Google Insists There Is No Battery Drain Issue With Google Now For iOS

Google-Now-iPhone

Google brought its intelligent Google Now service to iOS earlier this week with an update to the Google Search app, and for many, the feature works very well. For a lot of others, however, Google Now appears to be causing a significantly negative impact on battery life — as we reported on Wednesday.

Google has since responded to these reports, calling them “incorrect” and insisting that Google Now does not have a battery drain issue.

Following my article on Wednesday, a Google spokesperson sent us a statement that reads:

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.

We extensively tested Google Now on iOS for months and didn’t see reports of significant battery impact — we would encourage you to try it in the Google Search app for a few days and we don’t expect you to see significant impact on your battery. If you are seeing a problem, please do tell us (just tap feedback in the app settings). We take user feedback very seriously.

This statements reiterates the notice Google included in its release notes with the latest Google Search update. The company is clearly adamant that Google Now does not affect battery life on iOS devices, and that the feature works differently to other apps that constantly search for your location.

Maybe it’s a psychological thing, then. Maybe we see that location icon in our status bar and simply assume that it’s eating our battery life, when in actual fact it’s not really having much impact at all, and we’re just noticing battery drain much more than we usually would.

However, if you are one of those users who is concerned about the impact of Google Now, be sure to submit your feedback as Google mentions in its statement.

Provide as much detail as you can — such as how long your battery lasted before using Google Now and how long it lasts now — and hopefully it’ll help Google iron out any issues that may not have been discovered in pre-release testing.

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  • MattGodfrey

    Google really need to merge the Chrome app and the Google Search app

  • boblevel

    Updated day 1 and no battery drain issues here. Google Now was the only thing I missed from my old Galaxy S3. So happy to see it on the iP5.

  • dieselmaniac

    I left it on all afternoon yesterday while traveling from city to city in my neck of the woods to see what cards Google Now would show and to test battery life. I didn’t see any noticeable difference in battery life on my 4S. The only difference I noticed was the number of cards depending on my location. More populated areas showed more cards. Less populated areas showed lass cards. So, if you live in the boonies, you probably won’t see many cards delivered to your device.

  • dab76

    Within 2 hours of updating on the day it was released my battery dropped 40%! It caused my location services to get stuck and after going through settings: Location Services it was still stuck. I had to delete Google Search all together. Lucky for me I stay away from the Google Eco system for the most part anyway. I’m really shocked that Google is claiming no responsibility. Unless, they are using this as a ploy to get people over to Android. If it is it won’t work!

  • Shane Bryson

    I left it on all afternoon yesterday while traveling from city to city in my neck of the woods to see what cards Google Now would show and to test battery life. I didn’t see any noticeable difference in battery life on my 4S. The only difference I noticed was the number of cards depending on my location. More populated areas showed more cards. Less populated areas showed lass cards. So, if you live in the boonies, you probably won’t see many cards delivered to your device.

    I live in the boonies and Now is DRAINING my batt. I had to delete it. Horrible power management from a Google App.

  • Shane Bryson

    Google really need to merge the Chrome app and the Google Search app

    I have been saying and hoping for this for months.

  • dieselmaniac

    Within 2 hours of updating on the day it was released my battery dropped 40%! It caused my location services to get stuck and after going through settings: Location Services it was still stuck. I had to delete Google Search all together. Lucky for me I stay away from the Google Eco system for the most part anyway. I’m really shocked that Google is claiming no responsibility. Unless, they are using this as a ploy to get people over to Android. If it is it won’t work!

    Maybe there’s another contributing factor. I used it all afternoon yesterday and didn’t see any issue with battery life. I’m sure Google will look into it further if people keep complaining. But your probably right, I do think Google’s using the feature to entice people to switch to Android. I don’t blame them. It’s a great service.

  • dieselmaniac

    Google really need to merge the Chrome app and the Google Search app

    Yeah, it’s a no brainer really.

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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