Ingress Tip: How to Improve your Ingress Experience while Improving Battery Life While Playing

| December 22, 2012 | 13 Replies


Ingress is a huge battery hog. But what do you expect from a game that is using your screen, mobile data, and GPS all at the same time? Ingress is super addictive. In fact, on our last Ingress show we talked about how much some people play. And it’s quite a bit. Some play for 3+ hours per day. While others just don’t have the time or the gas to drive out every where to hit up these portals. And the rest of us just complain about Ingress killing our battery almost instantly.

Thanks to one of our followers on Google+, Michael Richardson, we have a nice Tip that will help you out with the battery life and make your Ingress playing experience a bit better. Let Michael explain:

Install this app from the Play Store. If you’re rooted it is more likely to provide max benefit but either way should help. I’m listing a few settings below that are the way I use it but the general idea is that this COMPLETELY shuts off your screen without putting your device to sleep. Typically when you hit the “power” button on an Android device, you “lock” the device and tell it to sleep. Foreground apps are sent an “intent” that tells them they are not longer to run (unlike services which are responsible for things like syncing your email or receiving gtalk messages). That means that when you hit your power button, Ingress stops working completely. No more XM collection, audible notifications about portals, etc.. Also, when you hit your power button to “turn the device back on”, you have to unlock if you have a lock screen of any sort, relaunch Ingress, wait for it to get a GPS lock, etc…. For me with the HTC DNA (one of the most powerful devices our right now), this can easily take 15-20 seconds depending on a number of factors.

Our screen is one of the greatest power consumers in our device. By shutting it off entirely but NOT putting the device to sleep, you save massive amounts of battery and Ingress is usually but a second or two away from being available. Depending on where you play, that can be a HUGE benefit. Even if you have battery-packs or chargers (like in your car), this has another benefit of keeping your device more cool. CPUs are exponentially less efficient and also get slower as they get more hot and charging batteries and LCD back-lights both create substantial heat. I’ve had Ingress get so laggy that it was hardly usable because my device got too warm (but not enough to lock up and reset since it’s overclocked to 1.8GHz and quad-core).

To sum things up, install this app and use the settings below and you’ll be able to do what I do, which is to keep Ingress in instant standby, while saving tons of power, and keeping your device more cool.

Once the settings are in place, create a widget on your home screen for the app and that will start “screen standby” and shut your screen off. My settings use the proximity sensor (nearly all phones have this and it’s at the top of the phone) to turn the screen on and off. Just wave your hand over the sensor to turn the screen on, launch Ingress, then wave again when you want to screen off. One more wave and you’ll be back to Ingress instantly (assuming no bugs or issues and that I can’t guarantee, but HOURS of testing and having to reset my device has helped me find a setup that works very well).


Settings: (Open the app and hit the wrench icon at the top-right to get to the settings area)

Screen off methods - This you will have to set based on your device and type, but my HTC DROID DNA works well with Zero Brightness and nothing else checked.
Sensor Settings - Uncheck everything (since we move so much when playing, I don’t think any will work well if at all)
Proximity Settings - Check the “Use proximity sensor” option
Extra Settings - Make sure that “Wake-lock” is checked. This is what guarantees that Ingress keeps going and your phone doesn’t “time out” and lock while the screen is off. I uncheck everything else except “Ads banner” because I want to do that little thing to help him out.

I haven’t had the chance to try this out yet, but I will be during the next week or so doing my normal drive by’s hacking portals and blowing up the enlightened’s work. Let us know in the comments below if this worked for you and what kind of differences you saw in playing Ingress on your device. Also be sure to add which device you’re using.

Source: +Michael-Rainabba Richardson

Category: Android Game News, Android News

About Alexander Maxham ()

Alex has been an Android user since the Motorola Droid back in 2010. He's been a huge Android fan ever since using many of the most popular flagships. He's currently rocking a Moto X and a G2.
  • Austin Cates

    I have a Motorola RaZr &i don’t have problems switching between apps or returning to ingress, but i do have a tip…. If you run an automatic task killer, make sure that ikea set properly to ignore ingress.

  • Moss

    I’m not sure who clued me into this app on G+ a while ago, but I shared it the moment I realized how well it worked! I am using a rooted and ROMd’ GNex on Verizon and it gives me at least another hour and a half of play on my battery.

  • Thomas

    If I am not totally mistaken here is a wall of text recommending an app without mentiong its name even once! Sure, I could click the link in the article and hope that this leads me to the Play Store where I could download the app. But the link could also lead me to a malicious web site where some 0 day trojan gets installed on my computer.

    Do I take the risk? Nope. Maybe some food for thought if you have written this article and read my comment. I originally came here to find a solution for sitting in my car, where the phone is running Ingress in the dock, charging, and suddenly goes into standby mode, basically pausing Ingress until I unlock the screen. Is what you recommend here really a solution for this?


    • Scott Calkins

      The link does go to the play store, and the name of the program is Screen Standby

  • Ben

    Now if there was only a way to have my NFC chips launch this.

    • Sebastian C.

      There are a couple of ways in fact. One such way is using the app called ‘Tasker’ and a locale plugin like ‘AutoShortcut’.

      • Ben Thornsberry

        I have Tasker and tried to download AutoShortcut but it wouldn’t work. Whenever I would select the plugin and try to configure it no matter what shortcut I selected on the next screen it would just put the shortcut on my homescreen and I could never click the checkmark becaue I kept getting an error saying plugin not configured. I tried the free and paid AutoShortcut and had the same problem with both. I don’t know if maybe it is just a problem with my DNA or what. I’d love to be able to get it to work so I can program the NFC chip in my car to launch that along with Ingress whenever I get in.

  • Scott Calkins

    Sounds like the perfect app for us Ingress players. Only catch is, it is not compatible with the Samsung Galaxy 3. Play store will not even let you D/L it.

  • Ximinez

    Other tips: Switch to 2G networks only. Display brightness to minimum. Switch off wifi. Reduce COMMs to 20km instead of 200km. Switch off all sounds.
    Switching off data sync will also help, but you’ll miss email notifications if someone is destroying your resonators.
    Other than that; Be sure your phone is fully charged before embarking on a mission. Keep spare batteries/emergency chargers handy. If you’ve got two phones, consider using one as a hotspot and the other to play the game.

  • Adrian Cachia

    cannot get it to work on my galaxy nexus

  • Tobi

    Something else to check why this app won’t work?
    HTC Desire HD (ace) CuRom (JellyTime R29 – Randomblame)

  • Georgiu Ciprian

    you can also use ingress wakelock from market. does the same thing.

  • r08

    I’ve been using the app “night mode” at night. Dims the screen far dimmer that the lowest brightness, so you can see what you are doing.