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article imageAndroid L increases phone battery life by 36%

By James Walker     Jul 3, 2014 in Technology
One of the key features of the recently-announced Android L is 'Project Volta' which aims to boost the battery life of Android devices by tidying up the operating system in a variety of ways to preserve power as best as possible — something it achieves.
The question many will be wondering though is "Will this actually make a difference on my device?" The answer is a definite yes according to ArsTechnica. In their testing, a Nexus 5 lasted over two hours longer when running Android L Developer Preview over the latest version of KitKat, 4.4.4, at 471 minutes. This is up from 345 minutes and represents a 36 percent increase in battery life. The tests comprised leaving the screen and automatically refreshing a webpage every 15 seconds over Wi-Fi until the device died.
Much of the power saving will have come from the new JobScheduler API that means the operating system now controls maintenance and house-keeping tasks, running them all together when system load is low. Some tasks, at the request of the developers, are postponed until the phone has been plugged in, thus representing a substantial power save in itself.
Android is also now much better at allowing apps to refresh their data and disables this power-hungry functionality altogether if no network connection is available, preventing the phone from repetitively trying and failing to synchronise network tasks. The usage of the ART app runtime in place of the ageing Dalvik also saves power as apps are compiled just once, at installation, instead of every time they are run, cutting down CPU and therefore power usage.
This can only be good news for consumers, especially those in ownership of devices either equipped with small batteries or large, battery-sucking displays and powerful processors. Android L is expected to arrive with its new "Material Design' interface" and other improvements later this year.
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