May 12, 2021 | Updated: 08:45 AM EDT

Purdue University Develops "Hush," An App That Saves Battery Life By 15%

Sep 15, 2015 02:16 AM EDT

One thing that really plagues smartphones, whether an Android or an iPhone, is the relatively quick battery drain they experience. Unlike feature phones or legacy phones, which can be powered for days on a single charge, most smartphones, especially Androids, have a tendency to get drained after less than a day, or even just hours, of use. Purdue University researchers have built an app that will be able to remedy this issue.

The researchers have mapped out these stats, in their rationale for building the app:

-45.9% of battery drain is linked to Android apps that don’t shut down even when they are not in use.

-29% of battery drain is linked to Android apps that remain active even when the phone’s display is turned off and the phone isn’t in active use.

-Some Android apps that “wake up” in order to update themselves may not shut down after the update, thus draining more of the battery. The researchers have blamed bad code for this behavior.

The Purdue University app, named “Hush,” works to shut down all of these apps that are not in use, letting the battery last up to 15% longer.

These are the stats for Hush’s performance:

-Hush reduces the battery drain of a phone in an inactive state from 29% as stated in the previous list, to just 16%.

-That reduction in battery drain boosts the battery’s life by some 13%.

Hush was tested on 2,000 Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy S4 models during the bug-testing phase. The tests ran across 61 countries and 191 mobile operators. The app has not been packaged and readied for the Google Play Store just yet, but the code is available on GitHub:

According to Professor Charlie Hu, the rationale of why Android apps drain as much battery as they do is that they “wake” to perform crucial maintenance functions, but ideally, they should go back to sleep after their maintenance tasks. Most apps don’t behave the way they ideally should, either because of bad code, or the incorrect use of “wakelocks.” Wakelocks, he explains, are programming interfaces that control the power use. Hush seeks to correct this, and ultimately double the battery life for the smartphone.

[More of Professor Charlie Hu’s quote here:]

At the moment, the 15% overall battery life boost may already be a big leap. Hopefully, when Hush is packaged into a Google Play Store-ready app, it can save more juice for Android smartphones, closer to the Purdue University team’s goal of doubling an Android’s battery life.

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