In the last few years, Google has greatly improved how Android handles background apps. Optimizations like Doze and App Standby Buckets help allocate system resources to apps that need them the most while ensuring abusive apps don’t run rampant in the background.
Although Android’s power-saving measures are fairly capable, many smartphone OEMs go the extra mile to implement additional background app killing policies and battery-saving options. These measures are often far more aggressive and prevent third-party apps from doing their job. Some OEMs also keep a whitelist that allows apps like Facebook and WhatsApp to run unrestricted, putting small app developers at a disadvantage. Google is well aware of these shoddy practices, and although it has yet to take decisive action, it’s now inviting feedback from developers in pursuit of a possible solution.
An issue was created on the AOSP bug tracker all the way back in 2018 detailing how a section of Chinese OEMs was abusing the core functionality of Android and forbidding third-party apps from running in the background. The issue is chock full of responses from hundreds of app developers echoing similar experiences, urging Google to stop OEMs from violating Android compliance and implementing such aggressive policies.
On Jun 8, 2021, a user commented that OEMs like Xiaomi and OnePlus even kill AccessibilityService. In response, a Googler recently commented that they would look into the issue and invited app developers to submit their feedback.
Google is asking developers to provide the following details:
- Name of the affected app(s)
- Name of OEMs and device models on which they observe the issue
- Android OS version
- Steps to reproduce the issue as well as the expected results and observed results
- Affected API
- Whether they were able to reproduce the same issue on a Pixel device (or other device running the same Android version)
If you’re an app developer, you can submit your feedback to Google by filling in this form on this page.