At Google I/O last week, Google announced Project Volta, its effort to change and drastically improve how Android manages battery life. Since then the folks over at Ars Technica have downloaded the publicly available L developer preview build and put it through its paces. Is there a noticeable difference? Yes, apparently. They were able to get an an extra two hours of battery life out of their Nexus 5, an improvement of thirty-six percent. Regardless of how exact these numbers are, the difference suggests good things.


For the process, Ars used a single device, flashed to 4.4.4, signed in, updated apps, charged up, and ran the test (which keeps the screen on and automatically loads a webpage over Wi-Fi every 15 seconds until the battery dies). Then they flashed the same device to the L preview. After performing the test twice each, they took the average and shared their results.

The improvements stem from a number of areas, including a new "JobScheduler" API that allows Android to lump together certain background requests that would otherwise individually wake up the processor. L also uses the ART runtime rather than Dalvik, which is generally easier on the battery. For more details, hit up the source link below.

Source: Ars Technica

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Adrian

    Good job Google!

  • Jordan Thoms


    • Tony

      *mic drop*

  • pirerman

    "thirty-sex percent" oh android police now im blushing!!!!!!!!!!!

    • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

      You caught me. That was supposed to be dirty-six.

      • Bluewall

        You just win the internet.

      • Julio M

        69 %

        • matteventu


      • pirerman

        grrrrr!!!!!!!!!! hahahahahahhaha

  • andrew borrelli

    Hmm... I haven't really bitched much as this is a developer preview but my battery life on L is horrible. It's gotta be some app causing something wack as when I see taking up a ton of battery is "miscellaneous". I used to have no issues with my phone and it wouldn't need a charge all day. Now I can't go more than 6 hours before it's dead.

    • Julio M

      Did you send a bug report? Or post an issue on the project's page?

    • Bluewall

      This is because you have probably an app that isn't compatible with L yet and is crashing and crashing in the background.

    • brkshr

      Like others said, it's probably an app doing this. Dots would not open for me, then I noticed my battery draining like crazy. It was the Dots app. Uninstalled for now.

      • Brayden Reesor

        Interesting. I was also getting terrible battery life on the preview. Had dots installed but never tried to run it. Wonder if that was part of my issue as well. Now I'm back to 4.4.4 because I like my phone to survive the work day...

      • MikeOxlong

        You are 100% correct with this. Exact same thing happened here...

  • B3astofthe3ast

    I'd imagine the improvements will be even more pronounced when the device is actually allowed to enter deep sleep, and stay there for longer periods of time.

    • skitchbeatz

      exactly. when i tried out L i was seeing awful battery life

      • MikeOxlong

        You need to give it time to settle. Installing it and using it for only a few hours does NOT count. I've been using it since it was available, and by day 2 everything settled down and is much better.

        The good thing is that this isn't even a beta, or alpha for that matter. Its not recommended for public consumption nor as a daily driver, yet its stable, smooth running, and actually good on battery. Can't wait til its actually released.

        • skitchbeatz

          Oh I'm well aware. I used it for several days. Even took it on trips to test it. My battery life was cut in half on the LPV. It's as if the phone did not sleep. Pretty much everything else went smoothly though. I'll probably check out the next preview version to see if the battery performs better.

          • Akshay

            Same. I saw a dramatic fall in battery life after a few days on L preview. I hope (I'm sure) it'll be worked out by the fall.

            36% increase would be a godsend for the Nexus 5!

  • William

    37%* ;)

  • remister

    Hi Ron, Good job on the testing!

  • Stefan Kamer

    I've actually noticed a massively improved battery life after switching to Android L. Obviously, a highly unscientific result but I don't usually get 10-12 hours of battery life with 3-4 hours of screen on time on KitKat. On L, that's exactly what I got, consistently, since last Friday. This is with moderate to heavy usage.

    • Toss3

      I'm on 4.4.4 and those are similar to the numbers I'm seeing on my N5 (granted I am using a custom kernel).

      • Dreed

        Such as?

        • Toss3

          ElementalX 1.0 and Remix 1.1 (paranoid android compiled with the sabermod toolchain). Undrvolted by 75mV on each step.

          • LOVEHAER

            thats all gone OVER MY HEAD

  • Michael Romano

    Does anyone else see very high battery usage from "Miscellaneous". Not sure what this is. (Nexus 7 2013)

    • Stefan Kamer

      I see it too. I wouldn't be surprised if this is where L is throwing all of those Job Scheduler combined processes.

