What are Standby Apps in Android P and How to Use It

Google rolled out the new Android P Beta at Google I/O today and it brings loads of new features and improvements. While the new gesture-based navigation steals the limelight, Google has also added a bunch of improvements under the hood to improve the user experience. With battery life becoming more demanded by users, Google has promised better and more efficient battery management with Android P. While each new version offers new battery life-related stuff like Doze, this year with Android P, Google brought App Waiting. buckets. With the help of App Standby Buckets, you can have more control over the apps running in the background, which affects your battery life. But before we talk about how to use it, let’s discuss what exactly App Standby Buckets are:

What are Application Standby Packages?

App Standby Buckets is a new power saving tool introduced with Android P Developer Preview 2. Basically, it categorizes apps based on how often you use them and limits their access to device resources accordingly. This is a dynamic process and the system assigns each application to a priority packet and then reassigns applications as needed.

By GoogleThere are 4 main Application Waiting Buckets, they are:

  • Active

If the user is currently using the application, the application is said to be in the active package, for example:

  • The application started an event
  • The application is running a foreground service
  • The application has a sync adapter associated with a content provider used by a foreground application.
  • User clicks on a notification from the app

Therefore, if an application is in the active package, the system does not impose any restrictions on the application’s jobs, alarms, or FCM messages.

  • study set

An application is said to be in a working set if it runs frequently but is not currently active. For example, a social media app that the user launches most days is likely to be in the working set. Apps are also promoted to the workgroup group when used implicitly. If an app is in the work set, the system places slight restrictions on its ability to run jobs and trigger alarms.

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  • Stylish

An app is said to be in the favorites list if used regularly, but not necessarily every day. For example, a workout tracking app that the user is running at the gym might be on their favorites list. If an application is in the favorites list, the system places stronger restrictions on its ability to run jobs and trigger alarms, and also places a cap on high priority FCM messages.

  • Rare

An app is said to be on the rarity list if it is not used frequently. For example, a hotel app that the user only runs while staying at that hotel might be in a rare package. If an application is on the rare list, the system places strict restrictions on its ability to run jobs, trigger alarms, and receive high priority FCM messages. The system also limits the app’s ability to connect to the internet.

  • Never

Finally, there is a special never package for apps that have been installed but never run. The system imposes severe restrictions on these applications.

Problem with Application Standby Packages

In theory, App Waiting Buckets sounds like a great feature. However, there is a catch to it. As Google states, “Each manufacturer can set its own criteria for how inactive apps are assigned to packages.” Effectively, each manufacturer can manage applications and distribute or categorize applications into various packages according to their design ideas. It’s worth noting that although Google claims the process is dynamic and Android will categorize apps based on user usage. Android will revert to this usage pattern system to determine app placement only if the device has no pre-installed software otherwise it determines where an application can be placed.

However, users can also manually decide the Standby Bucket for each app according to their liking. To do that, read on as we show you how to manually set Standby Packs for each app:

Using Standby Apps Manually

note: I tested the following method on my Google Pixel 2 XL running Android P Developer Preview 2. The method should remain the same for all other devices running Android P Developer Preview 2.

1. First go to: Settings -> System -> About Phone.

2. Now, tap on Advanced and scroll all the way down. Tap on “Build number” seven times to enable developer options.

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Advanced Build Number

3. Once you’ve done that, navigate to: Settings -> System -> Advanced -> Developer Options.

Developer Options

4. Once here, scroll all the way down. Tap on “Standby apps”.

Standby Applications

5. That’s it. You will now see a list of all the apps installed on your device. Just tap any app you want to change the Standby Bucket.. You should get a list to choose from among the 4 main Waiting Buckets mentioned earlier.

Pending Apps Bucket Profiles

SEE ALSO: Here is the List of Devices Compatible with Android P Beta

Get Better Battery Life with Pending Apps on Android P

Just like Doze, App Standby Buckets also promises better battery backup. Using the guide above, you should be able to gain manual control over assigning apps to your preferred app groups instead of letting your OEM do it. On the other hand, if you’re running Android P on a Pixel device, Android will automatically do the profiling for you. The feature itself looks pretty awesome, though the actual impact on battery life of App Standby Buckets is only visible after a few days of use.