Android 15 improves standby battery life on some devices by up to 3 hours

Android 15 logo on smartphone stock photo (3)
Android 15 logo on smartphone stock photo (3)

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

TL; DR

  • Google says they have accelerated the speed at which phones enter sleep mode in Android 15 by 50%.
  • The result is that some devices have up to 3 hours longer standby power on the latest operating system.
  • This improvement comes to all devices that receive the Android 15 update.

Every major Android update brings some high-end, user-focused features that attract a lot of marketing and attention, but they also bring a bunch of low-level changes under the hood that can be just as important from a user experience perspective . Take the upcoming Android 15 update as an example. At this week’s Google I/O 2024 developer conference, the second beta of Android 15 was announced with notable features like Private Space, App Pairs, improved theft detection services, and much more. But during I/O, Google also quietly shared some interesting stats about Android 15, like it improves standby battery life by up to three hours on some devices.

At Google I/O, I asked Dave Burke, VP of Engineering for the Android Platform, and Sameet Samat, President of the Android Ecosystem, to explain how Google achieved the battery life improvements they announced as part of the latest version from Wear OS. In case you missed the announcement, Google basically said that marathon running on smartwatches running Wear OS 5 will use up to 20% less power than on Wear OS 4. Samat said this particular improvement was achieved by making a variety of optimizations, with one example this is a reduction in how long it takes for the device’s main application processor (AP) to go back to sleep after waking up to write some health data. (For the full interview with Dave Burke and Sameet Samat, watch episode 44 of the Android faithful podcast, of which I co-host).

Samat went on to explain how Wear OS 5 now defers even more background tasks to the time your watch is charging than when you wear it on your wrist. Deciding when it’s best to run background tasks is a huge challenge, not just for Wear OS, but for all of Android. Android intelligently attempts to postpone and run as many background tasks as possible during selected “maintenance windows” while the device is in a state where it has been idle for a while and the screen is turned off. This state – called sleep mode – has been a core feature of Android’s power management system since Android 6.0 and sees further improvements in Android 15, according to Dave Burke.

Burke followed up Samat’s response by highlighting some general power-saving improvements that will come to all Android devices in the future. Specifically, he says that in Android 15, the company accelerated the time to doze by 50%. This means devices running Android 15 will enter sleep mode 50% faster than Android 14. The result is an improvement in standby battery life, up to three hours on some devices Google tested.

“For Android 15, we have accelerated the time to doze (snooze is when we enter a rest state) by 50%. So we fall asleep 50% faster, and the result is that up to 3 hours longer standby power is available on some devices we tested. And that’s kind of a general improvement in 15 that applies to all devices.” Dave Burke, VP of Engineering for the Android Platform.

Since this is a change to a core feature of Android, this improvement will extend to all devices that receive an update to Android 15. That also applies to Wear OS, although it’s worth noting that the upcoming Wear OS 5 platform update is based on Android 14, not Android 15. Still, this is an improvement to look forward to in the Wear OS 6 update next year, assuming Google continues its annual cycle of releasing Wear OS platform updates. While this particular improvement won’t be coming to this year’s Wear OS 5 release, the other battery-related improvement we mentioned will, as will new features like a grid-based app launcher and a privacy dashboard.

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