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Android 13 could help you save phone battery life with a smart new feature

android 13 logo on a pixel 4a
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Good battery life is one of the most important features any phone can offer, but all it takes is one rogue app to cause serious problems. Thankfully, it sounds like Android 13 is coming with a feature that will warn you anytime an app uses excessive power in the background.

The Android 13 Developer Preview has revealed a number of new features designed to keep your phone running for longer. Among them is a system notification that shows when an app is draining your battery while not in direct use.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because Android is already able to warn users if an app is using too much battery in the foreground. It’s also available on some non-Google made Android phones, like those from OnePlus, running their own skinned versions of the software.

In the case of Android 13, phones will display the notification if an app has been draining too much power within a 24 hour period. However, according to Google, the notification will not appear if foreground services are using a lot of battery. Instead if Android detects foreground services running for at least 20 hours in a 24 hour period, you’ll get a notification for that instead.

Notifications won’t appear more than once every 24 hours. In other words, you better get in the habit of not absentmindedly dismissing notifications. It’s something I’ve been guilty of in the past, and I’m probably not the only one who does it.

While Google has used the rather vague “excessive” to describe the notification’s trigger, Android 13 will come with a new set of rules and restrictions for background battery usage. According to Google this will take into account foreground services, work tasks, broadcast receivers, background services and the app’s cache.

However, some apps will be exempt from the rules including system apps, companion device apps, VPNs, apps with a Dialler role, device and profile owner apps, as well as apps the user has specifically set to offer “unrestricted” functionality in the settings.

Android 13’s first two developer previews are already available, while Google’s roadmap suggests beta versions of the software will launch just after April. The stable final version of the app is set to arrive later this year, likely in the fall.

Tom Pritchard
Tom Pritchard

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.