    • andrew borrelli

      YES! Not sure why... and it's using a TON of battery. I've factory reset and I'm slowly using apps that I think might be causing it to see where the culprit is.

      • brkshr

        Everyone on the L preview release has this. It's just various apps lumped together. Don't worry about it. They'll have it fixed by the final release.

        • Kylecore

          so it just shows say 10 not so commonly used apps/tasks and bunchs them together on their own? its not like the "AndroidOS" on early JB builds using it up?

          • brkshr

            No one really knows at this point. But, from what I can tell, it seems to be various apps lumped together. It's definitely no the Android OS bug from before. It doesn't show anything useful to tell us what it is. I'll edit with a screen shot soon.

            Screen, Android System, Android OS, Voice calls, Google Services, Wi-Fi, Phone idle and some other common services all display their battery stats correctly. What I always seem to be missing from battery stats now is various third-party apps that have always been in my stats before. They aren't anywhere to be found in battery stats, even though they're usually top 3 battery users for me.

          • Kylecore

            Ahh i see, i honestly haven't look on my n7 and i'm not home to do it right now. I'll take a peak myself. i would hope they don't leave third party app slumped together, it was super useful for seeing what apps i need to uninstall because they're life suckers

          • brkshr

            I'm sure they'll fix it. Sometimes they show up, most the time they don't.

          • brkshr

            This is what I speak of

      • Russ Brown

        I have a suspicion that it's related to GPU usage. I've seen it go up a lot after a game's been running, and the game itself does appear on the list, but way down.

    • Connor Mason

      It seems like a lumped section

    • Brayden Reesor

      Yeah it's usually over 50% of my usage. And I'm getting TERRIBLE battery life compared to 4.4.4. :/

    • MikeOxlong

      2 things. First reboot your device. Second, charge to 100% before using. Third, give it a full day to settle.
      By day 2 you should be good.

  • Connor Mason

    I have significantly better battery than I did on 4.4 with Root/Xposed/Greenify

  • brkshr

    I've definitely noticed an increase in stand-by battery life. Screen-on battery life seems to be about the same, maybe a little improved.

  • http://mekakiwi.blogspot.com.br/ ED-Z が あらわれた!

    It seems promising. Extra juice is always welcome.

  • Steve Jobs

    Bye bye shitphone 5s!

    • Solomon Taiwo

      Way to go Steve

    • Mozaik

      I would say iPhone are actually good phone , I just want Samsung to say touchwiz bye bye because of it the android experience is horrible and Samsung phones account 50% of android devices.

      • Toss3

        Touchwiz is a fucking disgrace.

  • Justin Hess

    Facebook will figure out a way to Fuck up those numbers

    • exadeci

      Does the job without draining the battery https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.abewy.klyph_beta (some features are missing but it's enough for comute)

      • Patricia Smith


        ★★★ �★★★ ★★★ ★★★ �★★★

        • MikeOxlong

          Fuck yeah. Hook me up biatch.

      • operator207

        While nice, this is posted to their play page:

        Due to Facebook limitations on third party apps and unpredictable errors occurring on Facebook's platform, this project is no longer maintained. No further update are planned.

        FB changes something in their API, the app stops working or throws errors.

        • exadeci

          Well as long as it works, I'm using the version 1.2.6 and everything to work like before

    • Robert Mahon

      Sure half of that must be that it updates EVERY DAY!

      • pfmiller

        No, no it doesn't. Unless you're in the beta program.

        • Robert Mahon

          I am? I must fix that!

    • Protoss

      you forget Google+ app

      • MikeOxlong

        It's not hurting the battery so far...

    • Wilberth Barrantes

      Did you see Google Chrome in the preview build...

      • MikeOxlong

        Of course.

    • Josh

      You can use Greenify to make the Facebook app stop running, yet still receive push notifications. It stopped Facebook killing my battery

      • MikeOxlong

        Facecrap doesn't work properly anyways. Avoid.

        • claudineabelson

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          new red GMC Canyon just by some parttime working online with a laptop. visit
          their website F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­

      • Roh_Mish

        I rarely recurve notifications when greenified. I don't use Facebook much and don't care, but for people who are practically always on Facebook, they are not going to see any differences from Volta. And use of greenify will just stop them from receiving notifications.

        • Emma John


          ❤❤❤ ❤�❤❤ ❤❤❤ ❤❤❤� ❤❤❤

      • Mayoo

        I'm not even receiving regular notifications about likes and comments on my posts with stock everything. But those candy crush sh*t are getting to my device though.

