10 battery-friendly apps and games that won’t drain your phone

It’s great to be entertained on the go – until you can’t make a call when you arrive

As the sun returns and millions of Britons prepare to turn lobster red, thoughts turn to the holidays. Which means flights. Which means no boredom during the flights.

Luckily, even if you’re packed like sardines into a budget carrier, apps and games can keep you busy. The little catch: some (most) will drain your smartphone’s battery dry.

Do not be afraid ! Stuff is here to help you :tits list unearths apps and games that we think are entertaining, quick to use, and durable enough to last a flight. More importantly, they will leave you enough juice to hail a taxi once you reach your destination.

The method to our madness

Things tested it all properly, rather than flying it, because we’re nice that way.

Using an aging iPhone 6s and an Nvidia shield that’s seen better days, we used games and apps solidly over set periods of time, methodically recording battery levels. Many titles were dropped, as the goal was for applications to not run much more than ten percent per hour.

Your mileage may vary, of course, but you should get similar results using a device in airplane mode and with the screen set to around 50% rather than ‘burning eye’.

A good snowman is hard to build

A good snowman is hard to build

A little monster has no friends in this old app of the week, so decides to make some with snow. However, building snowmen is a precise art, requiring three balls of specific sizes, and the snow is piled into tiny fenced off areas of land.

So: a drag-based Soko BanPuzzle-style, more or less, but with gorgeous graphics and plenty of tricky challenges. Luckily, you have access to several at once, rather than being frozen when blocked.

Battery drain: less than 5% per hour.

To buy A good snowman… for Android (£4.49) or iOS (£4.99)

Comixology

Comixology

The most famous comic book app of all, now owned by Amazon, understandably needs some setup before it flies. But load up comics on your phone and you’ll be entertained by everything from the spandex-clad superhero squad to more thoughtful indie fare.

Avoid enthusiastically shouting BIF!, POW! and WHAM! during the entire flight, however, or you could be arrested on landing – or at the very least hated by everyone in your immediate vicinity.

Bite of battery: almost nothing – a few percent per hour. Then again, comics are basically just pictures.

Download Comixology for Android and iOS

Edge

Edge

This one is something of a rolling classic, with you ushering in a rolling cube upon exiting each isometric level.

As you progress, the game reveals more surprises, and you’ll need strong reactions, a good memory, and a keen eye on the minimap to emerge victorious with the best times and leaderboards. If you like it, the sequel extended edge for Android and iOS is also superb.

Battery drain: just over ten percent per hour.

To buy Edge for Android (£1.99) and iOS (£2.99)

Euclidean Earths

Euclidean Earths

Another app of the week, Euclidean Earths combines the turn-based puzzle of Hitman GO with a minimal aesthetic that echoes Monument Valleyand wrap it around a Rubik’s Cube.

Even the early levels are mind-blowing as you learn how to position your hero against opponents with a sharp stick. Later, you’ll probably spend more time staring at the screen moaning than interacting. Par for the course for the best puzzles.

Battery drain: despite all the 3D shenanigans, around 12% per hour.

To buy Euclidean Earths for iOS (£3.99)

Do not forget me

Do not forget me

We wanted something arcade in this list, just for a change of pace, but advanced 3D games were out, due to battery issues. So step into Brandon Williamson’s superb mix of a dozen classic arcade games.

Your little square is thrown into procedurally generated arenas tasked with eating flowers, staying alive, grabbing a key, and heading for the exit. With each maze full of demented inhabitants seemingly bent on destroying everything around them, the “staying alive” bit can be tricky in this endlessly reimbursable mobile classic.

Battery drain: just over ten percent per hour.

To buy Do not forget me for Android (£2.39) or download for iOS

Instagram

Instagram

If you’ve never used the Instapaper service before, it’s more or less a PVR for the web. You toss interesting items your way, which are then downloaded and stripped raw. The end result is a kind of very readable personalized diary that fits perfectly on your smartphone screen.

Naturally, you will need to fill Instapaper over time and upload your saved articles when you have an internet connection. but make it a habit and you’ll always have something to read on the go.

Battery drain: in the region of eight percent per hour.

Download Instapaper for Android or iOS

little alchemy

little alchemy

This puzzle game is about creating new objects by mixing elements. You start with the four classic elements (earth, fire, water, and air), but soon learn how to craft everything from household boilers to dinosaurs.

Some of the combinations are fancy to say the least, and it can be a bit frustrating not to find anything new. But it’s always rewarding when you do. Note that there is a progress sync while logged in, so sync before logging out unless you want to start fresh.

Battery drain: less than 5% per hour. But it is basically an offline web application.

Download Little Alchemy for Android or iOS

Pocket casts

Pocket casts

Podcasts! When you’re in the air, they’re the perfect way to avoid listening to the mob around you. And Pocket Casts is the best premium player on the market, with a wide range of features, whether you’re looking for new things to listen to or want to enhance a talk show by speeding it up, reducing silences and increasing its volume.

Because it’s so easy on the battery and plays in the background, Pocket Casts also works well with some of the other apps on this list, such as Instapaper and little alchemy.

Battery drain: a few percent per hour, especially if you use it with the screen off.

Download Pocket Casts for Android (£2.49) or iOS (£3.99)

Three !

Three !

One of the best mobile puzzle games out there, Three ! has you sliding numbered tiles around a grid, with the aim of merging them and creating new tiles with higher numbers. The way the game is cleverly designed forces you to think many times ahead, and it gets more and more claustrophobic as your room to maneuver shrinks.

There is a free version of the game, but you will have to “load” the number of games you have by watching ads. Frankly, spend a few pounds on the paid version and install for hours Tetris– obsession with style.

Battery Nibble: Roughly ten percent per hour on point if the game’s “conserve battery” option is enabled.

To download Three ! for Android (£2.39) or iOS (£2.99)

Traveler

Traveler

This entry drops you into a spaceship hurtling towards the center of the galaxy, using a drive mechanism built by aliens who have mysteriously disappeared. You periodically stop along the way to trade, mount expeditions, and recruit crews.

It’s all algorithmically generated and text-based, so it comes across as someone pasting a space trade classic Elite to a Choose Your Own Adventure book. And, while it can get repetitive, it’s fun to traverse a virtual galaxy while soaring through the air in a tin can with wings.

Battery nibble: approximately 12% per hour.

To download Traveler for Android (£3.99) or iOS (£3.99)

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