Is my Android App Draining Battery?

By | July 27, 2019


I’m developing a game for Android. It uses a surface view and uses the sort of standard 2D drawing APIs provided. When I first released the game, I was doing all sorts of daft things like re-drawing 9-patches on each frame and likewise with text. I have since optimised much of this by drawing to Bitmap objects and drawing them each frame, only re-drawing onto the Bitmap objects when required.

I’ve received complaints about battery drain before, and following my modifications I’d like to know (scientifically) if I’ve made any improvements. Unfortunately, I don’t have any prior data to go by, so it would be most useful to compare the performance to some other game.

I’ve been running Traceview, and using the results of it mostly for the purposes of identifying CPU-time-consuming methods.

So — what’s the best way of determining my app’s battery performance, and what’s a good benchmark?

I know I can look at the %s of different apps through the settings, but this is again unscientific, as the figure I get from this also depends on what’s happening in all of the other apps. I’ve looked through (most of) Google’s documentation, and although the message is clear that you should be saving battery (and it gives the occasional tip as to how), there is little indication of how I can measure how well my app is performing. The last thing I want are more complaints of battery drain in the Android Market!

Thanks in advance.


Thanks for all your helpful advice/suggestions. What I really want to know is how I can use the data coming from Traceview (ie: CPU time in ms spent on each frame of the game) to determine battery usage (if this is at all possible). Reading back on my original question, I can see I was a bit vague. Thanks again.


Here is my suggestion:

I watch power consumption while developing my apps (that sometimes poll the sensors at rates of <25ns) using PowerTutor. Check it out, it sounds like this maybe what you are looking for, the app tells you what you are using in mW, J, or relative to the rest of the system. Also, results are broken down by CPU, WiFi, Display, (other radios installed). The only catch is that it is written for a specific phone model, but I use it with great success on my EVO 4G, Galaxy S (Sprint Epic), and Hero.

Good luck,

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