Android apps that have to run in the background like sleep-trackers have had a rough time. Among other things, they suffer inconsistent and unreliable background app limitations across different Android versions, which can interfere with how the apps work at a very fundamental level. This doesn't fix that issue, but today Google is rolling out a specific API just for those apps, letting them pull sleep duration data right from the system itself.
OnePlus is notorious for aggressively killing background apps, much to user dismay, but Samsung traditionally hasn’t been any further behind. The Korean giant has now, in fact, beaten OnePlus to take the pole position in Don’t kill my app’s hall of shame — making it worse than even the likes of Huawei and Xiaomi. What led to this promotion is Samsung’s recent Android 11 update, which is harsher on background apps than ever.
Urbandroid, the developers behind Sleep as Android, have suffered plenty of headaches getting their app to work on a wide range of Android phones. Different manufacturers all think they have great ideas when it comes to stretching out battery life. Usually, they do it by aggressively killing apps in the background, which can break app functionality. Urbandroid even made a site called DontKillMyApp to track and shame the worst offenders and point out how to fix these issues on different phones (if you even can). Now Urbandroid is making a new benchmarking tool to measure your own phone's background apps performance.
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.