One of the best features of the Sony Xperia range of devices is the excellent battery life. Where other manufacturers often struggle, Sony seems to have it figured out – its phones and tablets not only have batteries that are often bigger than the competitors, but Sony has also done a great job at making its software particularly efficient.
As well as the built-in Stamina features, which allow the device to intelligently manage its activity when the screen is turned off – something that really makes a big difference in Android – Xperia devices also include Ultra Stamina mode.
Ultra Stamina mode is ideal for when your battery is running low and you know it’s going to be a while before you can get to a charger. It limits the activity on your device to a few core features such as phone, messaging and a few offline apps, while also disabling mobile data and Wi-Fi connectivity.
This is great if you are in a tight spot, but what if you want the extended battery life in addition to more functionality than phoning and texting? This is where the hack from XDA Forum developer androidexpert35 comes in – it takes the core of Ultra Stamina mode and adds a number of useful features that can be used without draining your device’s battery life.
1. Use a deodexed ROM
Normally ROMs are odexed, which means that there is what amounts to an integrity check on the core files and if those (framework) files are modified, the device won’t boot. For that reason you will need to flash a deodexed stock or a custom ROM – found at the XDA forums.
2. Check if ROM is addicted
You can easily check whether your current ROM is odexed by looking in the /system/app directory using a file explorer. If you only see the APK in app directories, your ROM is not odexed. If you see .dex or .oat files, your ROM is odexed and you will need to flash another.
3. Download the mod
After you have flashed a custom recovery and a deodexed ROM, you can download the modification here. Note that there are two different links depending on if you’re using a KitKat or Lollipop ROM on your device – it’s important to use the right variant.
4. Flash using TWRP
After downloading, you need to place the zip on an SD card or push the file to your device using ADB. You can then reboot to recovery using ‘adb reboot recovery’ or an app like Quick Boot from the Play store. Use the menus to navigate to install the ZIP – after backing up!
5. Wipe the dalvik-cache
You will need to wipe the dalvik-cache on your device before rebooting – this will ensure that the new, modified code is picked up by the system on boot. From the wipe menu in TWRP, select the ‘dalvik-cache’ option (with care!) and you will be ready to go.
6. Use the new Stamina launcher
The altered SuperStamina.apk file in the modification provides an updated launcher, which adds a link to the WhatsApp application, Walkman app, Chrome Browser and Google Maps apps – all changes that greatly improve the experience in Ultra Stamina mode.
7. Customise the new settings
The modified USMHome.apk file lets you access settings features that couldn’t be changed before. This includes access to display, application, Wi-Fi, sound and location settings – this gives you granular control. Features like Wi-Fi will lower battery life, however.
8. Request new features
The Ultra Stamina mode modification has been created by androidexpert35, who still frequents the XDA forums. He invites users to suggest new features and when people have done so, he has added them. So if you have an idea, go and share it.
9. Restore stock settings
When you downloaded the modification ZIP installer, you also downloaded a restore tool called USM_Restorer.zip. This will revert the files that have been changed, restoring stock functionality. This is flashed in the same way as the installer, using TWRP.
10. Reflashing your ROM
If you want to return your device to a stock state, including the recovery image, you should use the Flashtool to fl ash the stock FTF file. The correct FTF for your device can be downloaded using the XperiFirm tool, which downloads directly from Sony’s servers for peace of mind.