There’s a new app called ‘Normal’ out from a pair of Stanford University PhDs in computer science named Adam Oliner and Jacob Leverich, who are turning some postdoctoral research into a company called Kuro Labs.
Their first project, Normal, is a battery diagnosis service that tracks and compares your app usage to other device owners to see if there are any specific actions you can take to save battery life. The app, which is currently available for iPhones compares your phone’s battery usage over time with other people who have similar combinations of apps.
Hence, the name ‘Normal’ — is your phone’s battery life normal compared to other devices that are the exact same model?
“Battery is a pain point and there are not many good solutions around,” says Oliner. “The device doesn’t tell you everything you need to know. Why is it using so much energy? Is that normal or not? That’s what we’re trying to adjust.”
When you go inside Normal, you’ll see active apps, inactive battery hogs and other apps. For each app, there is a ring chart that will show you how much battery life you’ll save if you close a specific app.
So for instance, if I shut Facebook’s mobile app off, Normal estimates that I’ll save 26 minutes and 47 seconds of battery life. Or if I close inactive apps running in the background like Instagram, I’ll save an hour and seven minutes.
Certain apps can be re-configured to use up less battery. Oliner says Pinterest, for example, is not normally a battery hog but there are a few configurations that make it more energy intensive. There’s a screen inside the app that will tell you if a specific app is behaving normally compared to other identical apps on other smartphones.
Oliner decision to start the new bootstrapped company with Leverich called Kuro Labs, may spin out more similar concepts, including for laptops or tablets.