Google wants app developers to snitch on Samsung


Last updated: June 14th, 2021 at 13:54 UTC+02:00

It has long been a concern that Samsung is a bit too aggressive when it comes to killing background apps. This is just one of the many ways for the company to improve the battery life on its devices. However, it does come at the expense of the user experience.

Samsung isn’t the only Android device manufacturer that does this. Many others also rely on such over optimization. This leads to the misconception among users that perhaps this is an Android issue when in reality Google doesn’t have much to do with it. That’s why Google is now directly asking app developers about how they’re impacted by this.

Snitches won’t get stitches

Android OEMs have total control over the background app optimization carried out by their custom skins. Most have a whitelist that enables major apps like Facebook and Instagram to run in the background without any issues. This puts small app developers at a disadvantage because their apps are the first to get killed off in the background.

App developers have been urging Google to do something about this for the past few years. They want the company to push OEMs to give up such aggressive background app optimization, especially when it’s not being done in a fair manner.

Google has now invited feedback from third-party app developers. It wants to know how their apps are being affected by these practices and on which OEM device. The list includes Samsung, OnePlus, Oppo, Xiaomi and others. It’s asking developers to provide the steps to reproduce the issue so that Google can conduct a more in-depth investigation.

It remains unclear what Google will do with this data. If it receives enough feedback to find out who the worst offenders are, perhaps it will communicate its concerns directly to the concerned OEM. Google could put pressure on the OEMs behind the scenes to address this longstanding developer grievance.

Whether we’ll see some change in how One UI handles background apps is anybody’s guess right now. If you’re a developer interested in providing feedback to Google, use the company’s questionnaire.

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