me to do that.. But still thanks for the info.. Greatly appreciated.. Also I am such a noooooob when it comes to phones & computers.. I can use then both but thats it... I try to learn but sometimes I just don't get it..lol.. Thats why I am still not rooted & probably never will be...

Good List! VisR is a fun and useful app as well. It automatically organizes all my photos so i can check them out anytime i want.

What happens to battery calibration when two batteries are swapped with each depletion?

I used one battery for about 8 months, and then got tired of worrying about the charge, so I bought a new battery along with a charger. So now I have two batteries, and one can't get more than an 80% charge as indicated on my Samsung Captivate (CM7), whereas the newer one goes up to 100% or close. I expect that, but I wonder how using two different batteries would affect the handling of battery stats.

I've been using this battery swapping system for about 6 months now and it's great. I let the battery go down to zero or close, and then put in a freshly charged battery and we're ready to go (after a few minutes or so).

Go to weather.com and put in your stadium and it will give you current conditions and forecasts all for free

So glad i saw this article i have been dealing with battery spikes where my phone goes from 60 to 20 in 10 minutes then plug in phone and it goes to 40%. Cant wait to see the results!

Chances are VERY good that you need a new battery,then. I'd guess at the battery can only hold (roughly) 40% of it's rated capacity, that why you see those drops. In the Dr. Battery (webOS app) thread, we call that "The Death Drop".

M.

I haven't used YouMail on my EVO, but we did download it Wednesday for the DH's Blackberry Style. It's taken several days to work the kinks out though we downloaded the right app for his device. Had to though. Nothing on the Blackberry is working anymore since the last OS update.