Android O Improves Battery Life By Limiting Background Activity

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Android O is now official, with the first developer preview having been announced and released today. Everyone is digging around to see what's new with this new version of Android, but one of the bigger features that Google is touting is the improved battery life on Android O. The way Google is improving battery life is by limiting the background app activity on Android O. In Android O, apps will be limited in three different areas. This includes background services, location updates and implicit broadcasts. Developers will need to work on their apps so that their apps work well with the changes in Android O, however.

Many of you may be thinking that Google adjusted some of these app limits in Android Nougat, which is true. But now Google is doubling-down on it and making the background app limits a bit more aggressive. Implicit broadcasts are perhaps the biggest issue plaguing batteries, and that's because they do wake up multiple apps, but they aren't needed as they do basically nothing. All that happens is processing power gets wasted and in turn battery life depletes. So this change to app limits should be able to provide users with even better battery life, particularly when it comes to standby battery life. Which is important seeing as people don't want to put their phone down for a few hours and come back to a phone with a depleted battery.

The first developer preview of Android O began rolling out today, with the second one slated for sometime in May. The company is making it available for the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel, Pixel C and Pixel XL. Additionally, the final update should be available for everyone at some point in Q3, sometime between July and September, a pretty similar timeframe to what Google had last year with Android N (which later became Android Nougat). With more developer previews coming in the coming months, it's possible that the changes to background app activity could change with upcoming developer previews. Of course, they won't change all that much more, but perhaps become a bit more lenient.

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