Battery life has been an Android bugbear for years. While Google has made some significant changes to its mobile OS to improve things (with success, I'd argue), many popular smartphone makers still feel the need to take further steps to enhance longevity — and it's coming at a cost. Many go above and beyond the battery life enhancements featured in so-called "stock" Android, and frequently these alterations cause problems, resulting in issues ranging from delayed notifications, to prematurely killed apps, and even outright breaking behaviors that developers rely on. In fact, the lack of predictability that has ensued under the current laissez-faire power management scheme has become so dire that it recently took the top spot in a developer AMA request thread for Android 11 on reddit.
Google's Android AMA is underway, and the team's engineers have already answered the most hotly-anticipated question: How will Google fix the problem of inconsistent background limits across different manufacturers and devices? It's a long-standing problem where overly aggressive power management tweaks break functionality in plenty of apps, resulting in a headache for developers and frustration for users. According to the AMA, Google does plan on making a few changes to help fix things, but the company isn't doing all that it could.
A beta is by definition software that you shouldn't consider stable. When Google has trouble keeping bugs at bay even in its release software, we don't expect much from betas. But Android Q beta 3 is proving to be a little problematic — possibly even more so than Beta 2. The new gesture navigation is half-baked and breaking things left and right, snoozing for notifications has disappeared, and there's a bug that could cause you to disable your SIM card without intending to. All of these issues weren't there in Beta 2, and still we're discovering more problems as we go.
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.
Google's Pixels have some of the best cameras around in our opinion, but there's one avenue in which that pixel-peeping photo performance can still fall short: Once in a while, that snapshot you remember taking won't be saved. And, so far as we can tell, it's still an issue on Google's new Pixel 3 and 3 XL.
Screw Google On Tap and UI tuner, the best new feature in Android 6.0 is clearly Doze, the new portion of the OS dedicated to extending a phone's battery life when you're not using it. That said, this is Android, so of course people are going to start tweaking it just as soon as they can. There are already two apps that do just that. The bad news: they both require root permissions, so you'll need to have modified your farm-fresh Android 6.0 build already to use them. The good news: both of them might be worth the hassle of rooting all on their own.
Of all the features added in Android 6.0, Doze might be the most exciting. For years Android has struggled with battery life due to apps running in the background when they aren't supposed to, and Marshmallow could finally put a stop to it. To make sure device makers play ball, Google's Android 6.0 Compatibility Definition Document (CDD) explicitly requires Marshmallow phones to include Doze, and OEMs aren't allowed to monkey around with it.
Doze is one of the more interesting features of Android M, and also potentially huge for the platform. Google has said again and again that the new version of Android would improve battery life, but they might have actually done it this time. Doze puts apps into deep sleep when the device isn't in use to save power, and Google's developer docs explain exactly how this will work.
Mobile electronics use power. And as the software becomes more complex, they use more and more of it. At Google I/O 2015, the company has announced an improvement on the ultra low-power mode found in Lollipop. They're calling it "Doze," for obvious reasons, and it will debut in the M release of Android scheduled to go into a developer preview soon. It should debut in public builds later this year.
Specifics on the improvements made to the low-power mode are scarce, but apparently they are extensive enough for some dramatic power savings. According to the I/O presenter, a Nexus 9 equipped with an Android M developer preview build saw nearly two times the battery life in low power mode versus the same hardware running Android Lollipop.