Find Out What Apps Are Draining Your iPhone Battery Life with Carat

Jun 15, 2012 - 10 Comments

Carat battery drain monitor

There has long been a debate as to whether background apps can drain battery life of iOS devices. Many people argue they don’t (or at least shouldn’t) have any impact on battery, and others are certain that background apps do. Carat is an iOS app brought to us by a team at UC Berkeley that aims to resolve that age old question by monitoring what apps are doing on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and then reporting back to you what apps are eating away at battery life. This is followed up with some recommendations on which apps should be quit, killed, relaunched, and some other helpful tips to improve and conserve battery life.

Although Carat is a genuinely useful app that is worth the free download, you should heed the warning of many App Store reviewers who note that, ironically, Carat itself hogs battery by constantly using Location Services. In other words, you may want to check it’s recommendations and then kill Carat itself. That’ll probably be fixed an update, but it is kind of an amusing bug in an app designed to improve battery life.

If you don’t want to download the app, you can follow these basic tips to get a vague idea of what Carat will suggest: update iOS to the latest version, quit unused apps, upgrade apps to the newest versions, restart apps that handle background tasks. Fair advice all around.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone


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  1. Pete Mortensen says:

    Location services are a hack to keep it running in the background. It’s not actually doing any location monitoring, but it’s acting like it is so that it doesn’t go to sleep. That does mean it drains battery (and makes quitting it a good idea after you get a hog report), but only because all continuous background tasks do.

  2. James M. Shih says:

    It does work. If you do the reading, the location service sign is on all the time but it’s not turned on. They haven’t figure out a way to get rid of the sign, I’ve been running it for almost a week and finally got a report from the app. I found out what’s the hogs draining my iphone battery and am glad I’ve installed this app.

  3. Frankns says:

    Edit: battery LIFE (I hate auto-correct some days)

  4. Frankns says:

    Been running it for three days as an experiment … In that time:
    — it has found no bugs, no hogs
    — it rates my performance score a perfect 0
    — my battery relief is rated at 14 days

    During that time I have charged the phone 4 times, used Waze GPS perhaps 10 times or more, sent numerous emails over the built in account and over Sarrow, surfer the web, and connected to multiple WiFi networks as I walked through the city.

    I don’t see any evidence that it is doing anything.

    These are a bunch of bright guys … my guess is the app is broken/not fixed.

  5. Dave says:

    Doesn’t work. Doesn’t seem to do anything. Deleted.

  6. MotionMan says:

    That was the first thing I thought of, too, Nikolaus.


  7. Nikolaus says:

    Why are people clicking OKAY for Carat (a process monitoring app) to use Location Services in the first place? I just told it NO.

  8. Mark says:

    I can’t be the only one that finds it hilarious an app designed to save battery life ends up draining it… hehe

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