WiFi Better Battery uses a Google trick to keep your Android connected while saving battery life
|Developer: MND Apps||Download: Android|
|Category: Battery apps||Price: Free (with in-app purchases)|
Next to its display, a Wi-Fi antenna constantly searching for signal is your smartphone's biggest battery drainer. But worry not, there's an app for everything these days, and WiFi Better Battery is one you can try for solving this particular problem. The premise is basic. It's a location-sensing app that uses Android's "always on" WiFi functionality to manage the antenna. This feature was built to keep the WiFi radio in receive mode as to allow Google to scan the traffic and improve its location services without this taking a great toll on your battery. The app makes sure full blown Wi-Fi in send/receive mode is active only when you actually need it. In the rest of the time, it puts the antenna into the very low-power state that Google uses for its "always on" feature. Thus, you will always be connected, while still saving some battery juice.
When you are outside the range of the network you're using, WBB automatically turns Wi-Fi off - with a short delay beforehand as to allow for quick reconnects. When you're in its range again, wireless LAN gets turned back on, and you're online again.
If you're worried about privacy, know the app has no permission to view network traffic, and passwords are still entered in the Android settings tool. Additionally, it offers protection against a well known Android exploit - by default, the operating system only checks the name of a network before hooking itself up to it. So if you have a network saved, and another one with the same name pops up within range, Android will automatically try to connect to it. Hackers can use these networks to collect passwords that are transmitted during connection attempts, or plug malicious code inside the packets of data. To remedy this, WBB has an optional MAC address check feature. Enter your router's unique MAC address and you'll have some peace of mind that Android will choose the right network. Then again, if hackers spoof your MAC... okay, let's not go that far.
WiFi Better Battery is a free, ad-supported Android app.