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Android 6.0 Marshmallow Tracks Flashlight and Camera Battery Use

October 12, 2015 - Written By Tom Dawson

The Huawei Nexus 6P (pictured above) was launched towards the end of last month, and with it came a brand new version of Android, Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Of course, many of us knew Android 6.0 simply as “Android M”, as it had been in developer preview ever since Google I/O earlier this year in the summer. Considering that last year’s Lollipop was a big release for Android, it’s unsurprising to see that this year’s release is more about improvements under the hood and added polish. One area that Google has, once again, focused on is battery life and rather than take an umbrella approach as they have done in the past, this new version of Android goes into minute detail better managing apps.

This also means that the user is given more info when it comes to monitoring their own battery life as well. As Android Police is reporting, the battery usage graph in Android 6.0 Marshmallow now offers up info on how much battery your camera and flashlight have been using. The two are separated because Marshmallow also features a new API, simply dubbed the ‘Flashlight API’ which allows apps access to the LED flash without ‘waking up’ the camera. This in itself not only saves battery life, but ties in to the new approach to permissions that Marshmallow brings to the table as well.

Giving users more information about what the apps and uses on their device is doing to their battery is very helpful. After all, it’s easy to understand why your device has less battery than it did at the same time yesterday when your camera usage is displayed right in front of you to see. Educating users as to what is running away with their battery life helps them adjust their usage and of course troubleshoot whether or not there’s a rogue app running in the background. Now, with the new flashlight and camera monitors, users taking a lot of images can see that this is the usage that’s increased battery drain, rather than leaving them looking for some sort of dodgy application. Android 6.0 Marshmallow should start hitting devices before the end of the year, and manufacturers like Sony and HTC have already come forward with which devices will get the update, while Nexus devices already have their update.

Batt Usage Marshmallow