[APP][4.1+] Save your battery power with Pixel Battery Saver (Pixel Overlay App)

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disip

Senior Member
Jan 31, 2011
362
105
Gdańsk
Hi!

At the beggining - I'm sorry if you won't understand something. English isn't my main language, I still learn.


In some smartphones with AMOLED screen (such as Samsung Galaxy S4) black pixel = turned off pixel.

I've always been irritated because of the fact that our batteries aren't too great, but phone producers still produce their phones with hiper-resolution, which practically we cannot even see.
I have invented something, that later I turned to real app.

I call it Pixel Battery Saver, because it displays some kind of totally black mesh on the screen (you can change its density), so at least half of the pixels (or more) are turned off (so the screen consumes less energy!), while you are still able to read anything on your screen.


If you still don't understand, just take a look at the screenshots.

mesh.png


pixelbatterysaver.png


Screenshot_2014-08-25-17-58-47.png


I've already created this app.
You may download and test it for free,
but if you really appreciate my work - I would be grateful for every donation (every single dollar would be helpful).


Let me know if you found any annoying bug or misspelling. This is my very first app - I still learn :)


70%20kopiuj.png


FAQ:

What do I need this for?
- Imagine this situation - your battery level is really low, but you have to search for something important on the Internet. Making the brightness lower often isn't enough. That's when you would need my app - to turn off some count of pixels.

There are lots of apps that dim the screen...?
- This app works different. It doesn't overlay your screen with transparent image (but there is such option in premium version if you need it too). It overlays your screen with totally black screen, which makes some count of pixels off, to prevent them from consuming battery.

Do I really need AMOLED screen?
- The best results you can get right with AMOLED screen, where black pixel means turned off pixel. However, even in other type screens black pixels are saving some battery, so it's just worth to check.

In battery stats I can see that this app consumes a lot of energy. Why?
- Don't look at the stats, look at the real battery consumption. Probably, Android Battery Stats app "thinks", that this app display an image on the screen all the time, because of what it shows an information about consuming energy. In fact, this app turns OFF the pixels (in AMOLED screens with this function), so it SAVES that energy, not consumes.

When the mesh is on, I am unable to install apps (Install button is disabled). WTH?
- That's because of the Android Security. In premium version of Pixel Battery Saver I added an option to bypass this protection. In this free version you can simply turn off the app (by clicking "Turn off" button in Settings window) before installing any app and then turn on it again.




Density of the mesh that I recommend is "High".




Changelog in post #2.


Download: Google Play
 
Last edited:

disip

Senior Member
Jan 31, 2011
362
105
Gdańsk
Always use the latest version with fixed bugs and new options.


[CHANGELOG]

v1.3 (coming next month):
- new option to automatically start service at specific battery level
- hidden notification icon
- option to detect package installer to prevent its bug (stops mesh activity when you're installing new app and starts it again when it's done)
- new option to dim the screen (useful at night)
- small fixes

v1.2.1:
- fixed doubled mesh after reboot (black screen)
- fixed unnecessary scrolling to the bottom ad

v1.2:
- quickly show/hide the mesh with notification action
- Ads. Sorry =)

v1.1.1:
- shortcut to the donation page

v1.1:
- new option to automatically start service on boot
- small bugfixes




[TO DO]

- Widget
- Overlay bottom navigation bar too




[KNOWN BUGS]

- I can't install any app (unable to tap Install button)
> This bug is fixed in version 1.3 (added new option to prevent this)

- The bottom navigation bar (with back, home and recent apps buttons) isn't overlayed
> I know about this, I will fix it in the future
 
Last edited:
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Skipjacks

Senior Member
Nov 1, 2011
5,410
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So, the question is - is anyone able to create an app like this?

There are a couple of issues with the concept as you've outlined it.

1) Turning off 50% of the screen you make small text unreadable. Even in your example the not so tiny temperature values are illegible.

2) While this would definitely conserve power in terms of physically lighting the screen, it might not be by as much as you'd think. The screen has multiple power sucking components. The first is the light producing LED's. Turning half of them off saves half the power. Simple math

. But the GPU that processes the screen imaging still runs at full speed even if the screen is blank. While the LED pixels aren't working, the GPU is still working to render a black image. So turning off half the pixels doesn't reduce the power draw required to run the entire display to 50% in total.

3) The app that overlays the black mesh will require the GPU to work overtime. It's got to render the image that's supposed to be in the screen plus it's got to render the black mesh over the native image. That could potentially use up more energy rendering the black than the black saves by not lighting the pixels.

4) The already built in option is to just turn the screen brightness down 50%. It accomplishes the same goal, requires no additional image rendering, and preserves the original image design without loss.
 

disip

Senior Member
Jan 31, 2011
362
105
Gdańsk
There are a couple of issues with the concept as you've outlined it.

1) Turning off 50% of the screen you make small text unreadable. Even in your example the not so tiny temperature values are illegible.

