While iOS restricts apps and services running in the background, Android allows them to run more freely. Unfortunately, some app developers abuse this freedom, causing a negative impact on a phone’s battery life and performance by keeping their apps running unnecessarily. To combat this issue, Android OEMs aggressively terminate background apps to save battery life, but this can also result in applications malfunctioning, leading to user frustration and blaming the developers for a subpar experience.
To address this problem, Google aims to introduce improvements with Android 14 that will make it easier for developers to create apps that work consistently across various Android devices. The objective is to mitigate the need for developers to work around OEM restrictions or inconsistencies, resulting in a more streamlined and efficient user experience.
Samsung has become the first partner to collaborate with Google in implementing a new foreground service API policy for apps targeting Android 14. The upcoming One UI 6.0 from Samsung will ensure that foreground services of such apps will work as intended, bringing a more consistent and reliable user experience to Galaxy users. This collaboration is part of Google’s efforts to make it easier for developers to create apps that work consistently across different Android devices, while also addressing the issue of aggressive app-killing by some OEMs.
Android 14 introduces three significant modifications, as reported by 9To5Google, to the way it manages 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.
With Android 14, developers need not worry about their apps stopping in the background unintentionally, provided they adhere to Google’s new policies. This will also ensure consistent behavior of apps across different Android devices, eliminating the need for developers to work around OEM-specific restrictions. As more Android brands join hands with Google, the uniformity of user experience across different devices will improve, benefiting both app developers and users.