    • Veronica Sweet

      Facebook is invading our privacy! I found this cool new case that will protect people from spying through the cameras on the phone. It's called the iPatch. Check out this new product at http://www.ipatchcase.com

    • GJV

      Not a big fan of FB and especially not their app, but it has improved a LOT in the last year or so. It's not nearly the battery suck it used to be.

  • Brayden Reesor

    Really interesting. I installed the preview on my Nexus 5 and actually just had to go back to 4.4.4 because the battery life was so incredibly bad... It was almost dead by the time I got off work every day, when my phone is usually still at like 70-80%. I tried to uninstall apps and what not but couldn't figure it out. Under the battery usage page, the top consumer was "Miscellaneous" with like 50%+ every day. I must have had an un-art optimized app or something destroying my battery.

    • Kent Andersen

      I had the same experience

  • NF

    I flashed my tablet Friday night and with minimal usage it is still alive. I'm pretty impressed with the battery saving features.

  • Boss

    The battery life and Performance of Android L is insane

    • Toss3

      Android L runs just like 4.4.4 on Art at this point (even slower if you're using a custom kernel on 4.4.4). Loving the new animations!

  • Kevin Aaronson

    My nexus 7 had been idling on the same charge since the l builds were released. Battery prediction from the new battery feature says it will last another 4 days!

    • Sir_Brizz

      Yep, same for me. This is pretty comparable to the iPad Mini now.

  • jamaall

    On my nexus 7, I get around 50% more battery life with L. Kit kat ate it up in idle, L seems to idle much more efficient.

  • cmbeid

    I flashed L on my Nexus 5. On Saturday, I was on Wi-Fi all day and got 4.5 hours of screen time (unplugged time was ~15 hours). On Sunday, I was on Wi-Fi for about 3 hours and on HSPA+ for the rest and got 3.5 hours of screen time (unplugged time was ~10 hours).

  • makapav

    It's good until scumbag manufacturers decide to make the next device 36% thinner.

  • Matthew Fry

    On my Nexus 10, I see no difference because Google didn't bother to release a build for the Nexus 10. Thanks for making me feel worse for buying your 'redheaded stepchild' Google.

  • Richard

    Most of this is due to ART. My web browsing time would increase from 4h to nearly 6h on KitKat by merely changing runtime on the N5.

  • Zimmerman

    Eat this iphone fanboys lol

  • kwiato

    The ART on L is different from ART available in 4.4.4, right?

  • someone755

    "Volta" makes me think Google is changing CPU voltages and frequencies (seeing that most OEM kernels drain battery really fast compared to what an enthusiast with some coding knowledge can do).

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  • BatterySavingsDisputer

    But isn't the GSM radio in the L release disabled? That definitely saves a lot of juice.

  • Daniel Collins

    The ART phone will probably last even longer if it was asleep than the Dalvik phone, because ART doesn't require keeping JIT-compiled VMs alive in the background to save processing power, because it doesn't take much power to open a VM with ART as a result of AoT compilation. If the ART phone lasted almost 8 hours AWAKE, that's pretty awesome.

  • jurrabi

    all these just shows what a poor job google has done on battery use in the previous versions.

    For me it's been clear for some time now that services like location service used by google now and similar google services doesn't care about battery at all.

    Maybe for latest models with big batteries and more efficient sensors are OK, but for my HTC One X (just 2 years old) Google Now is something to avoid.

    Just yesterday I did this test: Latest CM nightly with Google Apps, and nothing else. Configured my google account and did a fairly standard configuration: Location services On (theorically google created this to help save battery giving all apps the service without having them activating gps on their own), Google Now. Other stuff like photo backups I config to just wifi with power connection (so that doesn't get any battery).

    I leave it on with 100% battery when I went to sleep. the phone was sitting on my desk for 8 straight hour and when I woke up, the phone was asking for power connection again...

    I now the phone is 2 years old and the battery is not as good as new. But if I deactivate Location services and google now I get about 16 hours (if not more) of stand by time.

    Please google! You can''t drain a phones battery when it is sitting doing nothing during night.

    During that time I got:
    Precise location: search 258, androing system 7395!!, google play services 4926...

    The battery stats say Android OS took 1h CPU time with 6h active time...

    So stop complaining about facebook and others when the first trouble maker is in the house.

  • Justin

    On Android L preview I would get like 1.5 hours screen on time. On stock 4.4.4 with Franco Kernel I get 3.5-4 hours. On stock I get 2-3 hours.
    Has anyone else experience terrible battery drain in Android L? I had to flash back and tried flashing L twice... Both resulted in terrible battery loss.