Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Using an Andoid Phone Without Cellular Service

I have an Android phone, but I don't have cellular service for it; instead, I use it like an ipod touch and use it only with Wifi. The problem is that most of the battery power was being used by the celluar radio, and the battery would last only a few days between charges.

After speaking with someone from the Android team, I learned that the phone still looks for and connects to cellular service, even without a sim card, because the phone supports emergency 911 dialing. It turns out that you can disable the cell radio (and lose 911 service) if you switch the phone into Airplane mode. The trick is that while in Airplane mode, you can turn on Wifi. This seems to be saving me a lot of battery power; the battery is full even after 15 hours off the charger.