Phones are getting smarter but battery lives are getting shorter. However, Google is planning to double the battery life of Android smartphone and tablet devices through an upcoming update to its mobile operating system.
During the Google I/O Annual Developers Conference held in San Francisco, California on 30 April 2015, the Internet search giant and software company introduced a new power-conservation feature called “Doze” in its upcoming Android M mobile operating system.
The principle behind the feature is simple. Android simply shuts down processes in selected power-hogging apps to prevent them from consuming battery power. However, the technicality behind this concept is a bit complicated. For Android to terminate these processes, the device should remain unmoved for an extended period. The operating system uses motion sensors in the device to determine this. Hence, enabling Doze technically doubles as preparing an Android device to enter into a deep sleep mode.
Google believes Doze is effective and they have a reason to do so. Techs from the company tested a Nexus 9 tablet running Android M. Using the new power-conservation feature, the device demonstrated a battery life that lasted twice longer than when it was running the older Android Lollipop operating system.
Doze would not render an Android smartphone or tablet useless. In fact, while under this feature, the device could still receive background updates and perform background processes that are crucial in communication. These include alarms and notifications for messages.
The next iteration of Android mobile operating system also includes a slew of new features that improves the overall user experience. One promising feature allows greater user control by giving device owners ability to grant permissions within apps, thus promoting user privacy.
Another feature from the upcoming operating system iteration rivals the Apple Pay and Touch ID features in the iOS mobile operating system of Apple. Through Android Pay, users can link their credit or debit card accounts, and use their NFC-enabled and fingerprint scanner-enabled devices for contactless payment. Just unlock the device and hold it up to an NFC reader or receiver to pay. A fingerprint scan provides identification verification for secured payments.
Currently, Android Pay is useable in more than 700,000 stores in the United States. Google has partnered with MasterCard, VISA, and American Express, among others to extend the usability of this contactless payment feature. Loyalty programs and other incentives from credit or debit card providers still automatically apply when paying using Android Pay.
Google has also demonstrated that it is indeed the king of the Internet. With the introduction of Google Photo app, users can back up an unlimited number of their photos into a timeline without any cost. The free service stores all photos in a single location, organised by people, place, or date, so that they are accessible from any device. It also features an automatic back up and synchronisation to prevent any loss. Uploaded photos are viewable via an automatically generated and user-provided link, thus removing the need to download the app or log in using a Google account. The company is ready and equipped to handle one trillion photos this year alone.