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  • Google: No Our Google Now Feature Doesn't Drain Your iPhone's Battery


    Google Updated the Google Search application for iOS to version 3.0 on Monday to add support for Google Now, a service that tells you information right now that you should know… right now.

    While many people were ecstatic to get the feature on their iOS devices, many were unsatisfied with the fact that the application constantly showed the Location Services icon in the Status Bar. It would show whether you were on the lock screen, home screen, or within applications. It would even show if Google Search was not running in the background. This issue gave the illusion that Google Search with Google Now was constantly using Location Services, and therefore was using up a ton of battery life, which Google now denies.

    Google has reportedly contacted LifeHacker in response to a report about the Location Services issue, and has explained that the claims of battery drain from Google Now are incorrect:

    Quote Originally Posted by Google
    Reports that Google Now 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 a navigation app has to run your GPS all the time to keep you from missing your turn.) Google Now 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.
    According to Google’s response, Google’s Google Now for iOS uses cellular towers and Wi-Fi hotspots, rather than GPS, to acquire one’s location. In doing so, the location services from Google Now are much less battery impacting than location services from a GPS application like Google Maps would be.

    Google has apparently spent several months testing Google Now for iOS before releasing it to the public Monday, and disagrees that the feature drains battery life at a noticeable rate. Google recommends that any users having issues contact support via the links in the Google Search application.

    Admittedly, I disabled the Google Now feature because of the annoying Location Services icon in the Status Bar – I didn't really notice much impact on the battery. If you want to do this too, you will find the ability to disable Google Now in the settings section of the Google Search application.

    Even though the Location Services icon in the Status Bar might be annoying, have you actually experienced a very noticeable rate of battery drain since using Google Now?

    Sources: LifeHacker via 9to5Mac
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Google: No Our Google Now Feature Doesn't Drain Your iPhone's Battery started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 19 Comments
    1. Sakyr's Avatar
      Sakyr -
      No drain on my i5 battery life is pretty much the same as before. Love the new features of google now.
    1. vinaygoel2000's Avatar
      vinaygoel2000 -
      No significant drain but why is the icon solid and not a geofence icon?
    1. Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
      Anthony Bouchard -
      Quote Originally Posted by vinaygoel2000 View Post
      No significant drain but why is the icon solid and not a geofence icon?
      Because it's using your location for data for Google Now, and not creating a geofence that does something when you leave a location.
    1. CZroe's Avatar
      CZroe -
      The real issue is that iOS provides no way to disable the status bar indicator on a per-app basis. Fix this, Apple.
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Maybe a tweak is in order for that icon.
    1. Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
      Anthony Bouchard -
      Quote Originally Posted by CZroe View Post
      The real issue is that iOS provides no way to disable the status bar indicator on a per-app basis. Fix this, Apple.
      There is a reason for that. It's an indicator. It's there to indicate that your location is being used. Hiding an indicator would defeat the purpose of having it in the operating system.

      I'm sure a jailbreak tweak will be out to address this, but don't expect for a second that Apple would remove that for UI/UX reasons.
    1. jamesgunaca's Avatar
      jamesgunaca -
      I guess having Springtomize on hiding all those status bar icons I miss stuff like location services being active. Nothing really impact my iPhone 5 battery enough for me to notice. It gets through the day, every day.
    1. buggsy2's Avatar
      buggsy2 -
      No additional drain I notice. I'm running Carat from UC Berkeley (in App Store) and it hasn't flagged Google Now as a hog.

      I was just checking GN and thought, what a great app in both form and function. Wonderfully useful, clean and innovative design; flicking the cards away is fantastic.

