Thursday , June 7 2018

Android M to tackle battery and RAM usage in widely expected developer preview

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Another day closer to Google IO 2015 and another rumour about Android M has surfaced; this one really could be considered a “well, duh”, but none the less it’s worth a quick look. It’s widely accepted that battery life is the number one factor in smartphone usage, and while RAM usage isn’t as well known, the memory leak issue on the Samsung Galaxy S6 is a shining example of what can happen if RAM isn’t carefully managed.

Android M (aka Macadamia Nut Cookie) is almost certainly going to be discussed, and the rumour is that there will be renewed focus on improving battery life and RAM usage in the new OS. Android Police report that their source is quite credible, but as with any rumour, anything could happen until the point at which Google make an announcement.

The rumour being reported has two elements; the first is that Android M will see a preview release much like Android L did last year. No real surprise there. This will be followed (all going well) by a final release of Android M in August, though it could well be delayed.

On the topic of battery life and RAM usage, Google is said to be emphasising performance and smarter use of features which might drain battery life faster than others. Google is urging its own teams to focus on battery performance, by cutting location checkins when not necessary, trimming down on RAM usage, reducing activity when off-charger and when the screen is off. This renewed focus could make a significant difference to Google Play Services which has been criticised in the past for using excessive amounts of power.

These changes are said to be discussed at Google IO 2015 this week. Google has done much to work on battery life in the past, but the results aren’t really showing at this stage, with many flagship phones shipping with woeful battery life even into 2015.

Chris Rowland   Editor and Publisher

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag. He saw the transition from AMPS to GSM, loved the Motorola StarTac, and got into Palm technologies in a big way. The arrival some years later of the original iPhone, and then the early Androids, awoke a new interest in mobile technology, and Chris has been writing about it since.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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pukeyluke
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pukeyluke

My Nexus 5 battery life dropped dramatically when it was updated to Android 5.0 then made a massive improvement when updated to 5.1.
I think battery life is a 1 step backwards 2 steps forward scenario after each major Android upgrade!!

Andrew
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Andrew

Don’t we hear this sort of stuff with every Android version? Faster, better battery, better RAM management?

Meh, not getting my hopes up.

Ausdroid Reader

I’ve found massive battery life improvements by ditching Google Now and only toggling on location when I need it.

Ausdroid Reader

Yeah, i found the same. Google Now is a huge battery sink. really disappointing as I like the functionality.

Ausdroid Reader
Darren

Yes, drop the unneeded location check ins. My GPS will often turn on when I use OK Google, even when I am not setting a location based reminder or anything else like that.

Pumpino
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Pumpino

Wasn’t Lollipop supposed to improve battery and memory usage? Surely this should be something that’s addressed in 5.2, rather than dismiss Lollipop and releasethe next version earlier than usual. The reason being that OEMs will take even longer to update to a new major release (if at all).

Ausdroid Reader

Google’s been all promise and no action lately imo. Here’s hoping that changes with either Android 6 or 5.2.

yah
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yah

I think nearly every version of android has promised battery and memory usage.

I dont think any have really made a huge impact imo.

JeniSkunk
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JeniSkunk

How much of the lack of effect has been Android itself, Google’s apps, and the manufacturers own apps?
Find where the fault lies and fix it, properly.

Chris
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That’s the right question. Hard to know where the fault lies, whether it’s in the OS, skins like TouchWiz or Sense, within apps, or within them all…

Ausdroid Reader

I can’t see how it can be the skins as stock Android exhibits the same problems. The apps on the other hand?

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