Wear OS based on Android P will drop App Standby Buckets and return to supporting background jobs and alarms
App Standby Buckets were announced at Google I/O 2018 a few weeks ago. They were one of the headlining features of Android P that the company wanted to talk about ahead of time. The feature aims to break applications into four groups. These four groups will then be allocated time for background operations based on their status. The four groups are as follows:
- Active – App is currently being used
- Working set – App is in regular use
- Frequent – App is often used, but not every day
- Rare – App is not frequently used
The buckets are effectively just another way to save your battery from applications you don’t use that much running in the background. It was initially enabled in the Android P developer preview for Wear OS, but has since been removed due to it not fitting in with Wear OS’ usage patterns.
This follows Google’s addition of an enhanced battery saving mode in the latest developer preview on Wear OS, which acts as a replacement of sorts. This battery saving mode effectively removes the “smart” from your smartwatch, reducing it to a simple timepiece without any background services. It’s a decent addition which is somewhat reminiscent of Sony’s “Stamina Mode” on their smartphones. Users can choose to halt background services in order to save battery.
So what happens now? Wear OS will go back to supporting background jobs and alarms as usual, and Google intends to refine and improve on App Standby Buckets for usage in Wear OS. While developers disliked the initial version published for smartwatches, the company says that it will continue to iterate and improve upon the feature for reimplementation at a later date. Developers are currently advised to follow best practices in order to ensure their applications behave well in the background.
Google seems eager to grow the smartwatch market with Wear OS, and it appears that it may actually be working. Smartwatches are on their way up, so it could be that Google has seen a renewed interest in the market and is retraining its development focus.
Source: Android Developer Blog