      Meanwhile, what's Apple doing? Copying Microsoft's metro design and failing to provide any new functionality for anything, apparently. Damn sad.
    1. Donnutt's Avatar
      Donnutt -
      Quote Originally Posted by CZroe View Post
      The real issue is that iOS provides no way to disable the status bar indicator on a per-app basis. Fix this, Apple.
      Wow. Really? Google makes an app that constantly tracks you day and night and you not only embrace it but tell Apple to hide your location icon? I for one want my phone to tell me if location services are on... How has the icon never been a problem before but now that the almighty google made an app that did this it's suddenly Apple's fault???
      People's stupidity baffles me...
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Quote Originally Posted by buggsy2 View Post
      Meanwhile, what's Apple doing? Copying Microsoft's metro design and failing to provide any new functionality for anything, apparently. Damn sad.
      When did they do that?
    1. buggsy2's Avatar
      buggsy2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zokunei View Post
      When did they do that?
      iOS 7 was shown to developers and the biggest buzz here and elsewhere is the new "flat" look by Jonny Ives…which is suspiciously like Microsoft's look. No mention of new functionality, and why would there be? Ives is all about eye candy.
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Quote Originally Posted by buggsy2 View Post
      iOS 7 was shown to developers and the biggest buzz here and elsewhere is the new "flat" look by Jonny Ives…which is suspiciously like Microsoft's look. No mention of new functionality, and why would there be? Ives is all about eye candy.
      Are you referring to the iOS 7 concept videos?
    1. mustard05's Avatar
      mustard05 -
      My phone batt (4s) was significantly drained while that App was installed on my phone. I say significant because the 3 days the App was installed I had to charge my phone twice throughout each day. Now the App is deleted all is back to normal. By normal, I mean the normal crappy battery life
    1. Breezy215's Avatar
      Breezy215 -
      Oh it definitely killed my battery!!! My fully charged battery was on 32% in about 3 1/2 hrs. That's ridiculous!!! It's usually only on like 60-70%, smh DELETED!
    1. towboattrash34's Avatar
      towboattrash34 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mustard05 View Post
      My phone batt (4s) was significantly drained while that App was installed on my phone. I say significant because the 3 days the App was installed I had to charge my phone twice throughout each day. Now the App is deleted all is back to normal. By normal, I mean the normal crappy battery life
      Just 2 times in 3 days. Come on!!!!! I have to charge mine iPhone 5.. 2 to 3 x a day. And I don't have that app.
    1. mustard05's Avatar
      mustard05 -
      Quote Originally Posted by towboattrash34 View Post
      Just 2 times in 3 days. Come on!!!!! I have to charge mine iPhone 5.. 2 to 3 x a day. And I don't have that app.
      Re-read my post slowly.
    1. CZroe's Avatar
      CZroe -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Bouchard View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by CZroe View Post
      The real issue is that iOS provides no way to disable the status bar indicator on a per-app basis. Fix this, Apple.
      There is a reason for that. It's an indicator. It's there to indicate that your location is being used. Hiding an indicator would defeat the purpose of having it in the operating system.

      I'm sure a jailbreak tweak will be out to address this, but don't expect for a second that Apple would remove that for UI/UX reasons.
      There's also a reason I said it the way I said it. Some users trust certain apps and don't care when/if it's running in the background but they still want the indicator to tell them when something unexpected is using location resources. A per-app ignore setting would fix that.

      The "purpose" of having that information is canceled out when information you don't want hides the information you do. If I don't want to know when Google Now is using it but I do want to know when something else is, a per-app setting serves the "purpose" better than the current method.

      Quote Originally Posted by Donnutt View Post
      Wow. Really? Google makes an app that constantly tracks you day and night and you not only embrace it but tell Apple to hide your location icon? I for one want my phone to tell me if location services are on... How has the icon never been a problem before but now that the almighty google made an app that did this it's suddenly Apple's fault???
      People's stupidity baffles me...
      I didn't "embrace" anything and that's not what I said. Apple's own iOS geofencing doesn't constantly have the indicator up there but the Google Now app has to for a lot of the same functionality. You, the user, should be able to suppress the indicator if you want to. This can actually make things MORE secure because having it always show for an app you trust makes it very hard to know when another app is using it.
    1. Moosestache's Avatar
      Moosestache -
      Quote Originally Posted by buggsy2 View Post
      No additional drain I notice. I'm running Carat from UC Berkeley (in App Store) and it hasn't flagged Google Now as a hog.

      I was just checking GN and thought, what a great app in both form and function. Wonderfully useful, clean and innovative design; flicking the cards away is fantastic.

      Meanwhile, what's Apple doing? Copying Microsoft's metro design and failing to provide any new functionality for anything, apparently. Damn sad.
      LOL do you understand what a concept video means?
    1. CZroe's Avatar
      CZroe -
      Quote Originally Posted by Moosestache View Post
      LOL do you understand what a concept video means?
      He's talking about the "flat design" news that came out before the concept video.