We live in a 24/7 world that has taken "work from home" to a whole new meaning and yet, Google seems to think we all live, work, and sleep the same hours. At least, that's what its Pixel phones with adaptive charging seem to think. That probably needs to change.
Adaptive charging came around with the December Feature Drop, allowing Pixel 4 phones or newer to charge slowly when one sleeps and then top-up just before the alarm goes off. As batteries wear out quicker when they're kept near 100% for long periods, this policy is intended to help preserve their useful life and has been instated in many other phones.
But, as earlier pointed out by our competing friends at the ironically-named publication 9to5Google, Google runs on a set schedule. According to the feature's help article on the Pixel Phone Help pages:
When you charge your phone after 9 PM, with an active alarm set for 5–10 AM, your phone uses Adaptive charging. Otherwise, your phone charges normally.
Of course, not everyone has such a cemented schedule — third watch workers, shift covers, and those who need to make an early trip, we feel you — and it's a bit of shame that Google didn't carve out a manual exception to that programming or even a cheat like tying it to a bedtime request to Google Assistant.
It's even worse when this policy doesn't appear forthright on the settings page.
So, if you're careful and conservative with how you tax your consumables, but wake up at 5 p.m. instead of 5 a.m., adaptive charging won't adapt to you.