Posts

GSam Battery Monitor - Users Guide

Image
Users Guide  (Version 3.35)

GSam Battery Monitor provides more complete monitoring capabilities than the built in Battery Usage app in Android.  It relies on the same battery statistic data, however it lets the user drill down and find out much more detail.


Standard vs Enhanced Statistics Mode:

GSam operates in two modes - Standard, and Enhanced Statistics.  In Standard mode, GSam attempts to collect all statistics itself.  Since KitKat, Android has made this harder and harder each release as they clamp down on security settings.  This is a GOOD thing, but it makes the standard collection mode less useful over time.

Enhanced Stats:  By enabling enhanced statistics (Menu -> More -> Enable More Stats), GSam is able to access all raw batter stats that are maintained by the underlying platform.  This does not require root, but it does require some manual steps by the user.  The app will walk you through the steps to enable this.  It's a pain, but is strongly recommended for for No…

Frequently Asked Questions - GSam Battery Monitor

GSam Battery Monitor and KitKat As of version 3.3, GSam Battery Monitor is now fully compatible with Android KitKat (4.4) for non-root devices.  If your device is rooted however, there are more statistics that GSam can collect.  So if you have root, make sure you install the GSam Battery Root Companion app.  If you don't have root - no problem, things will still work well, but some stats such as app wakelocks will not be available.


Unfortunately, Google has removed the ability in KitKat (4.4) for non-system applications to access battery statistics.  On versions prior to KitKat, GSam obtained battery statistics from a built-in set of statistics from Android.  If you have root, we can still get at that data.  If you do not, then GSam will track as much of that data as it can by itself.   Not all data can be tracked however.

Permissions:

In order to manually track usage for non-root users in KitKat, we had to include 2 new permissions.  READ_PHONE_STATE and ACCESS_WIFI_STATE.  These …

Support for Kernel Wakelocks

Image
Version 2.28 of GSam Battery Monitor has added support for displaying Kernel Wakelocks.  Kernel wakelocks are a very advanced feature, and are not intended for your average user.  Indeed, I see so many users getting confused by them in forum posts that I have resisted the urge to add them in.  They are often unique per phone / manufacturer, and a high wakelock time is not necessarily indicative of a problem.

All that said, kernel wakelocks are very useful for folks trying to diagnose custom ROM problems.  If you're running a custom ROM and are seeing battery issues, kernel wakelocks are very useful, and can help the ROM developer understand what is going on.  For people using stock ROMs they are useful to simply understand how their phone usage affects their battery life, however this takes a lot of understanding and often a lot of research reading code to understand what a certain wakelock does.

So - use with caution.  Click on the wakelock and select the Google Me button to do a…

The Perils Of Publishing A Bad Update (AKA Why Test?)

Mea Culpa - my apologies to the entire community that uses and relies on GSam Battery Monitor.   This bad update (version 2.23) should have never gone out the door!  The latest version on Google Play (version 2.24) fixes the force close issue.
Yesterday (Sat Dec 1) I worked on a few updates and bug fixes to GSam Battery Monitor.  I got them all working and tested on my various test devices, and I was ready to publish.

Publishing is a pain.  I have 6 different builds to run.  2 for Google Play (free & paid), 2 for Amazon Appstore, and 2 for the Nook Store.  I do each one manually - yes, I know...I should have automated this a long time ago).   Once built, I will test install one of the builds onto a phone - make sure it installs and do a very basic test (I've already done my full code tests before the formal build).  Then I have to go into each 'store' and upload them.  It's easy enough when there are no screenshot changes - but it still takes about 5 minutes per i…

Icon Pack - Overlay Support

Image
The GSam Battery Monitor Icon Pack contains support for overlaying your default battery icon.  Take a look at the top right of the screenshot below.  You see the 12?  That's the overlay icon, replacing the normal drab battery icon that doesn't show you any details.


Why Overlay?
Some devices don't show the icon in the normal notification bar, so you have to drag down the notification to see the % of your battery.A lot of custom ROMs for your phone/tablet support a 'mod' that allows you to control the battery icon itself.  Great for those who have it - but this brings you similar function without rooting your device!The overlay shows up on your lock screen - so no more unlocking your phone just to see your battery %.  Some phones already show the battery % in the lock screen, but a lot don't.

Enabling the Overlay: