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Android 13 will alert a user if an app causes battery drain in the background

New battery-use controls are coming to Android. (Source: Google)
New battery-use controls are coming to Android. (Source: Google)
Android's next major software upgrade is already linked to a portfolio of tweaks and changes, the vast majority seem to affect how it looks and acts thus far. However, Google has now announced that it aims to maximize UX devices that run the latest version of its OS, through new, potentially tighter controls on how apps use battery off-screen.

Google has already previewed a number of potential new features to be discovered as a result of upgrading to Android 13 thanks to its first 2 Developer Previews. However, few of them have concerned the often-critical area of battery life. The Mountain View giant has now confirmed the presence of new features geared toward boosting screen-on time that may also make it to the stable version of the upcoming software update.

They include new code that results in a system notification that a given app has been using up a disproportionate amount of battery in the background, as well as in the foreground as in previous versions. This new feature might be more familiar to those who use custom ROMs as of late, and has now also made it to a major official Google-developed upgrade.

The company notes that the new general rule is the system sends the new notification should a given app run in the foreground for "at least 20 hours within a 24-hour window" and invite the user to review its activity.

Android 13 will also introduce a new set of rules and restrictions for background battery use, which might also result in a notification should an app hit a certain "excessive" level of resource use in a 24-hour period, regardless of SDK level (or Android 'version' the app is coded to target).

There are some exceptions and exemptions to these rules, including app designations or functions such as VPNs; device- or profile-owners; apps with the "DIALER" role; apps for paired devices or system apps. Most of these regulations and restrictions are mainly on automatic; however, Android 13 is also now slated to provide an updated per-app background battery use settings page.

It might have an increased number of radio buttons, "Unrestricted", "Optimized (default)" and "Restricted" included. They will determine how active a specific app can be in the background, in a way a user can navigate to and use. These new abilities are slated to be here some time after July 2022.


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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 03 > Android 13 will alert a user if an app causes battery drain in the background
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2022-03-22 (Update: 2022-03-22)