Google showed off the latest version of its mobile OS, codenamed “Android L,” at its I/O event last week. There, the company talked about some of the major aesthetic changes Android users would see when the new OS rolled out later this year. While smoother animations and cool shadows and depths on apps sounds like it’ll be really cool, one of the more important benefits of Android L didn’t get quite as much attention: it’ll improve your smartphone’s battery life quite a bit.

Since the developer preview of Android L is available right now, the folks over at Ars Technica decided they’d give the new OS a spin and put its battery saving prowess to the test. According to the post, Google calls their initiative to save your battery with L “Project Volta,” and there are a few ways it works. For one, it has a “JobScheduler” API that better prioritizes what your smartphone devotes energy to booting up at any given time. For instance, if you’re not connected to a network, the OS won’t bother waking the smartphone for tasks that require connectivity.  Your battery gets sucked dry when the phone keeps searching for network connectivity that isn’t there – cutting this off helps the battery quite a bit.

The test showed that Android L provided 36 percent more battery life for a Nexus 5, meaning that when the newest version of Android does come out, users will probably enjoy a similar benefit on their devices. For me, 36 percent sounds like a huge boost that I could definitely use, considering my phone is just about dead by the time I go to bed at the end of the day. And if I’m using Wi-Fi tethering or browsing on Chrome, the battery life goes to hell even more quickly.


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Will OEMs reap the benefits of the latest version of Android later this year? Will they keep Android uncluttered and free of bloatware that can suck up even more battery? Or will the real beneficiaries of this upgraded OS be those who have pure Android devices? It’ll be interesting to find out.

[Source: Ars Technica]


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