Charged up

November 1, 2012
This article appeared in Berkeley Engineer magazine, Fall 2012

As mobile devices and their apps become quicker and more powerful, batteries can’t always keep up with their energy demands. To help consumers, a team of engineers from the Algorithms, Machines and People Laboratory (AMP Lab) in the EECS department has developed an app that provides individual energy recommendations for mobile phones and tablets.

Known as Carat, the app identifies “energy bugs” (apps that use energy unnecessarily) by comparing usage to that of other devices. Once installed, Carat takes periodic measurements about the mobile device and its energy consumption; that data is sent to AMP’s servers, which perform a statistical analysis to determine ways to improve battery performance.

After a week or so, the user receives personalized advice about how to increase battery life, such as killing or restarting apps, or upgrading the operating system. Carat itself uses almost no power and keeps the collected data anonymous. It can be downloaded for free at the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Topics: Computing, EECS