Print 46 comment(s) - last by highlandsun.. on May 20 at 11:13 AM

Eric Schmidt and Larry Page play the blame game at Google Zeitgeist.  (Source: TechRadar)
Larry Page says that battery should last for a day if apps aren't overworking the processor

Google's Android platform may be the hottest player on the cell phone market, having recently passed Apple in the U.S. market, but it's by no means the perfect platform.  Recently there have been concerns about the battery life of Android smartphones, which reportedly isn't measuring up to the rival iPhone's.

The top executives at Google tackled that issue at Google Zeitgeist, Google's outreach summit for developers.  Google's co-founder Larry Page blamed app developers, stating, "I have noticed there are a few people who have phones where there is software running in the background that just sort of exhausts the battery quickly. If you are not getting a day, there is something wrong."

Google CEO Eric Schmidt chimed in, clarifying the issue on battery drain.  He stated, "The primary consumer of the battery life on these phones is the transmit/receive circuit. So tuning that and obviously figuring out a way to not use too much of that extends your battery life.  And people bring in applications that are not particularly smart about that, which is what Larry is trying to get at."

Mr. Page quipped back, "We can give you a bigger battery probably. I'll see you afterwards."

The concerning thing is that according to some reports, Android's battery life is draining rather quickly even when in standby or idle -- with no apps running (aside from the core phone apps) and no data being transmitted.  Fortunately for Google, these reports seem to be putting little damper on Android phone sales.  

Android 2.2 is about to make its debut, bringing with it Flash (hopefully that doesn't cause
further battery issues).  And the hot HTC EVO 4G, the world's first 4G smartphone, will make its debut on the Sprint network early next month.

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RE: what is "some reports"
By Starcub on 5/19/2010 1:20:36 PM , Rating: 2
There was an article out a few days ago stating that the developer tools for Andriod were inefficient. Evidently Google developed a new compiler for the HTC line which should improve app performance and presumably battery life as well.

Google seems to be doing what it needs to to resolve the issues. If it's true that the phones are draining the battery without any apps (except the phone) running, then my guess is that HTC needs to improve the design of the phone. In part, that would address the issue Eric was talking about, but developers that use the TX/RX component of the phone would still need to get smart about it.

RE: what is "some reports"
By highlandsun on 5/20/2010 11:13:28 AM , Rating: 2
It's true, but in pretty specific conditions. If I leave my G1 idle with 3G active, it won't last 8 hours. If I turn off 3G, it can sit on standby for a couple of days, no problem.

But yes, there probably are also issues with background tasks sucking down the juice. I had an instance where my phone was repeatedly trying to download a new firmware update from T-Mobile, so again, the phone wouldn't last a night. (Strange bug caused that - the phone already had the update in question, but it kept trying to download it again and again...)

Anyway, it's obvious that the radio is the biggest power consumer - try streaming some videos to the phone and see how fast the battery gauge drops. Now think about all of those apps that are constantly syncing or downloading twitter updates from the web. Of course your battery life is going to suck.

Me, I've turned all background activity off - no IM client, no Gmail syncing, no nothing. When I want to use IMs I use ConnectBot to ssh to my server running Finch and chat from there. That way I know for certain - when I'm done and exit the session, the connection actually drops, instead of staying active in the background.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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