Last week at its developer conference, Google announced ambitious plans for its next major Android release, codenamed, Android L. While most of the focus was on the new design language, called the Material Design and new features, a very important bit of announcement escaped the attention it deserved. Google has decided to implement what they call, Project Volta with Android L. This is very much reminiscent of the Project Butter that Google had introduced during Google I/O 2012 in order to make Android JellyBean butter smooth.
Google is hoping to replicate the success of Project Butter with the Project Volta, which aims to enhance the battery performance of your Android device when it is running Android L. Honestly, more than any other feature, it is the battery life that needs to be worked upon as far as modern smartphones go. There is no point in having these uber cool features when your phone can barely last a day. If the initial reports are to go by, Project Volta is working its magic.
According to some initial testing with the developer build available of Android L by folks at Ars Technica, the battery life has improved by a gobsmacking 36% in Android L. The test conducted included signing into same set of apps on devices running both on Android 4.4 as well as Android L on the same hardware. The test kept the screen of the device on at all times and kept loading web pages every 15 seconds over Wifi until the battery died. In the daily usage, the result meant an extension of runtime on Android L by almost 2 hours.
Google had initially found out that a wakelock causing the device to wake up for one second eats away at least two minutes of standby time, and as a result has implemented a new ‘JobScheduler’ API in Android L that basically batches up these wakelocks instead of allowing them to wake the device individually. Add to it the implementation of AOT compiler in the form of ART across the OS, which has promised better memory optimisations as well as reduced CPU cycles. Android L also prevents the device from waking up to a network related task when it is in a no coverage zone which will be a major battery saver.
There is also an inbuilt power saver in Andorid L which presumably will give you a longer run time. It is also worth considering that this test was conducted with a developer preview of Android L, and you can expect even better results when the consumer variant of Android L is rolled out. The initial tests are positive indeed, and looks like the days of battery woes may just about be a thing of past on Android.