Many Android users are just getting Android 5.0 Lollipop, but Google’s pushing its devices ahead to 5.1.1. Non-Nexus users, it looks as if there are more bug fixes to come.
Battery drain is one of the more frequent troubles (along with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and cellular reception issues), so there are a few familiar steps you can take to optimize your battery in the face of an update that, like all other updates, will need future bug fixes.
The battery-guzzling app
Usually, when battery life is an issue with new updates, an app is to blame. Even in KitKat, for example, an antivirus/anti-theft app could be responsible for your small battery life. Lollipop still allows you to see which apps and processes are consuming your battery life, so consult your battery stats first.
If you see the app that’s responsible for the battery drain, you have a few choices: 1) force close or stop it, 2) delete it or 3) contact the company responsible for the app. What few users know is that an email to the company or person that creates the app may be all it takes: the company or creator may push an update if an unusual number of users report major battery drain with an app after an OS update.
If you know that it could be an app but aren’t sure which app it is, check out some online discussions about the particular app you have questions about. You never know: you may get help from others online with the same problems. If there is no fix for the app’s battery-draining qualities, then at least you can target the one problem app and potentially avoid it until a fix arrives.
Check Wi-Fi and cellular settings
Your battery life in Android 5.0.2 Lollipop was superb, but 5.1.1 may weigh you down. If this is the case, you may want to check your settings. Could it be the case that your Wi-Fi is awake at night when you’re asleep? That may explain why your battery’s 60% dead by morning. You won’t know unless you check your settings so that your phone disables certain features at night so as to conserve your battery life.
You may also be the victim of automatic upload. Automatic upload is one way your photos, videos, and screenshots end up in your cloud storage. If you have automatic upload enabled, for example, your photos may upload while you’re on your 4G network — eating up your cellular data and battery in the process. You can always select manual upload and send your photos to cloud storage when you want.
Disable services you’re not using
If you keep your Wi-Fi or 4G data on too much, you might be killing your battery life here. Because your battery is limited in its capacity, you can only use any service on it to a limited extent. Check to see if something is on that you don’t need at the moment and keep it disabled until you use it. Nexus users, you may want to make good use of Google’s battery-saving mode. Unfortunately, you don’t have an ultra-power saving mode as your last lifeline if you’re on the losing side of battery life.
Reduce screen brightness
Yes, I know. Nexus 7 (2013) and 9 users have incredible displays, but those displays bring a cost –they destroy your battery life. Keep your brightness at a low while you’re indoors, and keep room lights on in order to cut down the need to increase your screen brightness.
When all else fails: some other alternatives
What do you do when all these tips fail? Well, there are some others. You could clear your cache partition, change your launcher, and keep an eye on your battery life over, say, a two-week period. It often seems to be the case that you may not notice your battery drain right away. If you monitor it and keep screenshots or take down figures regarding your device performance over a two-week period, you can discover a problem if not get to the bottom of it.
We also recommend that you consult someone knowledgeable about your device in the event that you want to try something but don’t know how to do it. Whatever you do, you don’t want to create problems with your device while trying to fix current ones. If at all possible, please report current problems to Google as soon as possible.