Google calls reports of Google Now for iOS battery drain 'incorrect'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
In a written response to a recent outcry over Google Now's alleged battery-draining location tracking feature, the search giant claims reports of the abnormal behavior are incorrect as it uses low-power positioning assets that don't rely on power-hungry GPS.

Now


Google's statement, first posted on LifeHacker, takes note of the extensive testing an app goes through before Google releases it to the public. While clearly explained, the company does not want any misperceptions about the much-awaited feature coming to iOS, with the response starting out with some rather strong words.

From the statement:
Reports that Google Now drains battery life are incorrect. We understand people?s concern about seeing the Location Services icon stay on when they use Google Now. Many apps that keep the icon on actually do drain the phone?s battery because they require very accurate location. (For example a navigation app has to run your GPS all the time to keep you from missing your turn.) Google Now is built very differently: it uses cell towers and wifi hot spots for much lower battery impact.
While true, the app is still using radio assets an iPhone wouldn't tap into during normal use. Google is correct in saying power consumption is nowhere near GPS usage levels, but Google Now is still adding to the battery duties with its positioning services.

The statment continues:
We extensively tested Google Now on iOS for months and didn?t see reports of significant battery impact ? we would encourage you to try it in the Google Search app for a few days and we don?t expect you to see significant impact on your battery. If you are seeing a problem, please do tell us (just tap feedback in the app settings). We take user feedback very seriously.
Google added the Google Now service to its Google Search iOS app on Monday, bringing automatic delivery of weather and traffic conditions for a user's most-traveled routes, real-time sports score and news updates, and flight times or delays. Other information includes local nightlife, special events and even real estate data. Everything is presented in "cards" that appear at the bottom of the app's home screen when a user needs it based on location and time based presets.

As noted in the app's description as seen in the App Store(emphasis added):
To provide up-to-the-minute information, Google Now turns on Location Services. Even though the icon stays on, the app has minimal battery impact:

? The app doesn?t turn on the GPS. Instead, it receives passive updates from nearby cell towers and WIFI hot spots.
? If your battery is running low, the app pauses location updates.
? The app stays asleep unless your device moves a long distance.
For users seeing continued problems, the solution described on a number of forums is to disable Google Search's Location Services from within the iOS Settings menu.
«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 66
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,797member
    I have used it quite a lot since I updated and have not noticed any difference in battery life. It is easily one of my top 5 most used apps.
  • Reply 3 of 66
    macky the mackymacky the macky Posts: 4,778member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gwmac View Post



    I have used it quite a lot since I updated and have not noticed any difference in battery life. It is easily one of my top 5 most used apps.


     


    It only drains the battery down during the install process when it's sucking all your personal info out of the handset. After that it acts normal because it can steal while you're inputting the new personal data. 


     


    Nothing to see here... keep moving along.

  • Reply 4 of 66
    curtis hannahcurtis hannah Posts: 1,770member
    So people complain about google draining battery? Why does Google need it in first place(location)????[B]??[/B]
  • Reply 5 of 66
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,719member
    I think they are right: the location services aren't draining the battery, it's the constant contact with advertisers that's doing the draining.
  • Reply 6 of 66
    petrosypetrosy Posts: 51member
    It's the user's lack of intelligence that sucks the life out of anything smart
  • Reply 7 of 66
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,722member


    You're holding it wrong.  /s

  • Reply 8 of 66
    hughjaashughjaas Posts: 3member
    "The app stays asleep unless your device moves a long distance."

    How will the app know if it has moved a long distance? Wouldn't it have to be on?

    Anyhow, I used it, and it's great, but I was losing about 15% of my battery life every hour. I turned location tracking off, but the app is not nearly as useful.
  • Reply 9 of 66
    bleh1234bleh1234 Posts: 146member
    Just dont install it. Problem solved.
  • Reply 10 of 66
    undedunded Posts: 43member
    Go Google! Track every movement and make tons of money with/without regards to privacy.
  • Reply 11 of 66
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,722member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Curtis Hannah View Post



    So people complain about google draining battery? Why does Google need it in first place(location)??????


     


    So they know where you work and where you live and where you hangout.

  • Reply 12 of 66
    agramonteagramonte Posts: 345member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post


     


    It only drains the battery down during the install process when it's sucking all your personal info out of the handset. After that it acts normal because it can steal while you're inputting the new personal data. 


     


    Nothing to see here... keep moving along.



     


    Time to put on your tinfoil hat

  • Reply 13 of 66
    jglonekjglonek Posts: 18member
    This definitely drains the battery. I installed it on Tuesday and by midday Wednesday my battery was under 50% without using it much.

    I saw the locations service icon up and checked in settings and it was Google. I checked open apps to turn it off and it wasn't even in there! So I opened and closed it, the location services icon was still on. Uninstalled the app and it went away
  • Reply 14 of 66
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,496member
    ? The app doesn?t turn on the GPS. Instead, it receives <strong>passive updates</strong> from nearby cell towers and WIFI hot spots.
    ? If your battery is running low, the <strong>app pauses location updates</strong>.
    ? The app stays asleep unless your device moves a long distance.</blockquote>.

    If that works as advertised, it sounds like a good design.
  • Reply 15 of 66
    starbird73starbird73 Posts: 538member
    philboogie wrote: »
    If that works as advertised, it sounds like a good design.

    I've recently started to notice this low power usage. Another app, shopkick, does this, too. And just recently, so is it something new to iOS? Have to assume it was part if iOS 6, but took a while to get developers on board. It is a bit alarming when you see the location arrow on 24/7, but haven't noticed any significant loss of battery with now two apps "always on" for location services. Seems like if the developer built the app right, Apple has provided a useful tool.

    To give a sense of the drain, significantly less than Bluetooth uses.
  • Reply 16 of 66
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Finally.

    "Googlegate".
  • Reply 17 of 66
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member


    I need a Google account to use it?


     


    Pass.

  • Reply 18 of 66
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GTR View Post



    Finally.



    "Googlegate".


    ^this^

  • Reply 19 of 66
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ? If your battery is running low, the app pauses location updates.


     


    Why do this if the App is not draining the battery?

  • Reply 20 of 66
    macky the mackymacky the macky Posts: 4,778member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by John.B View Post


     


    So they know where you work and where you live and where you hangout.



    It knows when you are sleeping; it knows when you are awake,


    It knows when you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake...

Sign In or Register to comment.