Android Marshmallow, Google’s latest update to its mobile OS, is already rolling out to a few lucky handsets. With a more general rollout poised to begin, Google is showing it means business when it comes to battery life.
One of the big features Google announced for Marshmallow was ‘Doze’, its new power-saving sleep mode. When you’re not using your phone, Doze automatically drops into something close to aeroplane mode, disabling a bunch of radios and background processes to save battery.
That’s a cool feature on its own, but the interesting news is that Google’s making Doze inclusion mandatory: if manufacturers want to ship a version of Android with all of Google’s search and mapping services (the actual Android code is open-source), they will need to enable Doze.
That’s an uncharacteristically aggressive move from Google, but it doesn’t stop there: it’s also requiring manufacturers to accurately report information on what’s using battery. While that doesn’t sound like a big deal, manufacturers have previously hidden stats.
In Android 6.0, all that is going to change. Android Police spotted that in Google’s documentation, the company specified “device implementations MUST be able to track hardware component power usage and attribute that power usage to specific applications.”
Combine that with the mandatory Doze mode, and it’s clear that Google is taking battery life seriously with Android 6.0. Previously, it’s been fairly happy to let manufacturers have free reign over software mods, provided a few basic conditions (mostly around including Google’s own services) are met. But hey, if it means better battery life and stats, I say bring on the new Google.