The notification area is a critical area on an Android phone. Users like to keep it clean and display information at the same time. This has led operating systems to make minimalist looking icons that display massive data like signal strength, data connection state including upload and download and the battery life. In the screenshot below, you can see my notification area and apps that I have allowed on my notification area.
This keeps the UI perfect and does not break it. When I connect my phone to USB with debugging turned on, it takes two additional spaces as the USB connected icon and the debugging bug icon. This still leaves space for two more icons; say a Gmail notification and Google Talk chat notification.
After a year of using this phone, I have seen that four, is the perfect number of apps on the notification bar. So, here is the list of four apps I allow on my notification area.
A Task Manager App
A task manager app is essential for managing tasks on Android. Android phones do not automatically close the process when the app is closed.
This has mixed reactions from experts. Some believe that the app goes into a sleeping state, whereas some say, it keeps waiting. Both are true in their own respects, and this behavior is true only if implemented in the app. Thus, it is safer to kill the app once we are done using it. This is where a Task Manager comes into play. Besides this, a task manger also displays CPU information.
At times, an app can go rouge, and this drastically reduces battery life. A task manager prevents this situation from arising at all.
A battery saver takes an Android phone to the next level by doubling battery life at times. This can be a lifesaver in situations where battery life is critical and we get to put the phone on charge at limited times.
Juice Defender and Green Power are two battery saver apps I have used. A battery app indicator icon in the notification area tells us how it is performing and informs us of its current state. I have shown Green Power in my notification area but have given a screenshoot for Juice Defender, as it is more popular among users.
CPU Frequency Scaling
A CPU frequency-scaling app allows us to manage our CPU frequency.
Set CPU is an app advocated as an overclocking app. However, it is a potential battery saver and is an extremely useful underclocking app. Underclocking allows us to set our CPU frequency low and prevent our battery from draining when we are not using our phone. The notification area tells us about the current mode in which the app is running.
Screen Temperature Control
A screen temperature control app goes further in battery saving. A screen is the biggest battery hog as it needs a display and a backlight.
Changing the temperature and the gamma of the screen are two functionalities not provided by the Android OS. This app called Screen Filter allows me to reduce the gamma of the screen and saves battery life.
As you have seen by now, all these apps are potential battery savers and I prefer having them on my notification area.
(By) Chinmoy Kanjilal is a technology, web2.0 and Linux enthusiast and evangelist. He has an in depth knowledge of working of Softwares, Operating Systems, Hardwares and Computer Networks. Blogging is his favourite pasttime. He blogs primarily at Techarraz. You can find him on Twitter @chinmoykanjilal.