Product Documentation

Evaluating XenMobile Effects on Device Battery Life

Oct 20, 2015
Many variables come into play when you consider battery life on a device. Based on the results of analysis and testing on a variety of devices at Citrix, it is possible to set some expectations, however, for when you deploy XenMobile and the resulting effect on battery life.
  • Because all devices and batteries differ, the information stated in this topic is expressed in terms of percentages, not actual hours or minutes.
  • In all cases, unless noted, Bluetooth, location services, and WiFi were set to Off during testing; auto brightness was enabled, and only a single email client was used at one time (for example, WorxMail and not the native Android or iOS email client).
As a result of the tests, the overhead to battery life when you use Worx Home, WorxMail, and Receiver is approximately 15 percent. If an organization has a particularly high-security deployment, with many packages and policies configured for apps and devices, and if users may not have the knowledge of how to minimize or disable the services and processes running on their devices manually, the overhead to a battery could reach 25 percent. If users experience a reduction in battery life of greater than 30 percent, you should check the configuration on the user device.
Note: In the release of the Worx apps in XenMobile 8.6.1, as shown in the following figure, battery drain has improved by approximately 15% in tests that simulate active WorxMail use for 24 hours on an iPhone 5 running iOS 7.04. In the test, the connection occurred for 9 hours over 4G and 15 hours over WiFi.
Figure 1. Percentage Battery Drain in 24 Hours

The tests and analysis revealed the following results with regard to particular WorxMail configurations prior to the 8.6.1 Version, and connections to the Device Manager server or Apple:

  • WorxMail. If you configure WorxMail with Micro VPN or the Secure Ticket Authority (STA) in order to access Exchange ActiveSync services in the internal network, for longer battery life, Citrix recommends that you configure the STA method, especially on Android devices; the Micro VPN implementation uses native device libraries. On iOS devices, the effect of using Micro VPN versus STA should be almost negligible, because the Micro VPN implementation on iOS devices is self-contained within each MDX app. When you use encryption with WorxMail, you can expect a 4 percent impact on battery life. When you enable notifications, you can expect a 3 percent impact on battery life. The effect on battery life when you use the STA is as approximately 10% compared to the use of native email clients. The use of client certificates is negligible.
  • Connections to the Device Manager server or Apple. The use of Citrix Receiver has a negligible effect on battery life - less than 1 percent. However, when you configure scheduling policies to enable a connection to the Device Manager server from Android devices, the connection requires an always-on connection. When this occurs, the negative effect on battery life is greater on the Android device. On iOS devices, you can configure the policy for connecting to Apple through APNS. Depending on the policies and packages you enforce, the platform you are using, and how often you check in with the server, you can expect an impact to battery life of from 2 to 5 percent. For more information about how Device Manager scheduling policies can affect the battery life of Android devices, see How Scheduling Policies Affect Android Battery Usage.

Tips for Improving Battery Life

The following list of tips can help extend the battery life of user devices when you deploy XenMobile:

  • If you’re using WorxMail, disable your native mail client and other unnecessary account synchronization policies.
  • Disable services like Bluetooth, WiFi, and location services.
  • When you are roaming or out of a solid service area with a good connection, disable your mobile network (3G, LTE, and so on).
  • Use the latest versions of WorxMail for Android and iOS.
  • Keep your Android and iOS firmware updated.
  • Reduce the brightness of the device to a lower level and keep auto-brightness on.
  • Keep auto-lock enabled and set it to a low value like 1 minute.
  • Turn off notifications for apps that you don’t use.