One of the major complaints with the new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, has been the memory management issues. When the phone first launched back in October, users were finding that if you are playing music via Spotify, Google Play Music or really any other streaming service, and then open the camera app, the music would stop. This was because the phone was killing all other apps and sending the memory over to the camera. This was chocked up to the camera needing a ton of RAM for all of the software trickery it does, but also due to the fact that Google only put 4GB of RAM in the Pixel 3 this year. Since then, Google has sent out numerous updates to fix this issue, and it was supposedly "fixed" in the latest security update, but users are still experiencing the issue. In fact, those of us here at AndroidHeadlines haven't noticed any changes in memory management. However, users over on Reddit have found out what the culprit might be.
It's not a bug, it's a feature
According to multiple users over on Reddit, turning off Adaptive Battery in the settings appears to help solve the issue. It doesn't get rid of the problem altogether, but it allows the phone to keep apps open longer without them being closed. This actually makes a whole lot of sense. Adaptive Battery is a feature that debuted in Android Pie (so it's still fairly new and likely needs some fine-tuning still), and it is supposed to actively close apps that you aren't using or don't use often. Which is likely where the memory management "problems" are coming from. Once turning off Adaptive Battery, users are finding that apps are not closing in the background as often as they were with the feature turned on.
This is not helping everyone though, some users are finding that Adaptive Battery is not the culprit for the memory management issues on the Pixel 3. While others are finding that it helps tremendously, so your mileage may vary here. But the fact that a battery saving feature that is new in Android Pie appears to be the culprit for most people, is a bit concerning. Especially since Google had been testing out Android Pie for many months before rolling it out, and it even rolled out about two months before the Pixel 3 was announced.
Though this is still a bit interesting, because the Pixel 2 is not experiencing these memory management issues, even though it also has just 4GB of RAM. However, as many do point out on Reddit, this is likely because the Pixel 3 is more resource intensive than the Pixel 2. Remember, the Pixel 3 launched with a number of new features in the camera. Like Top Shot, Night Sight and many more. These all require more RAM.
Another example of Google's terrible QA
With the latest generation of Made By Google hardware products, there has been plenty of issues. It's almost embarrassing how many issues these products have had, and they have only been available for a few months. Now while it is true that with popular smartphones and other gadgets, people go out of their way to find faults with the device, many of these issues are ones you don't need to look to far to find. When the Pixel 3 launched, it had a laundry list of issues wrong with it. Of course, the memory management problem was bound to be an issue, especially with only 4GB of RAM while other phones launched with 6GB and 8GB of RAM (some with 10GB even). But there were also issues like the poor audio quality in video recording, random notches appearing on the side of the phone, speakers not being balanced, just to name a few. Now these have mostly been fixed now. But if Google had done proper quality assurance before announcing or even selling the phone, these issues would not have needed to be "fixed".
Google's lack of quality assurance is not surprising, but it does show that it is still a very new company, when it comes to hardware. Sure Google has been around for about two decades now, but that was mostly as a services and software company. Making hardware is still pretty new, within the past few years for the company. There was the Nexus program, but Google really only focused on the software on those phones. Its partners were the ones responsible for the hardware on the Nexus smartphones. With Pixels, Google is responsible for the entire thing. Hopefully with the Pixel 4 later this year, Google will step up its QA game so that there is not as many issues at launch as there was with the Pixel 3.