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Google blames short Android battery life on background apps

updated 08:45 pm EDT, Wed May 19, 2010

Users have to manually watch for power hogs

Google co-founder Larry Page, speaking at the company's I/O developer conference, suggested that there is "something wrong" if an Android handset cannot get through a full day without recharging the battery. The executive was responding to a question regarding the company's plans to address battery life issues on the mobile platform.

"I have noticed there are a few people who have phones where there is software running in the background that just sort of exhausts the battery quickly," Page said. If you are not getting a day, there is something wrong."

CEO Eric Schmidt suggested that the transmit/receive unit is typically the primary source of battery drain. He reminded audience members to figure out a way to minimize using the communication components, as many applications "are not particularly smart" about optimizing the power consumption.

The recommendations highlight a potential difference in Android's multitasking system compared to alternatives such iPhone 4.0. Although both systems attempt to limit the power consumption while a task is active in the background, Apple suggests that its upcoming mobile OS will implement multitasking in a way that avoids excessive drain on the battery. The Google execs have blamed third-party developers, leaving users to manually find which apps are hogging resources. [via TechRadar]

by MacNN Staff



  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You can bet Apple is patenting their process. As time goes on we start "hearing" about Android problems with developers, and apps. and people DOING what they want... whereas Steve Jobs keeps telling us they are going after the USER experience and dropping apps or potential apps that abuse this. Live and Learn Eric. To you it's about market share, to Apple it's about making a great experience and making money for its investors. You lose.

  1. jondesu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Different approaches

    This really highlights the different approaches of Google (and many other companies, Microsoft included) and Apple. Google says "If your battery isn't lasting at least a day, you're doing something wrong." Apple says, "If the battery won't last more than a day, we're doing something wrong," and thus refuses to compromise on battery life (which is extremely important in a phone) for added minor functionality. They've also found a good balance, I think, in the system coming in iPhone OS 4, to allow background tasks, without allowing developers to run wild with background applications. You can't trust third-party developers or the users to always be conscious of the negative effects of their apps (even though ideally they would know), so as the operating system developer, it's your responsibility to make sure they can't cause undesirable results.


  1. Herod

    Joined: Dec 1969



    these things arent even running flash yet.

  1. joecab

    Joined: Dec 1969


    the blame game

    Yet didn't you guys give Apple c*** for not having multitasking all this time? Where it seems to me, like they did with cut and paste, it was released when it was ready and could be well supported by the hardware as well, if the reports of the 4th gen iPhone are to be believed.

    Uh huh. Stay classy, Google.

    This also gives you a glimpse at what's going to happen once they start using Flash in Android 2.2: when Flash crashes, Google will blame Adobe and Adobe in turn will blame Google. And users really don't care which one is really at fault: they just want the damn thing to work correctly.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. facebook_Jeff

    Via Facebook

    Joined: May 2010


    comment title

    hmm my nexus one battery last me more than a day while my friend with an iphone is always looking for a charger.

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    But I can

    play Pandora while surfing the web. So there!

  1. TiberiusMonkey

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'm sorry guys...

    ...and I know this is going to get marked down, but my iPhone had a very low average battery life, while my friends HTC holds power very well. My BlackBerry lasts forever, well past either of them. That aside, the worse phone I've used for battery life was the Palm Pre, it would barely last a day.

  1. facebook_Jeff

    Via Facebook

    Joined: May 2010


    comment title

    I love how I was marked down... I guess the truth hurt too much.

  1. Nostromo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The envelope please...

    ...and the No s*** Sherlock award goes to: Google!

    In other breaking news, a large, heat-radiating, glowing object was seen to rise over the eastern horizon this morning, then disappeared over the western horizon about 14 hours later. Film at 11.

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