Usually, OnePlus is praised for its Oxygen OS software, which offers a light-touch, near-stock experience — at least, visually. Turns out, the company has been making some deeper changes to Android on its phones, and not all of them are for the best. Right now one of the most frustrating parts of OnePlus ownership for many is the company's aggressive battery optimization settings, which can kill apps you may want to be kept open. And worse, if you try to disable these settings on a per-app basis, they can be later randomly reset to defaults. Read More
The days when third-party battery-saving apps were necessary to hit a satisfactory number of hours off a single charge are long behind the vast majority of Android users, thanks to improvements like Doze and Adaptive Battery. But in some cases, this measure of progress has become something of a Pyrrhic victory, with useful background processes carelessly destroyed and developers taking the brunt of user ire. Well, the Urbandroid team — the gang behind apps Sleep As Android, Twilight, and others — doesn't plan on going quietly into the night. In fact, they're going on the offensive with a new informational website where the most flagrant OEM offenders are shamed and users and developers are educated. Read More
Google's recent batch of Pixels aren't without their issues, and as more phones get in consumer's hands, new reports of problems surface. The latest controversy stems from the Pixel 3's apparent inability to shuffle more than a few apps at a time. In fact, taking a photo is apparently enough to kill Spotify if it's playing music in the background, and in our own tests cycling more than 3-4 apps can force some out of memory. Maybe 4GB of RAM wasn't enough for a flagship phone in 2018 after all, Google? Read More
We still don't have much solid information about the next release of Android — we've heard that Android P could have some notch optimizations and that access to undocumented APIs could get blocked, but we don't really know too much more than that. However, the open-source nature of Android means that we can sometimes get a glimpse of what the next release of Android might have in store. Read More
Yesterday at I/O Google had an interesting talk called Background Check and Other Insights into the Android Operating System Framework. It's a long name, but really it's about improving battery life in Android. It went on at great length as to how, exactly, the team plans on doing that, and it's quite worth a watch. We have the video here, but if you don't have the half-hour to check it out, then you are welcome to read below. Read More
Just about every new version of Android has reportedly improved battery life for end users... with a range of successes and failures over the years. In the upcoming Android O, Google is banking on a new feature called background limits to extend battery longevity. The basic idea is that the system will automatically limit the active capabilities of background apps, in a way that won't be detrimental to users while reducing overall resource use. Read More
When Android 6.0 landed, it brought a big new battery-saving feature called Doze mode. While it was great at reining in known troublemakers like social network apps and misbehaving games, Doze had a bad habit of knocking out apps with genuinely important roles to play. One such app was Android Wear. Today, a new update to the Wear companion app adds awareness of Doze Mode and prompts users to add it to the protected list.
Doze Mode Support
When the Android Wear app starts up for the first time after updating to v1.5, it will have a bright blue notice on the screen to let you know that your watch may not remain connected unless the Wear app is allowed to run in the background. Read More
Anyone who has made the jump to Android 4.3, which admittedly isn't that many people right now, may have noticed that some applications now plant persistent notifications in the status bar. We offered this as a disclaimer in our post about manually updating a Nexus 4 to Android 4.3. Turns out, this is completely intentional. Android now forces persistent notifications on unkillable apps that run silently in the background. This is an attempt to call attention to behavior that isn't quite okay.
Many developers have made their applications impossible to kill and don't alert users to the fact that they're still running. Read More