1. Jasonrj's Avatar
    So after reading the battery thread for a while it seemed like there was a lot of conflicting reports from people about what exactly disabling always on data meant for notifications. Several people claimed it eliminated notifications, while others said they received them without a problem.

    I have spent my entire day testing different combinations of always on data and wifi and neither for different intervals of time to figure out exactly what it means for usage. This is what I've discovered:


    Disabling always on data will save you battery life if:
    1. Your phone is in standby a lot.
    2. You're connected to wifi a lot.

    Because:
    1. When in standby for more than ~5 minutes, the 3g connection is disabled.
    2. When you are using wifi, the 3g connection is disabled because it is not needed.

    So why wouldn't I just disable always on data?
    If you are NOT connected to wifi, AND your phone is in standby mode for more than ~5 minutes, you will no longer receive notifications, and apps like Pandora or Meebo will stop working because the 3g connection will not be kept alive.

    So why the conflicting reports saying that disabling always on data would or would not stop notifications?
    Because if you're not connected by wifi the 3g connection will kick in. Even while in standby your phone will ensure either a wifi or 3g connection is active for ~5 minutes. So if you turn your phone on frequently, you get the illusion that notifications always work.

    I was one of the people who incorrectly said notifications would continue to work no matter what. However, I realized that notifications only continued to work because wifi is never disabled, even during standby. I just happened to be at home where I always had wifi every time I got an email, so notifications always worked as expected.

    But as soon as I disabled wifi and my phone remained in standby for ~5 minutes, notifications no longer continued until almost instantly upon pressing the power button and unlocking the screen, at which point the apps quickly update and give you your notifications.

    So if people are frequently connected to wifi and/or turn on their phone once every ~5 minutes, everything functions as normal, even with always on data disabled.

    Conclusion:
    If:
    You are not connected to wifi
    AND you have always on data disabled
    AND your phone is in standby for more than 5 minutes:
    You are not going to get notified of new emails until you press the power button again and let apps update themselves.

    Are you sure?
    Well, not entirely after all the conflicting reports lol. But here is the test I've been using:

    1. Disable always on data
    2. Disable wifi
    3. Set your phone down without using it for 5+ minutes (it's hard to do, I know).
    4. Send yourself an email.
    5. Wait....

    Hours later I'm still waiting, because I will NOT get that notification until the power button is pressed and the connection is restored.

    So disabling always on data is bad?
    Well, not exactly. It saves a lot of power by switching 3g off while your phone is in standby. If you're not streaming Pandora over 3g and don't mind pressing the power button once in a while to get notifications, you don't need always on data.

    What's a better solution to save power and get notifications all the time?
    I don't know of one. If there was a similar option to simply disable 3g while wifi was connected, that would be better because you would never have simultaneous 3g and wifi connections going, and 3g would kick in even during standby if wifi disconnected.

    EDIT: This grayed out part was apparently incorrect.
    Cory Streater and rew001 like this.
    05-07-2010 03:23 PM
  2. mritter88's Avatar
    Very nice summary. My only question is that my WiFi seems to shut off too. I'll be on WiFi and signed in to AIM and if I set my phone down (even if for less than 5 mins) sometimes when I pick it up AIM has booted me off and I have to log back in. The only thing I could figure out is that my WiFi had disconnected while the phone was asleep...

    While your post helps I think there are still many questions, as you pointed out with the conflicting reports. I wish HTC had just told us how all of this should work so I knew what to expect. I'm going to mess around with the settings a little more this weekend and see what I can uncover.
    05-07-2010 04:03 PM
  3. Jasonrj's Avatar
    Very nice summary. My only question is that my WiFi seems to shut off too. I'll be on WiFi and signed in to AIM and if I set my phone down (even if for less than 5 mins) sometimes when I pick it up AIM has booted me off and I have to log back in. The only thing I could figure out is that my WiFi had disconnected while the phone was asleep...

    While your post helps I think there are still many questions, as you pointed out with the conflicting reports. I wish HTC had just told us how all of this should work so I knew what to expect. I'm going to mess around with the settings a little more this weekend and see what I can uncover.
    I have noticed that I am kicked off Meebo even if wifi is on as well. However, I can leave my phone in standby indefinitely with wifi on and always on data disabled and I will get notifications and uninterrupted Pandora streaming. So I'm not sure exactly how that works, but it appears to at least allow periodic connections to continue.

    It will be exciting to see how HTC and Android mature over the next year+ and make some improvements in areas like this.
    05-07-2010 04:18 PM
  4. howarmat's Avatar
    yeah i think the notifications might still come thru but meebo, ebuddy all the IM apps seem to lose connection.

    BTW i have mine enable all the time and its not making that much difference in my battery life really.
    05-07-2010 04:34 PM
  5. Jasonrj's Avatar
    BTW i have mine enable all the time and its not making that much difference in my battery life really.
    Me too, I'm not noticing a difference either.
    05-10-2010 12:34 AM
  6. Cory Streater's Avatar
    Thanks for that awesome write-up Jason. With your permission I'd like to copy that to the FAQ sticky.
    05-10-2010 07:19 AM
  7. trmoney24's Avatar
    Thanks for that awesome write-up Jason. With your permission I'd like to copy that to the FAQ sticky.
    just want to clarify what he said at the end.
    "I don't know of one. If there was a similar option to simply disable 3g while wifi was connected,"

    3G is already automatically disabled when Wi-FI is on, regardless of that setting. so you save power there.
    05-10-2010 10:52 AM
  8. Jasonrj's Avatar
    Thanks for that awesome write-up Jason. With your permission I'd like to copy that to the FAQ sticky.
    Sure, go for it.
    05-13-2010 11:50 PM
  9. Jasonrj's Avatar
    just want to clarify what he said at the end.
    "I don't know of one. If there was a similar option to simply disable 3g while wifi was connected,"

    3G is already automatically disabled when Wi-FI is on, regardless of that setting. so you save power there.
    If I have not unchecked disable always on data, then my 3G icon does not disappear, even while connected to wifi. Instead, it is always on, as the option would imply.
    05-13-2010 11:53 PM
  10. trmoney24's Avatar
    If I have not unchecked disable always on data, then my 3G icon does not disappear, even while connected to wifi. Instead, it is always on, as the option would imply.
    that's weird, mine is set to ON also. but the 3G icon disappears whenever i'm connected to a wi-fi. many other people have reported the same. also the article on androidcentral about saving battery power stated that as well.
    05-14-2010 10:51 AM
  11. howarmat's Avatar
    the wifi icon should replace the 3G icon
    05-14-2010 11:01 AM
  12. Jasonrj's Avatar
    that's weird, mine is set to ON also. but the 3G icon disappears whenever i'm connected to a wi-fi. many other people have reported the same. also the article on androidcentral about saving battery power stated that as well.
    the wifi icon should replace the 3G icon
    Interesting. I just tried it again on my phone and this time the 3G icon was replaced with the wifi icon. It had never done that before which I thought was incredibly stupid. I guess it was a fluke, but it happened every time until just now. I even stopped using wifi after making this thread because I thought it was pointless if 3G was going to still be on anyway.
    05-14-2010 12:18 PM
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