Google and Samsung join hands to fix Android’s background app limitations

Samsung commits to killing background services less often, starting with Android 14-based One UI 6.0.

  • Google and Samsung have announced a partnership meant to fix background app issues on Android.
  • Google vows to reduce instances of apps being killed in the background starting with Android 14.
  • Samsung is the first Android OEM to take part in Google’s new effort.

Google is collaborating with Android device manufacturers to prevent apps from being randomly killed in the background, and Samsung is the first company to pitch in, with Galaxy phone owners expected to reap the benefits of this partnership when One UI 6.0 based on Android 14 comes out later this year.

The collaboration aims to address one of the longstanding annoyances with Android, namely the “restrictions on foreground services and background work” across devices,Google said in a blog post (opens in new tab). Google will ensure that the background APIs in Android 14 are implemented consistently across all devices.

Currently, makers of the leading Android phones like Samsung are often aggressive about killing background apps to optimize system performance and extend battery life. That’s because even when an app is not in use, it can consume system resources such as memory and battery life when it is running in the background. This can cause the device to slow down and drain its battery, resulting in a poor user experience.

By killing background apps, smartphone manufacturers can free up battery power and extend the battery life of their devices. However, there are some downsides to it. For example, if an app is running in the background to provide a service, such as syncing your contacts or downloading new emails, then killing the app will stop that service.

Google says its “partnerships with hardware manufacturers and these changes will make it easier for developers to create apps that work consistently across different Android devices.”

Android 14 will minimize instances of background app restrictions by making it easier for developers to declare foreground service types and request type-specific permissions. This will help clarify when it’s appropriate to use foreground services and ensure that apps are only restricted when they’re not required. Google Play will also implement new policies to ensure appropriate use of foreground services and user-initiated data transfer jobs.

Google and its partners hope to reduce user frustration by ensuring that background apps behave consistently across all devices.


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