2) While this would definitely conserve power in terms of physically lighting the screen, it might not be by as much as you'd think. The screen has multiple power sucking components. The first is the light producing LED's. Turning half of them off saves half the power. Simple math

. But the GPU that processes the screen imaging still runs at full speed even if the screen is blank. While the LED pixels aren't working, the GPU is still working to render a black image. So turning off half the pixels doesn't reduce the power draw required to run the entire display to 50% in total.

3) The app that overlays the black mesh will require the GPU to work overtime. It's got to render the image that's supposed to be in the screen plus it's got to render the black mesh over the native image. That could potentially use up more energy rendering the black than the black saves by not lighting the pixels.

4) The already built in option is to just turn the screen brightness down 50%. It accomplishes the same goal, requires no additional image rendering, and preserves the original image design without loss.

1) Why do you think so? As you can see on my image, it doesn't make the text unreadable (if the "mesh" is pixel-by-pixel)

2) Right, but everyone know that black-layout apps are muc better for our battery than colorful or white, right because black screen isn't that "hungry" of power

3) Ok, but there are lots of apps that creates a full-screen black (transparent) overlay to make the screen more "shade" (dim?) to save the power. It works, even thou all the thing you described in #3

4) Oh, right, but when my energy power is really low, I turn the screen brightness to the lowest level, but it still consumes a LOT of energy.


Anyway! This discussion isn't even important, maybe we should just CHECK if this may work, or if not? :)
But, as I said, I am just asking someone to create a simple app like this.

Thanks anyway for reply.
 

-Ric-

Senior Member
Sep 9, 2012
541
359
Lisboa

it's not worth in my opinion, while rendering half of the screen black would help save some battery, the saving wouldn't be so great, yes the screen is what burns the most battery on android but, its not just having it on, its having the phone out of deep sleep, having the touch sensor activated and registering touches, etc, not to mention it would just kill the great viewing experience that the phone offers.
 

disip

Senior Member
Jan 31, 2011
362
105
Gdańsk
it's not worth in my opinion, while rendering half of the screen black would help save some battery, the saving wouldn't be so great, yes the screen is what burns the most battery on android but, its not just having it on, its having the phone out of deep sleep, having the touch sensor activated and registering touches, etc, not to mention it would just kill the great viewing experience that the phone offers.

Though when we are using our phones it has to render the whole screen anyway, so I think rendering a half of it would be better?

I am not thinking about this app making our screen always on. I just mean to display this mesh when we are using our phones and the battery level is low.

And, of course, it would kill the viewing experience, but when your battery level is 5% and you have to do some important research on the internet - you don't care about the viewing experience.

If you think turning the pixels on is not the thing that consumes the most of the battery, then turn the brightness to the highest level and then to the lowest and see how much it consumes... (changing the brightness doesn't change anything with the touch sensor and other thing you described though)


I thought my idea is really simple to develop for any Android developer and to see if it really works...
 
Last edited:

leodfs

Senior Member
Sep 8, 2011
277
71
I think that if you do some comprehensive tests, you could bring some attention.
Create one image with this pattern, put on your phone and open it with any image viewer, put the bright on max. Let it run for some time.... Measure how much battery was sucked.... Test again with the same image, but without the pattern, do some statistics with the results.
Are you rooted? You could invert screen color or make it grayscale.
 

liquidzyklon

Senior Member
Mar 2, 2011
75
19
I'll post my quick opinion. It really depends on how the phone handles the screen, but my experience is from my old Galaxy S2 with NoLED running over night. I think NoLED program was essentially accomplishing what you are proposing (i.e. rest of screen is "off" or black) and on portion of the screen is on for the LED to hop around. However, even though the screen was black the screen was still draining at a quite high rate (~6%/hr on average). The screen needs to be "off" not just black in order to save more power.

But having stated the above, I am looking forward to your test results to compare and determine if it can save more battery.
 

disip

Senior Member
Jan 31, 2011
362
105
Gdańsk
I'll post my quick opinion. It really depends on how the phone handles the screen, but my experience is from my old Galaxy S2 with NoLED running over night. I think NoLED program was essentially accomplishing what you are proposing (i.e. rest of screen is "off" or black) and on portion of the screen is on for the LED to hop around. However, even though the screen was black the screen was still draining at a quite high rate (~6%/hr on average). The screen needs to be "off" not just black in order to save more power.

But having stated the above, I am looking forward to your test results to compare and determine if it can save more battery.

Thanks for your opinion, but the screen in s2 is way different than on s4. The screen in s2 doesn't turn off the black pixels. The one in s4 does.

II am looking forward to do this test tomorrow ;)
 

disip

Senior Member
Jan 31, 2011
362
105
Gdańsk
Ok, thread can be closed - I've created this app by my own. I mean, I used many of tutorials and examples, and finally got it. Thanks anyway.
 

disip

Senior Member
Jan 31, 2011
362
105
Gdańsk
This would be pretty hard, as I have read dozens of sites and forums to understand everything. There wasn't any quick or simple solution.
 
