One of Android's biggest annoyances is how different devices handle background services. While Google has a set of guidelines on how background processes should be handled, Android manufacturers tweak their behavior to improve their devices' battery efficiency. Mostly, this breaks the app's intended behavior and offers a poor user experience. At I/O 2022, the company revealed its efforts to fix Android's background app issues. We saw the fruit of those labor with Android 14, which brings several changes for foreground services. Going a step further, Google is announcing a deeper partnership with Samsung to deliver a more consistent experience.
In a post on the Android Developers blog, Google announced it is partnering with Android hardware manufacturers to ensure a consistent and uniform implementation of Android 14's background APIs. Samsung is the first company to join Google's efforts, with the benefit of their collaboration bearing fruit once One UI 6.0 drops for Galaxy devices later this year.
Some of the changes to background and foreground services in Android 14 include streamlined background operations, an optimized internal broadcast system, and new Google Play policies to restrict device and network abuse.
In its statement, the Korean giant says starting with One UI 6.0, "foreground services of apps targeting Android 14 will be guaranteed to work as intended so long as they are developed according to Android's new foreground service API policy." So, you may not immediately see the benefit of this partnership once One UI 6.0 drops. But as developers update their apps for Android 14, the experience should get a lot better.
Samsung has the dubious honor of the Android manufacturer that aggressively kills background apps on its devices. The situation worsened after Android 11 dropped, leading to delayed notifications, inconsistent background tracking, and more.
Former Android Police editor Ryne Hager did a deep dive into how Android manufacturers are breaking our favorite apps in the name of optimization. So, Samsung working closely with Google to fix the inconsistent killing of background services is a big win for consumers as it will significantly improve the user experience.