Smartphones running on Android Pie are facing drastic battery drain issue

Reportedly, the issue has been made worse by some first and third-party media apps.

When Android Pie was officially launched in August this year, it also came with a promise for an improved battery life for the smartphones. The latest version of the software uses an AI-based feature called Adaptive Battery, which was designed to increase the battery life of the devices than usual. But it didn’t quite do that.

Post the rollout of the operating system, many users did report noticing a slight improvement or no perceivable difference to their battery life. However, according to a new report by VentureBeat, three months after the release, some users have noticed a significantly higher battery drain after upgrading to Pie.

Smartphones running on Android Pie are facing drastic battery drain issue

Android Pie

Apparently, this issue was also faced by some Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL users, with many reporting that their phones don’t last a day even.

(Read out Pixel 3 XL review here.)

Reddit, Google Product Forum, and Google Issue Tracker have long threads of users complaining of the battery drain.

While at this point, the case looks easy, and the Adaptive Battery feature, looks like the culprit, however, according to the report, turning off the feature doesn’t help the battery either. So it may not entirely be on Adaptive Battery. In fact, VentureBeat says when they tested the issue, they found that the battery drained even faster when the feature was disabled.

Another part of this issue is that the operating system itself isn’t accurately predicting how much battery life is left on the device. Reportedly, smartphones running on Android Pie sometimes shut down abruptly when Android reports five percent battery life left.

The Google Pixel 3 XL. Image: tech2/Prannoy Palav

The Google Pixel 3 XL. Image: tech2/Prannoy Palav

Further, it was also found that media apps may have a big role in this issue. This would include first-party or third-party apps for audio or video. This is because Android restrictions are generally exempted on apps that still target older OS versions. However, according to the latest Google Play target API level requirement, “Google Play will require that new apps target at least Android 8.0 (API level 26) from August 1, 2018, and that app updates target Android 8.0 from November 1, 2018.”

Having said that, this still does not explain why users are seeing worse results with Android Pie than with Android Oreo. The real issue behind the battery drain has to be something else, while media apps like these could only be a contributing factor.

However, the update in the Play Store is expected to fix the issue to some extent. This means, you must keep an eye out for updates to your media apps on the store.

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