The story of Droid Juice!

Last year while researching about network coverage during train travel for Pyka, I did a small hack to log signal strength for a given location. I used it during my trip to Chennai and data was logged using a background process in my Android phone for every kilometer. Incidentally my onward and return journeys were in different routes. When we visualised using Google Fusion Charts, it was quite telling. There were many deadspots which would be impossible to detect otherwise. During this exercise, my droid had to be fed with constant power to keep it running. :)

We build products for travel and recently did several interviews with frequent travellers. We repeatedly heard people saying they usually turn off data just to conserve battery life. They were also concerned about running out of juice and becoming unreachable. This sparked an idea to build a public battery profile for people displaying the last known battery status. So, if someone is not reachable, one can find out if it is because of running out of juice.

During last week’s Droidcon India Hack Night, I teamed up with Sandeep and Santhosh to build the basic version. Thanks to Muthuraj for suggesting that we fall back to SMS when the battery is really low, which we’ll add in a future release. In the past few days, the hack got spit and polish from Team Ideophone and it’s now available for download from the Play Store. :)

The heart of the app is a shareable battery profile. However, as pointed out in this Pluggd.in article, when more and more people start using it, our data will show which Android phones have better battery life in real life scenarios. While price and feature comparisons of Android devices abound, it’s high time we had battery performance halls of fame and shame! The high point was to know that Sundars Ace had a really low juice retention factor and he wasn’t complaining for nothing all these days. :)

 

4 Responses to “The story of Droid Juice!”

  1. Sagar November 1, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    I see tremendous value of such a utility – a messaging service that can prioritize between a call, a message, a tweet, a missed call and so much more depending on the receiver’s battery strength for one.

    • Sundar November 8, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

      Thanks and we agree with you, Sagar.

  2. Ravi November 24, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

    Hi Anenth,

    Nice app. Will help fighting couples to know why the phone was switched off really ;)

    1. http://droidjuice.me/ravidreams shows the same picture even sometime after I switched OFF the wifi data connection. Will help if you can clarify that the data was not traceable after a particular point of time. For non-geeks and elders, there could be some textual context to make sense of the picture.

    2. Guess it is showing time in UTC. It should be in local time.

    3. As you said, to save battery we turn off data connection. Some times, I even switch off the mobile to save power when I reach the destination and will need to make calls. Can this information be communicated? Perhaps, a “Switching off to save power” button in the interface?

    • anenth November 26, 2012 at 11:42 am #

      Thanks for the suggestions, Ravi.
      We will soon show last known battery status in local time. So, one can know if it is the latest stat easily. Regarding the “Switching off to save power” button, we wanted the app to be as minimalistic as possible. We are thinking of alternate ways to notify that event to server automatically.

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