Good news from Google for these smartphone owners

Written by Henrik Rothen

Nov.15 - 2023 7:43 PM CET

Good news from Google for these smartphone owners.

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Many users of Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 6 phones, among others, have reported improved battery life and better heat management following upgrades to the latest Android 14 software.

This improvement is thanks to a series of Google optimizations that conserve power and increase the efficiency of Android 14 phones.

One key area of improvement is the handling of cached app data – that is, apps running in the background. Where previously it took 10 minutes before a cached app was shut down, it now takes only 10 seconds. Additionally, the number of cached apps has increased from 32 to 1,024.

However, Google seems to have tackled another major battery drain issue.

Android 14 addresses apps that drain the battery

Applications could run various processes that monitored whether other processes from the same app were stopped in an attempt to prevent the app from running in the background. When a background process detected that another process had been stopped, it would reopen the process as a new one. This chain was repeated each time a process was stopped.

Such a chain reaction from an app exploiting this loophole prevented the Android operating system from putting the app into hibernation, potentially impacting the phone's battery life.

With Android 14, Google has closed this loophole. It's done by first freezing the entire application and all its processes, then stopping individual processes and only resuming the remaining processes afterward. This can prevent applications from restarting closed processes.

The loophole was particularly exploited by malicious apps, where developers had an interest in keeping the applications running in the background for as long as possible.

Power-hungry alarm function reserved for alarm and calendar apps

Google has also improved other aspects of Android 14. The company has enhanced the internal broadcasting system, which is part of the operating system that communicates information about system states such as network connections and battery status to apps.

Another change that also improves battery life is a recommendation from Google to developers not to use APIs for precise alarms in their applications, unless they are calendar and/or alarm apps. If many apps use the ability to send notifications and wake phones at specific times, it can severely affect the battery life of Android phones.

New apps targeting Android 13 or newer must therefore request special permission to send alarms on the user's phone.

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