Last edited:

disip

Senior Member
Jan 31, 2011
362
105
Gdańsk
Ok. I think it really works, but I'm still not sure. Give me few days to share the alpha version of my app (I just want to add some extra functions).

By the way, does anyone know where should I look for a list of phones with screens like in S4? I mean where the black pixel means it's off.
 
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gsmyth

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    Hi!

    At the beggining - I'm sorry if you won't understand something. English isn't my main language, I still learn.


    In some smartphones with AMOLED screen (such as Samsung Galaxy S4) black pixel = turned off pixel.

    I've always been irritated because of the fact that our batteries aren't too great, but phone producers still produce their phones with hiper-resolution, which practically we cannot even see.
    I have invented something, that later I turned to real app.

    I call it Pixel Battery Saver, because it displays some kind of totally black mesh on the screen (you can change its density), so at least half of the pixels (or more) are turned off (so the screen consumes less energy!), while you are still able to read anything on your screen.


    If you still don't understand, just take a look at the screenshots.

    mesh.png


    pixelbatterysaver.png


    Screenshot_2014-08-25-17-58-47.png


    I've already created this app.
    You may download and test it for free,
    but if you really appreciate my work - I would be grateful for every donation (every single dollar would be helpful).


    Let me know if you found any annoying bug or misspelling. This is my very first app - I still learn :)


    70%20kopiuj.png


    FAQ:

    What do I need this for?
    - Imagine this situation - your battery level is really low, but you have to search for something important on the Internet. Making the brightness lower often isn't enough. That's when you would need my app - to turn off some count of pixels.

    There are lots of apps that dim the screen...?
    - This app works different. It doesn't overlay your screen with transparent image (but there is such option in premium version if you need it too). It overlays your screen with totally black screen, which makes some count of pixels off, to prevent them from consuming battery.

    Do I really need AMOLED screen?
    - The best results you can get right with AMOLED screen, where black pixel means turned off pixel. However, even in other type screens black pixels are saving some battery, so it's just worth to check.

    In battery stats I can see that this app consumes a lot of energy. Why?
    - Don't look at the stats, look at the real battery consumption. Probably, Android Battery Stats app "thinks", that this app display an image on the screen all the time, because of what it shows an information about consuming energy. In fact, this app turns OFF the pixels (in AMOLED screens with this function), so it SAVES that energy, not consumes.

    When the mesh is on, I am unable to install apps (Install button is disabled). WTH?
    - That's because of the Android Security. In premium version of Pixel Battery Saver I added an option to bypass this protection. In this free version you can simply turn off the app (by clicking "Turn off" button in Settings window) before installing any app and then turn on it again.




    Density of the mesh that I recommend is "High".




    Changelog in post #2.


    Download: Google Play
    4
    Version 1.2.1 added to Google Play :fingers-crossed:
    4
    Ok guys, it's time to share my work with you.
    Be aware that this app is tested ONLY on Glaxy S4.

    Feel free to test if it really saves the battery :good:
    And remember! It's my very first Android app.
    2
    @up - tell me where's the point of buying high-end smartphone and then constantly undervolting it? If I'd need a lower-spec one I'd buy it.

    My idea is to save the battery when we need it, for example, when our battery level is really low and we need to search for something important in the Web.

    Don't get my thread as a question "what do you think".

    The main-concept app is ready, I'm making it more functional now and I will release the alpha version as soon as possible to let the people who are interested in it test it and help me decide if it really works as I expect.

    By the way - I tried to learn Android developing from 4 years with totally NO effect. Now, finally I understand more and more, so this app is also my big "Hello world" in Android ;)
    1
    Always use the latest version with fixed bugs and new options.


    [CHANGELOG]

    v1.3 (coming next month):
    - new option to automatically start service at specific battery level
    - hidden notification icon
    - option to detect package installer to prevent its bug (stops mesh activity when you're installing new app and starts it again when it's done)
    - new option to dim the screen (useful at night)
    - small fixes

    v1.2.1:
    - fixed doubled mesh after reboot (black screen)
    - fixed unnecessary scrolling to the bottom ad

    v1.2:
    - quickly show/hide the mesh with notification action
    - Ads. Sorry =)

    v1.1.1:
    - shortcut to the donation page

    v1.1:
    - new option to automatically start service on boot
    - small bugfixes




    [TO DO]

    - Widget
    - Overlay bottom navigation bar too




    [KNOWN BUGS]

    - I can't install any app (unable to tap Install button)
    > This bug is fixed in version 1.3 (added new option to prevent this)

    - The bottom navigation bar (with back, home and recent apps buttons) isn't overlayed
    > I know about this, I will fix it in the future