Unlike iOS, Android allows apps and services to run in the background more freely. However, some app developers misuse those privileges and unnecessarily keep their apps running in the background, affecting a phone’s battery life and speed. To counter such apps, Android OEMs aggressively kill background apps to conserve the battery life of their devices. Android 14 promises to bring some sense to this problem.
Google announced earlier today that it is working with Android OEMs to ease the frustration of app developers who follow Android’s development guidelines. Android 14 will ensure that apps don’t break their functionality due to the aggressive killing of background apps. Samsung is Google’s first partner for this quality-of-life improvement. The South Korean firm confirmed on its developer website that it has created a unified policy that “will create a more consistent and reliable user experience for Galaxy users.”
Samsung working with Google to make apps more reliable in the background, starting with Android 14 (One UI 6.0)
Starting with One UI 6.0, Samsung confirmed that it wouldn’t kill the background services of apps targeting Android 14. They will be guaranteed to work as intended if those apps have been developed according to Android’s new foreground service API policy.
Android 14 brings three critical changes (via 9To5Google) to handling background apps and services.
- Developers need to declare foreground service types and request type-specific permissions so that the operating system can know when it is reasonable to use foreground services.
- Apps need to use the new user-initiated data transfer job type for user-initiated tasks such as large-sized downloads and uploads to continue in the background smoothly by leveraging JobScheduler’s constraints.
- Adhere to new Google Play Policies to ensure proper use of foreground services and user-initiated data transfer jobs.
So long as developers build their apps as per Google’s new policies for Android 14, app developers don’t have to worry about their apps stopping in the background when it is not intended. Once more Android brands get on board with Google, as Samsung did, app developers don’t have to worry as much about their apps behaving/working differently on phones and tablets from different brands. This will be great for app developers, brands, and users.