Android Marshmallow Devices Must Divulge All Battery-Related Stats To Gain Google’s Blessing

With the release of Android 6.0, otherwise known as Marshmallow, Google isn't messing around when it comes to battery life. There are some key changes to note compared to previous versions of Android, one of which requires devices makers to track and report battery usage. That might not sound like a big deal on the surface, but it's worth noting that some phone makers have been known to hide battery stats.

The new policies are laid out in Google's Compatibility Definition Document (PDF) for Android. In section 8.4 labeled Power Consumption Accounting, Google lays down the law by stating devices running Marshmallow "MUST be able to track hardware component power usage and attribute that power usage to specific applications." This means you'll be able to see how much battery life individual apps are consuming.

Marshmallow Battery

There are several other related requirements laid out in the same section, including what power value to use (milliampere hours, or mAh). However, being transparent with battery auditing on a per app basis isn't the only new requirement for devices running Marshmallow.

Google also requires that Marshmallow devices use a new feature called Doze. It's a power saving feature that automatically puts phones and tablets in sleep mode when the display is turned off and they're not charging or moving. Doze doesn't disable background services, but it does defer certain battery sucking functions.

The policies related to battery life and transparency are a bit more aggressive in Marshmallow than previous versions, though not surprising since that's been an area of emphasis when talking up the latest release.

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