Google will address Phone Hub’s battery drain issue in a future Chrome OS update
Google started rolling out Chrome OS 89 earlier this year in March. The 10th-anniversary update included a host of new features, including a new Phone Hub to help users connect their Android phone to a Chromebook. The feature added a built-in control center to Chrome OS that lets users check their phone’s battery life, turn on/off the hotspot, and locate their device with ease. It even let users respond to messages and check their recent Chrome tabs. However, since its release, many users have reported severe battery drain issues on their phones when connected to a Chromebook using the feature. Thankfully, Google is aware of this issue and is already working on a fix.
As spotted by Android Police, a new work-in-progress commit on the Chromium Gerrit suggests that Google is working on making the connection between your Chromebook and Android phone a lot more efficient. Its description states:
“This change allows the nearby connections client to request a specific keep alive and timeout when making a connection to a nearby device. Nearby Share keeps the default values, while Phone Hub opts to use a more battery friendly option. The change for Phone Hub is gated by a feature flag so it can be rolled out when the Android side is ready.”
In the current Chrome OS release, Phone Hub polls its connection status with your phone at 5-second intervals. The change mentioned above will essentially increase the polling duration, which should the battery drain issue. However, increasing the interval will also mean that Phone Hub will take a bit longer to update your phone’s status. The difference may not be very noticeable, as the change will only increase the duration to 15 seconds.
At the moment, we’re not sure when this change will roll out to users. We’ll update this post as soon as we learn more.