Greenify does an amazing job at making rogue applications behave and today I want to show you how to stop those wakelocks and improve your battery life.
There are hundreds, maybe thousands of battery saver application in the Google Play Store. The majority of them are scams and I could count the number of legit ones on one hand. Greenify is one of those legit applications and today I want to show you how it can help to improve the battery life of your Android smartphone or tablet. If you’ve been reading my articles lately then you probably remember one where I wrote about the application BetterBatteryStats. This is a favorite application of mine as it allows me to see where each and every bit of my battery life went to on my Android device.
With BetterBatteryStats, it’s easy to find out what application or service is eating up the battery juice. . .but what do you do when you find the culprit? If it’s an application that is causing the trouble, then it’s most likely causing your smartphone or tablet from going into Deep Sleep mode(just like I mentioned in that previous article). For whatever reason, applications can games sometimes do not ‘shutdown’ properly and they’ll just keep on running in the background. This can happen even after you have locked the device and that is what causes the unusual battery drain from out of no where.
What is Greenify
Before I started using Greenify, I actually had to uninstall games because I valued battery life over the little enjoyment I got out of them. With Greenify though, you can simply ‘hibernate’ the offending application or game and you shouldn’t run into any trouble with it again. So, Greenify is an application that will let you add applications and games to a list. Then you get to choose what happens to the apps in the list. If you want things done manually, then you can setup a Greenify shortcut to do this. Or, if you have the proper settings(or root access), then you can have Greenify automatically hibernate applications you have set in this list.
You can do this stuff manually by force closing the offending application each and every time you use it. Greenify does that for you(in a way) and this is what makes it so useful. After you launch the application, you’ll see a bit + sign at the top right. Tapping on this button will let Greenify analyze your applications and services and then display a few sections that it feels is worth your attention. The top section tells you which applications are currently running in the background. If there are any applications you feel shouldn’t be running in the background(at any time), then you’ll want to add these to the Hibernate list.
Under that section is a list of applications that Greenify feels can slow down your smartphone from time to time. Again, if there are any applications here that you feel shouldn’t have this type of privillege, then you’ll want to add these apps to the list as well. I have to warn you though, you have to understand what you’re adding to the hibernation list and how this can effect the way your smartphone functions. As you can see in the image above, Greenify says that Google Fit can cause my smartphone to slow down. That’s okay to me because I want Google Fit to be running in the background. I like it when Google Fit can tell me how many steps and what exercises I’ve done.
If you don’t use Google Fit, or there are other apps in these sections that you don’t use, then you should feel free to add them to the Hibernation list. Even if you added an application to the list and then later found out that it had unintentional consequences, you can simply remove it from the list at any time. Nothing is final and you can always revert the settings here in Greenify. Now, under this second section is a drop down menu style button where Greenify will list any and all applications you have installed once you tap it. This is usually where you want to go because you most likely know exactly what application you’re having trouble with(but maybe you don’t and that’s okay too).
How to Use Greenify
After you have added applications to the Hibernation list, you’ll most likely see them branched off into sections like you see above. For me, the applications I generally have trouble with are mobile games and I have no use for notifications for these games. Be careful though, forcing an application to be hibernated means you will not be receiving notifications from that application. So, the main screen will show you which applications have previously been hibernated and which applications will hibernate soon. There are two ways to trigger an application be hibernated.
The first way is manually and this can be triggered with a shortcut. However, if you open up the Greenify application then you’ll also see a FAB that will let you manually hibernate the applications in your list as well. Opening an app just to hibernate other apps is tedious though and this is why they let you create a shortcut for this action. This feature can be found by tapping on the 3-dot menu at the top right of Greenify and then tapping on the Create Shortcut option. At the bottom, you’ll see a popup just like you see right here that asks if you want to create a shortcut to Hibernate and Lock the Screen, or to just Hibernate the apps.
Whichever one you pick, you’ll see that shortcut icon appear at the on your home screen as its own application icon. This way, you can tap the icon after you have opened/closed an application in your hibernation list. Or, you can hibernate and lock the screen before putting the phone in your pocket, setting it on the nightstand, etc. I really like this shortcut option, but even this can be tedious for some. Thankfully there is a way to automatically hibernate the applications you have in your list. . .but this can come with some restrictions, sadly.
This option is found in the settings but as you can see, it comes with some requirements. Firstly, you need to be on Android 4.1 and above. Then you’ll need to go into the Settings -> Accessibility section of your Android device and set the right permission for Greenify. Then, you’ll need to give Greenify the proper Device Administrator permissions(which is again, in the settings of Android). And lastly, you’ll need to have an insecure key-guard. I’m not exactly sure what this means, but it seems to imply no lock screen security at all. I have a pattern and fingerprint options for my lock screen and it wouldn’t let me enable this feature.
Although, there is a Root Mode for Greenify and this will let you set Auto Hibernation mode even if you don’t have all of those requirements. I was able to toggle this Root Mode on, and now all of the applications I have in the Greenify list will Hibernate a few minutes after I turn the screen off. And this is usually the whole goal here. You may still choose to hibernate those applications manually and this can prevent them from running in the background even when the screen is on. The thing is, if you have the screen on and you are doing other tasks with your smartphone then having an application or game running in the background isn’t going to be using very much of your battery.
It’s usually the surprise drop in battery percentage after you pick up your phone and unlock it that usually throws people off. But still, it’s your choice as to how you want to use Greenify. We all have different usage cases with our smartphones. Just because applications keeping my phone and tablet awake while the screen is off is my pet peeve when optimizing battery life, that doesn’t mean it is for everyone else. The whole reason why I taught you about Greenify and explained it from top to bottom was so you can use it how you feel it could benefit you. Not everyone will be able to benefit from Greenify and it shouldn’t be assumed that Greenify is a miracle cure for battery life.
I do feel that it can help a lot of people and if you have any questions about how to set it up or use it then please feel free to leave a comment down below. If you’re a fan of Greenify, I want to hear from you as well. Let me know how the application helped you to increase your overall battery life.