It's easy to be skeptical of battery management apps on Android. Most of them are simply a more complex task manager with tons of apps to kill with an unknown result, or they simply have dysfunctional battery reports. A new app called Carat aims to change all that. Carat is pretty revolutionary because it can help increase you battery life by showing you exactly which apps to kill in order to see the most improvement. The app can actually show you which apps are hogging the most energy and how much battery life you can expect to gain by killing that particular app.

It does this by taking measurements from your device. It then performs some math while combining it with (anonymous) data from other users that the program tracks. It then recommends tips to kill or restart apps, and tells you how many more minutes or more of use you might gain on your device.

The team behind this app doesn't intend to make a profit with it. They are a group of M.S. and Ph.D scientists from the UC Berkeley electrical engineering and computer science departmentís Algorithms, Machines, and People Laboratory (AMP Lab). Their primary purpose is to push forward with cutting-edge battery science by collecting anonymous, privacy-respectful data for research that could make all devices last longer.

Their research has broken battery hungry apps into two categories. One is called a bug, and the other is called a hog. A bug can be found in just about any app, and the apps themselves are usually not bad. Unfortunately, sometimes apps have coding bugs that are never found by their developers because the only symptom is reduced battery efficiency at a small almost unnoticeable scale. These are typically not necessarily "bad" apps. It's basically just a malfunction in the app. A good example would be a game that accidentally turns on your WiFI.

The second category are hogs. These are basically just apps that are super energy hungry all by themselves and run needlessly in the background sucking away power. Here are some other interesting things their research has uncovered:

  • In an initial test with just 100 users, it found 35 apps with energy bugs proving how badly users and developers need Caratís data.
  • Carat has since found thousands of instances of these energy bugs on devices in the wild
  • Skype, Yelp, and Pandora are some of the most popular energy hogs. Theyíre not necessarily inefficient, they just require more power than most apps and might be the best to temporarily kill off.
Caratís philosophy is "deploy to the crowd, debug in the cloud." This is a great concept and Carat is a fantastic implementation of that concept. You can hit up the Google Play Store link to download the app for free to help support the project, and to help yourself manage your device's battery better.

Source: Google Play Store - Carat