- Google wants all Android smartphones to handle background tasks the same way
- And it has just boarded Samsung, which agrees to follow the new rules
- The firm recognizes that this problem of background tasks is one of the defects of its open system (which manufacturers can modify)
Google wants all Android smartphones to handle background services the same way. And it has just announced a collaboration with Samsung, the world’s leading smartphone market, to make this project a reality. This novelty, which arrives on Android 14, will therefore be adopted by the Samsung Galaxy. But Google hopes to convince other brands.
If all Android devices use the same base code (the pure version of the operating system), manufacturers have the opportunity to make changes. To optimize battery usage, some brands change the way Android handles background services.
However, as our colleagues from Android Police explain, these modifications can interfere with the normal operation of installed apps, and affect the user experience. Whether for app developers or users, this is a huge problem in the Android ecosystem.
Google wants to standardize the management of apps in the background
Google’s solution is a standardized way to manage background services (for example, when you download a file in the background), so app developers can optimize their apps for all brands. Users, on the other hand, will be able to properly use these applications. This modification was announced during the presentation of the preview of Android 14, in February.
And this May, Google announces its partnership with Samsung. “To strengthen the Android platform, our collaboration with Google has resulted in a unified policy that we hope will create a more consistent and reliable user experience for Galaxy users. Starting with One UI 6.0, foreground services in apps targeting Android 14 will be guaranteed to work as expected as long as they are developed under the new Android foreground service API policy”explains the Korean giant.
We do not know which other manufacturers will agree to respect these new rules on their Android overlays. But the fact of having been able to board Samsung is already a victory for Google, given the market share of the Korean giant, as well as its leading position in the smartphone market. In any case, on the Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel eligible for the Android 14 update, the apps should therefore work correctly in the background, provided that the developer respects a series of new rules imposed by Google.
The problem of the “open” system
In any case, in its announcement, Google recognizes one of the flaws of its open operating system. “While this openness opens up great opportunities, with so many unique devices, it can make your life as a developer more difficult. One such challenge we’ve heard from the community involves restrictions on foreground services and background work that make it harder to build apps that work across different device models.writes the firm.
As a reminder, Android 14, which will include this new feature for Pixels and Samsung Galaxys, is already beta tested. You can install the test version on eligible Google Pixel smartphones. And Google will also announce the main new features of Android 14 (those that are not yet known) at the I/O conference this week.
Regarding Samsung, it has not yet expressed itself on the future update to Android 14 of its devices. However, as the Korean giant has already clarified (and extended) its policy on Android updates, we have an idea of the list of devices that will receive the update to Android 14 when it is available in version steady.