What’s the Deal with BatteryGuard?

One of our readers recently opened the browser on his Android phone to check his Yahoo! email account when something strange happened.  A pop-up appeared over his browser screen advising that his battery was losing charge too quickly, then directing him to “upgrade to keep the battery for twice as long”.  This didn’t pass the smell test so he did a little digging around.  This ‘upgrade’ comes in the form of an app called BatteryGuard.

Initially our source balked when he looked into the app and its laundry list of permissions.  However after talking to our own Chuck Falzone, he was advised that a lot of task killer and battery management apps require a high number of permissions.  Take for instance JuiceDefender and its 26 system permissions.

Moving along, BatteryGuard was, and is, nowhere to be found in the Android Market.  The link in the pop-up does not return any results.  OK, that happens.  However AppBrain, Androlib and AndroidZoom still list details about the app and a bit about its history.  So far, BatteryGuard has notched more than 250,000 installs in its first six days.  An impressive number to be sure, and a figure many developers could only hope for.  The strange part in all of this comes in the developer.  Or developers.

AndroidZoom shows eight different instances of the same app, from three different developer names – Droid Genius, Droid007,and AndroidIntelligence. And coincidentally (or not), not one of them are in the Market anymore.  Digging through a post on AndroidForums, one sees conversation around this app with malware and spyware allegations persistent throughout the thread.

Try as we might, we simply couldn’t find any version of the app with 123,334 ratings, let alone an average of five stars.  By comparison, Lookout Mobile Security has a 4.5 average at 186,000+ ratings.  So we’re to believe that an app comes from out of the blue and grabs tremendous number of downloads and ratings… in the span of a week.  Going back to JuiceDefender, they have a shade over 38,000 ratings and they’ve been in the market for quite a while.

The Takeaway

There are a few points to be made here.  Either the ads are incredibly effective and other developers might want to look into the same advertising streams, or something else is afoot.  Not being able to pin down the original developer in this situation doesn’t sit right.  We’re also concerned by the more than 250,000 downloads. Advertising isn’t free and somewhere, someone will need to make a profit.  Be it money, pesky ads,  or (worse) your personal data, you’d be coughing up something with BatteryGuard.

We understand the developer’s desire to get people to download their app and even ‘get’ the reason for the verbiage used in the ad.  We see stuff like this all the time on desktops, however it’s usually tied with bloatware, malware, or spyware.  So for that reason, we aren’t fond of the tactic of presenting the app in the form up an update.  A first-time Android user or soccer mom type might go blindly clicking the link and install a crappy application.

Until we tell you otherwise, stay away from BatteryGuard, regardless of which developer is behind it.  There are simply too many things that don’t add up.

  • I hate the fact that with battery life as hard as it is to keep in check, I’m probably going to now have to also install some sort of antivirus/antimalware app and leave that running on my Droid.  Surely that can’t be good news for my already troubled battery life, much less performance.  If I wanted to deal with this crap I’d have gotten a Windows phone 🙁

  • Chris

    I’m an android user but I envy iPhone users as they dont have to worry about this shit. Just set it and forget it. With the android market being all “open” you dont know what you will get.

    • Umm…android market? open? Did you even read the article? The author states *twice* that this app is not available from the Android Market – only from untrusted, third-party sources. And let’s not confuse matters here – the Android Market is *not* open. While the criteria for listing aren’t as restrictive as iOS’s App Store, Google can and does curate Market’s content.

  • Michael

    This Speed Boost also apparently had 250000 downloads in 3 weeks: http://www.androidzoom.com/android_applications/productivity/speed-boost_zitc_changelog.html
    And it’s now not in the market any more.

  • If the shady permissions, seemingly-impossible download count and inflated user ratings aren’t enough to cast doubt on this app’s integrity, the author’s spelling sure should be. “Loosing”? “Upgrad”? Of course, many folks’ grasp on written English isn’t much better than a typical Eastern-bloc spammer’s…

  • Engrish, lol

    I’d pull a factory reset if this happened to me and then be more careful about what I download.

  • Jovanny Alvarado

    I got the same mssg when a opened up gmail on my mytouch slide and I don’t have app guard! Could be something else? Battery pic looks like htcs warning when battery is low.

  • Jjali88

    If you want to remove batteryguard from you android.. follow these steps.. go to market and install lookout for free, once it is installed , run. Then go to market, go to “my apps” then open batteryguard and click uninstall.

    • emma13

      I can’t find Batteryguard in market, I do see in my apps, but I can’t figure out how to delete it.  Any more specific instructions you can give?  I would appreciate it.

  • Jjali88

    If you want to remove batteryguard from you android.. follow these steps.. go to market and install lookout for free, once it is installed , run. Then go to market, go to “my apps” then open batteryguard and click uninstall.

  • Bks

    Better be up on all the jardon so you know what to do when you rec’d their tm. They are shady, locating cell phone so need to pull battery to regain control, then a 9.99 charge. Unbelievable how they can say I gave them permission.  Then when I requested them to “remove my number” they couldn’t accept it because I didn’t trype STOP something in it.  Now all third party’s are blocked from my cell thanks to them.

  • Kay

    Hmm I downloaded the batterygaurd app about a month ago. It seemed to work well but when the app took too much space and I saw the amount of permissions I gave it, I uninstalled it. So far the only ramification is that my battery life is shorter again. Thanks for the advice though. I will pay more attention to what I download.

  • Bottijm

    Shouldnt be a problem to stay away from this app, given it cant be found on the android market anymore. I installed it a while back and it’s a fantastic app. But this week it began freezing my droid. I went to reinstall, and could not find it. puzzling that it just disappeared. thanks for this post to inform us of this situation.