Google blames third-party app developers for Android phones’ terrible battery life

Apple Online Store “If there’s a single knock for just about anything mobile nowadays, it’s battery life. Laptops, netbooks, smart phones, you name it. And the more these companies try to cram into these devices, the bigger the drain on the juice,” Jim Goldman writes for CNBC.

“The issue took center stage at the big Google Zeitgeist event in London yesterday when Google co-founder Larry Page proclaimed that if your Android phone isn’t giving you 24 hours of usage, there’s something wrong,” Goldman writes. “But instead of taking ownership of the issue, and taking responsibility for a platform that doesn’t adequately power-manage all the software his phones can run, Page committed the cardinal sin of blaming Google’s third party applications developers instead.”

Goldman writes, “It’s their programs, and users running them all the time that suck up all that juice, not our phone.”

“Naturally, with Apple’s support of multi-tasking [in their forthcoming iPhone OS 4 for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad], there were instant questions about how this would affect iPhone’s battery life, and Jobs was quick to address it: ‘It’s really easy to implement multitasking in a way that drains battery life. If you don’t do it just right your phone’s going to feel sluggish and your battery life is going to go way down. We’ve figured out how to implement multitasking of third-party apps and avoid those things,’ he said last month,” Goldman writes.

“Hmmmm. And therein lies the difference between Google and Apple when it comes to innovation,” Goldman writes. “Google: The Android battery life is sub-par and we blame you, the developers, our partners out there who are slaving away at trying to expand the platform. Apple: We’ve identified an issue in our platform and we have come up with an innovation to address it, so that we can help you the developers, our partners out there who are slaving away at trying to expand the platform.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Excellent article except for one thing: Goldman makes it sound like multitasking is an “issue” specific to Apple’s platform, but multitaking is an “issue” for every platform; as it has always been in computing, mobile or otherwise. Apple has approached multitasking in pretty much the best possible way for mobile devices, while Google et al. — without having Apple’s implementation to copy — have wrongly applied the desktop OS concept of multitasking to mobile devices that, by design, carry limited battery space (“desktop OS” meaning devices that are plugged into the wall and notebooks with relatively large batteries).

Apple gave the rest of the world the template to create the modern smartphone (really a computer in your pocket). The Googles of the world promptly knocked it off as best they could, based perhaps on what their bespectacled mole could remember before he started recusing himself. In places where Apple didn’t rush to market, but instead worked on the details in order to get them right (cut-copy-paste, multitasking, etc.) the knockoff artists plowed ahead “Microsoft Bob-style” with little or no thought as to how the things they were implementing would negatively impact the user.

Clearly, Apple leads while others, like Microsoft, Google, etc., follow years later. Where Apple takes extra time to get things right (or has patents), the followers strike out wildly and blindly on their own.

Without Apple’s hand to guide them, they are lost.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Robert C.” for the heads up.]


  1. MDN:

    Your take is SPOT on!!! Certain people deride Apple for being a control freak. But they have not really put any thoughts into design their products the Apple does. But, despite all of this, I know that Apple will always be scoffed at for doing it their way. It’s the nature of being a genius.

  2. One would think that Google IS the new Microsoft.

    I think this proves it. Blame it on someone else if your software was not clearly thought out.

    Then again, they may have been around Microsoft computers all day and could not see the problem anyway.

  3. This is precisely how the the wise “control” Apple exercises over its platform improves user experience.

    It’s Apple’s platform. The primary purpose of the platform is to sell Apple hardware, not to advertise or to collect user data. Therefore, user experience is key. One key to user experience is defining and enforcing limits to what developers can do.

  4. Exact A Munndo!!!!

    The hype around Android is ASTONISHING!!!!

    iPhone 4.0 will put this multiple tasking issue to rest.

    OH!!!! And while Android users are @ it… QUICK!! Get ur hands on that wonderful Adobe Flash mobile 10.1!!!!!!!! What a JOKE!!!

  5. This is exactly why the Apple business model is so far superior to MS or Google — Apple controls the user experience. Maybe you don’t get every useless widget you think you need, but what you get functions incredibly well.

  6. MDN:

    Excellent article except for TWO things: Your thing plus:

    Apple’s battery life on its laptops is significantly superior to the competition due to battery and power saving innovation on Apple’s part.

    And, battery life on the iPad is absolutely stunning, again, compared to the competition. Remember Mr. Apple Is Lying If They Say They Have 10 Hours Of iPad Battery Life who was so effectively eviscerated?

    So, yes, battery life is an issue, but, again, Apple is significantly better than everybody else, particularly on their laptops and the iPad.

    (in fairness, not so much on the iPhone, relative to some of the competition, particularly RIM. But lets see iPhone 4).

    MDN word: method – Apple has a method of working out issues like battery life that others can’t seem to copy

  7. It is not the developers fault. If the users just did not turn their Android phones on, battery life would not be a problem. So Page should put the blame where it belongs: on the customers!

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