Google Employee Claims Google Now App Does Not Cause Significant Battery Impact

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
49,579
10,893



After Google Now was added to the Google Search app last week, many users began complaining that the app was draining battery by constantly accessing the iPhone's Location Services.

According to a Google employee who posted on the Macworld forum (via The Next Web), Google Now does not excessively drain battery, despite the fact that the app often causes the Location Services icon to remain active.
Hi there,
I'm with Google and wanted to address this issue:
Reports that Google Now on iOS 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, some apps have to run your GPS all the time during navigation to keep you from missing your turn.) This update to the Google Search app is built very differently: it uses cell towers and wifi hot spots for much lower battery impact.
The employee, who was confirmed to be working for Google by The Next Web, goes on to say that Google Now was tested for several months on iOS without reports of significant battery impact. In the Google Search app description, Google clarifies that the app does not access the iPhone's GPS, using cell towers and Wi-Fi hotspots as the employee claims.

Google Now, which is Google's version of a virtual assistant, continually accesses user data to provide information like local weather updates and traffic conditions, which is what may be causing issues for some users.

Not all Google Now users appear to be experiencing battery problems, with some MacRumors forum members reporting no excessive battery drainage while others report rapid battery loss.

Article Link: Google Employee Claims Google Now App Does Not Cause Significant Battery Impact
 

crisss1205

macrumors 6502a
Oct 7, 2008
821
108
NYC
I just hate the location icon constantly being in the status bar, that is the reason I turned it off.
 

Appurushido

macrumors 6502
Sep 28, 2012
265
254
I would have thought the same. Since the app is running 24/7 who knows how much battery life it drains.
 

dmcwally

macrumors member
Aug 18, 2009
59
33
Grokr is a very similar app and had the same exact problem at launch but fixed it very quickly with a software update and now works perfectly. Google should have no excuse to fix this
 

WDRAM

macrumors newbie
Dec 7, 2002
3
0
"I notice significant battery loss. But Safari feels much snappier!"

- I'm guessing this is the layperson reaction. It's all a matter of perception.
 

cashxx

macrumors member
Sep 14, 2010
65
110
Funny but I believe it does

Have a co-worker that downloaded it when it came out and later in the day was complaining about his battery life.
 

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,131
1,910
Manhattan
I haven't noticed my battery life changing at all. I think people that claim it's draining their battery have something else going on.
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,920
1,209
Washington DC
I believe what Google says. Mainly because the complaints I saw popped up mere minutes after the app launched.

Those aren't battery complaints. Those are "I see an arrow" complaints. Real battery assessment takes days.

I've had many other apps that use geofencing (like Apple's own Reminders) without seeing a huge impact on battery. I'm sure this Google Now service works the same way.
 

rockosmodurnlif

macrumors 65816
Apr 21, 2007
1,059
68
New York, NY
Turned on Google Now. Left home, listening to tunes. Went from full charge to half charge in 3 hours. Turned off Google Now. Still playing tunes. Went from half charge to quarter charge in 5 hours. I don't know what Google calls "significant battery impact" but I know what I call "significant battery impact".
 

ChazUK

macrumors 603
Feb 3, 2008
5,390
24
Essex (UK)
Battery life seems the same on my iPhone 4. I don't understand the fuss.

Edit:


I've only just put my iPhone back on charge for the nightly refuel whilst I sleep.
 
Last edited:

Amazing Iceman

macrumors 68040
Nov 8, 2008
3,998
1,599
Florida, U.S.A.
I wasn't aware this was a problem until I saw this article.
I did noticed last night the Location Services icon showing on the top bar in my iPad. When I checked to see what was accessing it, it was the Google app, which was not even open or running. It's probably a background process it has.

Continued access to Location Services could definitely cause battery drainage. So as a quick fix I disabled Location Services for Google.

Take note I haven't seen this behavior until I upgraded to the latest Google app.

Does anyone else noticed something like this?

UPDATE:
- I just enabled Location Services for the Google app, and immediately the Location Services showed on the top bar (Google app is not open)
- I restarted my iPad and Location Services didn't show anymore.
- I ran the Google app, and the Location Services icon appeared again, and remained showing even after I closed the Google app. It's been about 5 minutes and it's still showing. The only two options is to restart the iPad or turn off Location Services for the Google app.

All I can say is that it's definitely a bug in the Google app. It must leave a process running in the background, causing this problem.
 
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Tucker1988

macrumors newbie
Apr 23, 2009
20
0
I had significant battery drain from this app, normally lasts through the day and ends around 30%, but after google Now it dies around 4pm. I went into settings in the app itself (not iOS Location Settings) and turned off location reporting and it still seems to work well enough but without the drain so far.
 

blucurv

macrumors regular
Dec 19, 2009
115
75
Not True!

My battery was being drained because Google left the locations feature on.

The crazy thing is that it kept locations running even though I would completely close the app down. I even tried restarting the phone with no avail.

At first, I couldn't figure out why the locations feature was on until it hit me. I had updated the Google app. Once I removed the app all was well again.
 

ChazUK

macrumors 603
Feb 3, 2008
5,390
24
Essex (UK)
Has anyone got screenshots of their excessive battery usage in the settings menu at all?

Would be interested to know which phone they're using in case it's related to a specific model/version.

Very odd!
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
49,567
18,112
I wasn't aware this was a problem until I saw this article.
I did noticed last night the Location Services icon showing on the top bar in my iPad. When I checked to see what was accessing it, it was the Google app, which was not even open or running. It's probably a background process it has.

Continued access to Location Services could definitely cause battery drainage. So as a quick fix I disabled Location Services for Google.

Take note I haven't seen this behavior until I upgraded to the latest Google app.

Does anyone else noticed something like this?
Or you could simply go into the options within the Google app settings and disable the background location setting there (so the app can still use location when needed, but won't do it "continuously" in the background).
 

Amazing Iceman

macrumors 68040
Nov 8, 2008
3,998
1,599
Florida, U.S.A.
Or you could simply go into the options within the Google app settings and disable the background location setting there (so the app can still use location when needed, but won't do it "continuously" in the background).
Good observation. I didn't check, because I didn't think they would be so stupid to continuously access it. That would definitely drain a battery!

Edit: it's called Location Reporting and it's inside Privacy. That took care of the problem. Thanks!
 

baller1308

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2009
1,041
186
I haven't noticed much decrease in battery life. By the time I hit the bed my phone is sitting at 40%. I have room to spare in terms of battery life.
 
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