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Android 5.0 Lollipop and the battery: what changes?

Android 5.0 Lollipop and the battery: what changes?

The most useful aspect of Android 5.0 Lollipop it’s not your new look: it’s the improvements that will increase battery life on devices. Check below what will change with the newest version of Android.

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Android 5.0 Lollipop promises to optimize your device’s battery. / © ANDROIDPIT

Mobile technology is becoming faster, cheaper and more efficient, but the Achilles heel of any smartphone remains its battery. All the improvements made in this sector are surpassed by the list of demands for new functions (faster broadband, larger screens, more pixels, etc.). That’s why most smartphones still need to be recharged every day, not to mention smartwatches.

Wouldn’t it be great if, when upgrading your operating system, the battery life also increased? That’s exactly what Android 5.0 Lollipop promises.

Energy for all: Android 5.0 Lollipop and the Volta Project

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Project Volta makes Android consume less energy. / © ANDROIDPIT

The most significant change in Android 5.0 is Project Volta, the successor to Project Butter (started to make Android’s interface more fluid) and Project Svelte (started to make Android run with less RAM) . This time, the focus is on battery life, and several key changes have been made that will make your device use less battery.

One of the things that Google discovered about Android is that, when you «wake up» the device for a second only consumed two minutes of battery in standby. This is due to the fact that the process does not only involve turning on the screen: the processor is also activated, and the antenna begins to check incoming data. Projeto Volta created a new API that will better organize standard and low priority tasks, so that the battery is used more efficiently.

The change of ART

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In tests, the Android 5.0 L preview saved 36% more battery power than the KitKat. / © Google; ANDROIDPIT

The second important aspect is ART, the new virtual machine for Android applications. It is faster and more efficient than its predecessor Dalvik, and when the device needs to work less, it also uses less energy.

A few months ago, the site Ars Technica decided to test the previous version of Android L, and found that the Nexus 5 saved 36% of battery with the new virtual machine, and this with the energy saving mode disabled. To better understand the changes brought about by ART, access the following article:

The Android 5.0 Lollipop battery bug

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The Android battery bug delayed the distribution of Lollipop to the Nexus. / © Google

Because of the many improvements in Android 5.0 in terms of battery, it’s a shame that its launch has been overshadowed by reports of a major battery bug: with Wi-Fi enabled on a Nexus 5, the bug would start to devour energy in a devastating way. The good news is that the bug was fixed on November 6th.

Battery Historian

When it comes to battery, one of the most important aspects of Android 5.0 Lollipop goes unnoticed, unless you’re a developer: it’s called Battery Historian, and provides developers with detailed information about how their apps will affect each device’s battery. With that, it is expected that developers start to make adjustments and adapt functions that consume battery excessively (isn’t it, Facebook?).

Now we can only wait for the arrival of Lollipop and see in practice if the new version of the OS is really everything that promises in terms of battery.