Google’s Hangouts application, used to provide instant messaging, video conferencing and SMS/MMS integration on Android devices, has been found guilty. Guilty of draining excessive battery power, that is. Raised on Google’s Hangouts Group (a support forum), a number of users were finding higher than normal battery usage attributed to the app — as high as 30% in some instances — caused by excessive wakelocks (i.e. the app requesting that the device stay awake).
Fortunately, a Google employee has publicly acknowledged the existence of the problem, and has advised that engineers responsible for Hangouts are working on a fix which should be pushed out to Android users shortly.
There’s no timeframe on this, so just keep an eye on the Play Store if you’re a Hangouts user, and hopefully the bug won’t affect you too badly.
If you are affected, you might be able to roll back to an earlier version (prior to 2.1) which isn’t affected. Do this by going to your Settings app, then the Apps list, and find Hangouts in either the Downloaded or All categories. If it’s installed as a system app (as it often is), you should be able to roll-back updates, and hopefully revert to an earlier version without the battery drain. However, be careful doing this, please.