SXSW Prep: Making Your Samsung Galaxy Nexus Battery Last All Day

I sent this tweet earlier today:


A few people wrote back and asked what I was up to. This post is for you.

I have a Samsung Galaxy Nexus Android phone. It’s an amazing phone. But it uses batteries like your laptop, so you need to be prepared. As such, I have 4 (yes, FOUR) batteries and two chargers. One battery came with the phone, two are standard batteries that came with the external chargers, and one of the batteries is the “extended life” battery (note to self, buy another one of those). Generally I keep one in the phone, one at home, and two at the office, and a charger both places. I’ve always got a battery in the charger, and I always have a fresh battery. It’s possible I could just walk around SXSW with three spare batteries and make it through. But to be honest, if I used the phone all day long even that probably wouldn’t be enough. Crazy but true.

So here’s what I’m doing to conserve battery life while out and about using this phone which is basically a battery-sucking tablet all day every day at SXSW. Please share your secrets in the comments.

  1. Taking all four batteries and both chargers, so I can charge two at once overnight. If I remember in the middle of the night I’ll cycle one of the batteries, too, so I wake up with 4 fully-charged batteries every day.
  2. I put the phone into 3G mode instead of LTE. Settings -> More -> Mobile Networks -> Network Mode -> CDMA.
  3. I turned off vibrate for rings. Settings -> Sound -> Vibrate -> Never.
  4. I turned off vibrate on touch. Settings -> Sound -> Vibrate on touch -> Uncheck.
  5. I turned off Settings -> Language and input -> Swiftkey X -> Advanced -> Audio and haptic feedback -> Haptic feedback -> Uncheck. (If you’re not using Swiftkey X yet, do. It’s an amazing keyboard replacement for Android.)
  6. I turned off Accounts & sync. If I want to know if I have new mail, I open my mail app and hit refresh. Settings -> Accounts & sync -> Off.
  7. Turn off Wifi (unless you’re using it.) Settings -> Wifi -> Off.
  8. Turn off Bluetooth (unless you’re using it.) Settings -> Bluetooth -> Off.
  9. Turn off any apps you don’t care about that show up at the top of the “Battery” list. Settings -> Battery. For me GroupMe was at the top so I uninstalled it. Maps is at the top, but I will likely use Maps a lot so I’ll live with that. I can always kill Maps and GPS if it turns out I’m not using it much.
  10. When I’m in places where I won’t hear the phone (loud, in my pocket, etc), I will turn off the ringer.

With all of this I should get good long battery life out of my phone but still be able to use it for what I need it for all day and night. I’ll let you know how many battery changes I go through on average. 😉

See you in Austin.


ps – for a list of where I’ll be all week, see this post at Topspin’s site.

Mark Ronson, Coca-Cola & more on This Week In Music

Thanks sincerely to everyone for the great feedback on This Week In Music. At SF Musictech on Monday a woman approached me and said, “I’m Japanese and I wouldn’t be here at SF Musictech if it weren’t for This Week In Music. I watch every show and find them inspiring. I just wanted to say thank you.” Wow. Thank YOU for the encouragement. It’s feedback like this that makes it worth doing. Thanks sincerely to everyone for watching and supporting. The best way you can support is to spread the word by tweeting, posting to Facebook, G+, etc. Thanks.

After not missing a week for 26 straight weeks (that’s half a year!) I missed a couple in a row. Damn. Sorry about that. I’ve been insanely busy in both work and personal life and our producer Will has been busy, too, so we didn’t manage to get any tapings scheduled. BUT we have a LOT of great tapings coming up and we should be able to get the episodes going regularly again starting week after next. w00t!

The fine folks at MIDEM were kind enough to let us use the footage of my interview with Wendy Clark from Coca-Cola and Mark Ronson from MIDEM’s Visionary Monday a couple weeks back. You can watch that episode right here:

A few more I haven’t blogged about yet…

I chatted with manager of The Doors, Janis Joplin, Peter Tosh, and more, Jeff Jampol:

President of Rhapsody Jon Irwin:

Co-founder of Soundtracking and iMeem Steve Jang:

We talked about music and activism with Erin Potts, who has worked with Beastie Boys, Pearl Jam, R.E.M. and hundreds of others:

Talked to The Pixies’ manager Richard Jones about their DIY show live from The Music Box in Hollywood:

Explored the world of iTunes distribution with INgrooves’ Robb McDaniels:

And talked to the founder of new-model singles-only record label DigSin, Jay Frank:

Phew! That’s a lot of stuff since the last I blogged. What do you think? Who else would you like to see on the show?


And Then There Were Two (Weeks to The LA Marathon)

Final long run before LA Marathon, 21 miles

Happy Sunday,

This morning I ran farther than I’ve run since finishing the Honolulu Marathon with Julie in 2001. In that race I faked an injury at mile 17, pulled off the road, kneeled, and proposed marriage to Julie. Today I ran more than 20 miles pushing our five year-old in a stroller. Two weeks from today (regrettably the Sunday after SXSW) I’ll test my feet and legs in the LA Marathon, running Sunset and Santa Monica Blvd from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica Pier. This is the first of two marathons I’d like to run this year, my goal being to set a personal best in this my 40th year.

I’m running in support of long-time friend and colleague Jeff Castelaz’ charity, Pablove. Three years ago Jeff personalized the reality of childhood cancer for those of us who know him and many others who do not by blogging the last days of his son Pablo, who died in 2009. Since then Jeff and Jo Ann have put the energy of that pain into Pablove, raising money for childhood cancer research and programs such as Pablove Shutterbugs to improve the lives of children living with cancer.

Today’s 30,000 step, 21 mile outing was just 3% of the 600 miles I’ve run since November preparing for this race. After the 16 mile run my left knee revolted and it took me a month to convince it this would be possible. Even though I’ve been running shorter distances steadily the past five years, training for the marathon distance wasn’t easy and to be honest it wasn’t until today that I was sure I’d be able to complete the damn thing. But yo, I just ran 20 miles. And it wasn’t that hard. Barring unforeseen disasters (that’s the sound of me knocking wood) I’m running the LA Marathon in two weeks. I’m ready. I wish it was tomorrow. Let’s do this.

There are no shortage of great causes using the LA Marathon to raise money, but in this case it was Pablove that gave me the nudge I needed to try the marathon distance again and for that I’m grateful. Through blogging, Twitter, and Facebook I’ve managed to raise more than $2,000 for Pablove since November. Some can afford more, some less, and some may say, “I gave at the office,” which is completely fine. But if you’re so inclined, please take a moment today to support my marathon effort with a donation to Pablove: