Saturday, January 26, 2013

Frequently Asked Questions - GSam Battery Monitor

GSam Battery Monitor and KitKat

As of version 3.3, GSam Battery Monitor is now fully compatible with Android KitKat (4.4) for non-root devices.  If your device is rooted however, there are more statistics that GSam can collect.  So if you have root, make sure you install the GSam Battery Root Companion app.  If you don't have root - no problem, things will still work well, but some stats such as app wakelocks will not be available.

Unfortunately, Google has removed the ability in KitKat (4.4) for non-system applications to access battery statistics.  On versions prior to KitKat, GSam obtained battery statistics from a built-in set of statistics from Android.  If you have root, we can still get at that data.  If you do not, then GSam will track as much of that data as it can by itself.   Not all data can be tracked however.


In order to manually track usage for non-root users in KitKat, we had to include 2 new permissions.  READ_PHONE_STATE and ACCESS_WIFI_STATE.  These were added so that we know when the phone and wifi are in use so we can correctly show the respective power drain.  Google Play users who are not using KitKat will not see these permissions, but KitKat users will regardless of whether they have Root or not.

If you have root:

There are a number of ways around this - unfortunately, all of them require Root.
  1. Use the GSam Battery Monitor - Root Companion app.  This app will walk you through installing it as system privileged app.  Once done, GSam Battery Monitor will behave as before.  This is the preferred way...    OR
  2. Copy GSam Battery Monitor apk directly into /system/priv-app/.  This works well for the Free version, but is more challenging for the Paid version, requiring hoops that do not work for everybody.
  3. Use the XPosed Module that we wrote.  This of course requires that you have the XPosed framework installed - and then you need to install linked module.  This works well, and provides a more generic solution that works not only for GSam Battery Monitor, but for other apps as well.  We still recommend option #1 above as it is the lowest risk mechanism - but if you already use XPosed, then this route is a great alternative.

Why do some Apps show higher usage than I would expect?

If you are fairly confident that an app really isn't using as much power as GSam Battery Monitor reports, it could be a problem with how Android reports it's sensor usage.  Some devices coupled with certain levels of Android don't correctly report sensor usage by apps.  Specifically, it appears that an app has continuously used a certain sensor (such as the accelerometer), thereby triggering a very high power drain relative to other apps.    So if your app is showing that it has a high sensor usage - but you know it doesn't, then go into Preferences -> Device Power Profiles -> Include Sensors.  Uncheck this (do so when you are plugged in).  

Things should start correctly showing usage.  Unfortunately it means that the app can't take sensor usage into account, but if your phone isn't accurately reporting that to begin with, it's better off not included.

The notification icon doesn't update, and I have to open the app to see the latest.

The battery monitor has to run in the background to keep posting the latest battery stats to your notification bar.   Things such as task killers, or memory cleaners will stop the the background service.  It will restart on it's own, but if it gets stopped too many times in a certain time span, Android will lengthen the restart time.  Android itself will also stop background tasks automatically when it needs resources (hence why task killers are not a good idea - Android already does this).  If your phone is running too low on resources and has lots of apps competing for these resources, the battery app will get stopped by design.

If you want to override this behavior, enable the following preference:  Preferences -> Device Power Profiles -> High Priority.   Do this with care though.  It sets GSam to run in a mode where it will only get stopped if the system is really running low on resources.  If you don't have an update problem, don't enable this.

There are other reasons it could be happening - but try this first.  If this still doesn't resolve your issue, please contact us so we can help!

My tablet reports Phone usage - but it doesn't have a phone.  Why?

Some device manufacturers don't always correctly honor Androids API to determine if a device has Telephony support or not (that's you Nook).   Please email us and let us know the specific device - we'll update a table of specific devices so that it reports things correctly for you!


  1. Hi

    Thanks a lots for create this software..question here why my phone radia show 65% of power usage..any idea why it is happened..

  2. electric sheep dreamerApril 10, 2013 at 7:16 AM

    Thank you for this wonderful piece of software and continous improvements.^^

  3. Want to how long does the screen is on ,how long does wifi is on, like those specific statistical data

  4. time data lack accuracy,it didn't show start time

  5. why system battery status shows 25% for wifi, but Gsam shows only 1%?


  6. How does Gsam define screen brightness? Specifically what percentage range are Medium/Light/Bright defined as?

  7. pls help. not working
    already root and installed root app companion

  8. Gsam is a great app for battery stats. It is the best in the market, but unfortunately it shows 95% of battery phone radio on my tablet. I have an Intenso 824 tablet (recognized by hardware info as INM8002KP). Could you please fix this particular problem?

  9. Any answer for my question? Is it possible to fix the problem?

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  11. Most of your problems/questions can be answered by using the built in "send error report" in the more section. This sends in a detailed report to the App Dev so he can assist you with your problems. I had an issue with my HTC One and he figured it out and fixed it.

    Nice work figuring out the 4.4 issue and a work around, and great app as always.

  12. i want to make my own icon packs. Where to start?

  13. Thanks for your work in supporting Android 4.4 KK. I can get all the information but some data is not correct. It shows that the device is active (I assume it is awake) 100% of the time. This is not possible since my Samsung Hercules drains battery very quickly when active ,ad it shows that the phone was active only 1h out of 7 hours since I unplugged it. I have a custom ROM, rooted of course and after 7 hours I still have 81% battery left. It is clear that activity report is not working fine in KK. The rest is amazing, thanks for this APP!!!!!!

  14. What is the refresh time of the widget? It's there a option to change it?
    I would like to see the battery current with faster refresh rate.

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  16. Feature request. I am interested in alerts. But not for absolute percentages. I don't care that i hit 50%. I would like an alert when the rate of change changes. i.e. when the estimated time for 0pct makes a sudden jump. Falls by more than X percent for example.

    An alert condition based on time remaining would also be useful. ie. Alert me when the estimated time remaining is 1 hr.

    1. Exactly what I'm wanting, a RATE monitor not fixed values!

  17. Hey there,
    Is 'time left' shown as hh:mm until the battery discharges totally, or mm:ss until one percent of the battery is gone?

    1. I can't find this 'Power Per Percent' setting in the preferences.