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How Google is forcing Android phone makers to improve battery life

Android 6.0 Marshmallow Battery Life

Google is taking a whole new approach to improving battery life on Android devices, which is probably the one problem customers complain most when it comes to smartphones. While many OEMs are addressing battery concerns on their own, Google will force them to be even more conscious of battery life with at least two new strict requirements.

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We have already discussed one of them – Google is making OEMs use an unmodified version of Doze on all devices that will be updated to Marshmallow. Doze mode is Google’s own battery saving mode that’s built right into Android 6.0 that is tasked with limiting background app activity when a device is idle.

On top of that, Google will also require all OEMs to show all system processes that consume battery life on an Android device instead of hiding them.

The change, first noticed by Android Police in the Marshmallow Compatibility Definition Document (CDD), is not optional. In order for OEMs to get the Google services they want, they have to agree to the CDD, which now contains an entire section for Power Consumption Accounting.

How will that improve battery life? Well, if there are any system processes that drain battery life faster than users would like, they’ll be shown in the Battery section of the Settings app. And you can expect plenty of backlash from angry Android fans once they notice that a certain software component that belongs to Samsung, HTC or LG might be consuming a lot of energy – the kind of backlash that will motivate OEMs to take action.

A report detailing the current top 10 main battery-hogging apps on Android also revealed that a certain process on Samsung phones is also to blame for battery consumption.

“Topping the list of hidden, battery-draining services this quarter is the innocuously named ‘,’ which is responsible for delivering periodic Samsung updates to Android devices via Wi-Fi,” AVG wrote in its report. “As with the similarly update-heavy Samsung Security Policy Update (KNOX) and Google Play apps, the service has a massive impact on the battery life of your device.”

Your move, Android OEMs!

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.