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AL app battery usage comparison


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In the light of complaints about the Adventure Lab App using the phone battery more heavily than other caching apps, I tried to gather data and see. 

The settings were:
- iPhone 11/iOS 14.2
- Max screen brightness on
- All other apps killed
- Background app refresh off
- Screen sleep: never
- Battery 100% (full) at start
- 1 hour duration for each experiment
- Radio settings varied because the AL app won't run in airplane mode


Baseline for screen usage: airplane mode
max screen for an hour consumes 13% of the battery


Adventure Lab Apo: Just wifi on. Device was moved around during the hour while the app showed "Get Closer" screen with switch to Compass screen now and then.
14% used so breakdown: AL App 1%, Screen 13%


Cachly: Device moved around during the hour with app doing an alert on target proximity to be similar to AL case. Note: all radios were on accidentally so Cellular and Bluetooth may have taken some power that AL experiment didn't see. 
15% used so breakdown: Cachly 2%, Screen 13%


After completing the Cachly experiment, I turned on background app refresh and the battery dropped quickly to 17% used. Only apps up at that point were Mail and Facebook which suggests you might not want these running, even in background, when you are out caching.


HQ Geocaching App: Device moved around during the hour with app navigating to a cache. Map screen used. Cellular radio on. Others off. 
18% used so breakdown: App 5%, screen 13%


My main inference (no surprise) is that the phone screen will eat most of your power. So why the perception that the AL app uses much more of your battery than other caching activities? My suspicion is that ALs lack good map support compared to mainline geocaching apps so wandering around trying to get closer means you have to keep the screen on all the time. With other caching apps, you can see the trail where the cache is and you can often put the phone away for some time until you get close. With Cachly proximity alerting, you can do one better by putting a proximity alert on the target and put the phone away -- almost no screen usage so most of the 13% screen usage vanishes. 


- Battery usage numbers are pretty coarse on iOS so at least +/- 1% error
- I cannot comment on Android usage as I don't have one. 
- An experiment I did not try was to use the AL app vibration when near the goal to reduce need to look at screen. This assumes it works in background mode

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