If you told me that you had an app that would improve the battery life of my iPhone, or other device, I’d probably laugh. How could third-party software, especially in Apple’s walled garden, substantially affect battery life?

Well Carat, a new application by AMP Lab, is promising to do just that…

TechCrunch spotlights the title, which uses a combination of data it takes from your device, and data it pulls from its crowd-sourced collection, to recommend which apps users should close down based on their power usage.

“Carat’s recommendations break down into killing off bugs and hogs. These usually aren’t “bad” apps. Energy bugs are apps that are sapping a lot more power from you than everyone else because they’re probably malfunctioning, so Carat tells you to restart or re-download them. For example, a notes app that uses little power for 95% of users, but it’s accidentally activating your GPS over and over.

Hogs are apps that just naturally use a ton of power or needlessly run in the background, like streaming music apps. Carat reminds you to shut them down, which is especially useful when you get that 20% battery remaining notification half-way through the day and you’d do anything to still be able to get calls and texts.”

Individual experience will obviously vary from user to user, as we all use a different cocktail of applications. But on the surface, it appears that Carat has the potential to significantly improve your device’s battery life.

If nothing else, it seems worth checking out — especially since it won’t cost you anything. If you’re interested, you can grab Carat from the App Store for free.

Have you tried Carat yet? Thoughts?