Battery meter with Live Tile is a life saver [Homebrew]

We've seen some homebrew solutions for adding a battery meter on the today screen before, but now with Mango, devs have a lot more options to choose from, including local updates.

Over at XDA, member singularity0821 has come up with a new battery meter called Mango Battery Status and it just hit version 3.3. What makes this app much nicer than the previous noble attempt is it has a double-sided Live Tile, showing that battery percentage remaining on one side and the status (charging, discharging) on the other. Tapping it of course launches the mini-app showing your current battery level, acting as a tile refresh.

You can also record your battery history over time to see how well the battery holds up--great for doing some testing of hardware. The app only requires your device be unlocked and not interop-unlocked, meaning just about everyone can do this now with the ChevronWP7 Labs available. We approve!

Source: XDA; Thanks, Ryan, for the heads up!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • ok, so how do I load this?
  • If dev unlocked, you need the developer tools which have an Application deployment tool. There are also some 3rd party solutions at XDA.
  • w
  • thanks Daniel. wow loading this app was way easier than on WebOS.
  • this is what scared me about homebrewing on WP7; I was worried it would be harder than webOS. No offense to the XDA guys, but their website is geeky. They speak several levels above my homebrew knowledge, which is great, but makes it hard for me at least, to understand some processes. Their website has prevented me from even attempting to homebrew. I'll have to lo into this a little more. Thanks.
  • If you guys have any questions just let me know here or at XDA. :)
  • Without wanting to reduce the value of an app like this, I have to mention some things:1. The double sided live tile implementation is pointless because it almost shows the same thing. Furthermore, This info could have been displayed in a single tile...with the way the icon battery works on top right and a simple text message above it.2. "Tapping it of course launches the mini-app showing your current battery level, acting as a tile refresh."This means that the tile doesn't show real time info and it doesn't refresh until we tap, what's the point of this tile? to show us the last info we read inside the app? It reminds me of some weather apps which doesn't automatically update their tiles until we actually use the app...Please correct me if I'm wrong somewhere
  • The app has a background service that updates the tile every 10-30 minutes. I want to show the time that's remaining on the back as soon as I am able to access that information.
  • It's a nice homebrew app, but the main problem with it is that it actually drains your battery, which makes it pretty much useless.The updateing of the tile DOES happen though, but only every 30 mins which is the shortest tile update interval of WP7.5.
  • Inside these 30 minutes it could be better to look at the device battery icon IMO. Tiles which are updated every 30 minutes instead of every second, are limited to specific applications which doesn't need to monitor actions for small periods of time. It could always be better to have real time live tile updates though...there are no real excuses for this limitation which makes live tiles die for 30 minutes. Microsoft do you read this ? (probably not...)
  • When I try to install/deploy, I get an error 'Error 0x81030120', there aren't any further details...anyone know what this means?
  • It means you have not interop unlocked your phone. Mango bans many homebrew apps (mostly registery editors) without this extra unlocking step. There are tutorials for doing this over at xda.
  • Ok, thank you for the update--I will look into further. Just got my Focus S on Sunday, so learning lots about WP7. I'm a registered developer and registered my device with Microsoft, but didn't realize I needed extra step. Thanks again.
  • Actually no Interop unlock is needed. It should work with the normal unlock. Did you try the latest version (3.3)?
  • Quoted from the article above "The app only requires your device be unlocked and not interop-unlocked"...
  • This app sounds like a great way to drain battery. :-)
  • The background service only runs once every 10-30 minutes so it doesn't really drain your battery.
  • It runs once every 30 minutes, so it isn't really a "live" tile too...
  • Well, that's a limitation by the OS...
  • how about just adding the percentage up in the corner next to the battery on the top bar. I don't need a whole tile for this. It's nice to see the addition, but we can only have 30 live tiles or so, which will be battery drainers in themselves.
  • No thanks.
  • that's ok. You can fill your home screen up with tiles such as this. I'll save my space for more appropriate tiles. I know everyone can't be pleased. It's obvious you've never seen this suggestion used before.
  • I also believe that there is no point of having a live tile (which isn't exactly live because it doesn't get updates every second) for the battry status. A good working battery symbol like the default on WP7, is always a better idea.. I really can't understand the obsession some people have with live tiles...even when these tiles doesn't provide any useful information and are updated much after the last changes...Weather apps, shortcuts and various other tiles that really doesn't change in real time...A battery meter tile could be very good, only if it was highly accurate and everytime we took a look of it, it could actually show us the info for that specific moment. Otherwise we can already use the battery icon...
  • Didn't even finish reading the article. Pretty much sold after reading the title. !!!
  • Editor? I think your "thumb" buttons arent working.