My biggest gripe about Android platform has been the terrible battery performance. Be it on the mediocre hardware of HTC Desire or extremely impressive hardware of Samsung Galaxy S2, I have had some really unpleasant experiences when it comes to battery backup. Google though, blames it on user practices and poorly-designed apps. But the fact of the matter is users expect a “smartphone” to be smart enough to take care of these trivial things.
Android 4.0 ICS and Battery Management
To be honest, Improved Battery Management was the only thing I was looking forward to in Android 4.0. Many users are happy to see new features like ability to take screenshots, new system font, Android beam etc. These are some nice features to have and welcome improvements by Google. But not even once did I hear any Google executive talk about battery performance in Android 4.0 during the Samsung Galaxy nexus launch earlier today. Samsung too was happy to talk about how amazing their display is and how thin the device is. But they never dared to mention the battery backup an user can expect on 3G or WiFi.
Features like NFC, HD display, high resolution screen, 4G LTE are fantastic and they are making the smartphones as the universal all-in-one device. But all these cannot come at the cost of battery backup. It’s a fact that Android devices fare bad on 3G. And now with 4G becoming a norm, it gets even more dreadful.
Typically, Nexus users have had better stories to tell when it comes to battery performance of their devices. This is because, they get to use the vanilla versions of Android. Other users are not so lucky. They are always fed with the highly adulterated versions like HTC Sense and Samsung TouchWiz which often drains out the battery much faster. Now that Google knows that they can’t control what and how the manufacturers decide to alter the vanilla version of Android, I was expecting them to address the battery drain in this major release of Android 4.0. Sadly, there are no traces of it. Yet.
Update: A native Data usage meter in Android 4.0 is a welcome addition, but nothing great. We have had some third party apps to handle data usage for us. Yet again, Google has let the onus on the user to manage trivial things like data usage. Not wise.