Google Wants To Help OEMs Improve Android App Handling

Android 13 background app handling

Google hopes to help OEMs improve Android app handling in the background. As most of you know, Android builds from some companies have a tendency to kill background apps quite aggressively.

Google aims to help OEMs improve Android app handling

Google does offer guidelines on how devices running Android should handle background processes. However, manufacturers still tweak things the wrong way, just to offer better battery performance.

Needless to say, this can impact user experience. It can result in apps being killed off too frequently, and even block some apps in the background from working properly.

During Google I/O 2022, Google made sure to say it’s working on improving this. The company is trying to tackle this from multiple angles, to try to get through to Android OEMs.


OEMs tend to introduce various app restrictions to improve battery life

Jing Ji, Android Frameworks Software Engineer, said that Google has faced difficulty communicating proper ways of doing things to OEMs. He said that device manufacturers introduce various app restrictions, and that makes things difficult for app developers.

He added that Google has been working directly with Android manufacturers in order to improve things. The company wants to build standardized, system-level battery-management features into Android. That system-level battery-management system should render further optimizations by OEMs unnecessary.

Android 13 is pushing to improve things

Android 13 will introduce some changes leading to that. The OS will add the capability to track per-app battery consumption with more granularity. This will let users know how much juice a specific app is using when it’s in the foreground, in the background, or running a foreground service.

JobScheduler API will get upgraded with Android 13, in order to schedule jobs more efficiently. The system will estimate when you’re planning to open a given app, and thus more efficiently schedule that application’s prefetch jobs. JobScheduler API will also get better at knowing which jobs to stop when system resources are low, or when the device starts to heat up.


Google wants developers to build apps as efficiently as possible

Google also added that developers need to build apps as efficiently as possible. That will do their part in improving performance overall, for sure.

If this approach doesn’t work, Google should approach things more directly. This has been a long-standing issue with third-party skins, and that can impact user experience. Most users don’t know how to solve those issues (by messing with the settings in detail), nor should they be forced to do that.

Google could penalize OEMs if they fail to approach things properly. In other words, it could force them to do things a certain way or face losing a GMS certification. Google probably won’t go that far at all, but if things don’t improve, anything is possible. The company didn’t hint at anything of the sort, we’re only speaking of things that could happen. It’s a good thing the company is pushing in the right direction, though, let’s hope this approach will work.