As our devices become more powerful, larger, and are filled with more and more software from the manufacturers (bloatware and some spyware); some things tend to take a hit that tend to make our experiences with our devices rather short lived. The battery is about the only thing in the entire technological salad that comprises our mobile devices that does not keep up with the rest. In this day and age, you will see similar sized batteries (in terms of capacity) to what you saw 2 years ago for far less power hungry devices. On top of that, as stated earlier, some software packages pre-installed do not help with your battery life either, which is why custom ROMs (particularly those of the AOSP variety) are a blessing as they are not loaded with the extra overhead. These extra apps are not only unnecessary, but many of them have a rather nasty side effect: They prevent your device from fully going to sleep when it has to.
Wakelocks have been around for quite some time (meaning they are nothing really new), and they are part of your overall Android experience. The wakelocks essentially will prevent certain apps from being totally killed by the device’s native memory management, allowing you to enjoy a faster response when opening apps, preventing your device from sleeping while you are in the middle of something, and even allowing you to do things with the screen off. As one would expect, there is no free lunch and keeping your device’s processor active has a toll on battery life. Determining what is responsible for these wakelocks is not always an easy or straight forward task because any given app could have more than 1 process keeping your device from sleeping. XDA Forum Member ahikmat has developed an app that allows you to determine which apps are causing the biggest wakelocks.
Wakelock Detector will group all processes causing wakelocks on a per app basis, which makes it easier to determine which ones are the biggest offenders. This is indeed a great tool for analysis of battery drain on devices suffering from constant power “bleeding.” Please leave some feedback for the dev in case you have any suggestions or run into any bugs.
Ever wondered why your smartphone screen doesn’t turn off automatically when it should have, the screen wakes up all of a sudden or you find your phone battery drained even when you exited apps and turned off the screen? This might be due to wakelock holding apps.