Android Police reports that users who have upgraded to Android 14 on their Pixel 6/7 devices are experiencing longer battery life and improved system heat management. Google had already announced that Android 14 would have a stronger focus on background app activity, but it seems that they made some additional adjustments without initially notifying users.
Mishaal Rahman, a feature digger from the Android source code, reports that Android 14 has significantly improved battery usage by limiting background app activity. They have addressed vulnerabilities in process management by forking processes to monitor whether they have been killed or not. If killed, the service is called back to run again. This technique was previously implemented by a library called MarsDaemon, which was used by many malware and questionable apps, resulting in excessive battery consumption on Android devices.
What has changed is that Android 14 now freezes the control groups (cgroups) responsible for managing processes before killing them. Freezing the entire process group eliminates the effectiveness of the aforementioned technique. Rahman states that Google’s new approach is a positive development, as it allows Android 14 to conserve battery when encountering apps utilizing this technique. However, Google is not the first company to address this vulnerability. Many Chinese manufacturers, known for their battery optimization efforts, have already addressed this issue long ago.
In addition, Rahman explains that Google has implemented another policy change in Android 14. The OS now reduces the amount of time it waits before freezing apps. Previously, the delay was 10 minutes, but now it has been reduced to just 10 seconds. Furthermore, the maximum number of apps that can be frozen has been increased from 32 to 1024.
TLDR: Upgrading to Android 14 on Pixel 6/7 devices brings longer battery life and improved system heat management. Google has quietly addressed background app vulnerabilities, freezing process groups before killing them. This eliminates the effectiveness of a technique used by malware and questionable apps. Additionally, Google has reduced the waiting time before freezing apps to just 10 seconds and increased the maximum number of apps that can be frozen to 1024.