November 19, 2012
Android 4.2 Battery Issues Mar Update
Android 4.2 arrived for the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7, bringing with it some great features that keep Android as the most advanced mobile operating system around.
But getting there wasn’t a carefree ride. Before playing with the new settings menu, lock screen widgets and other goodies, I spent a full day trying to diagnose a battery problem that made my Galaxy Nexus virtually useless.
After downloading the over the air update, my phone jumped up in temperature about 900 degrees. it the began to rapidly lose battery life, going from 50 percent down to 10 percent in about one hour.
Worse yet, connecting the phone to a computer via USB for charging was to no avail. The battery continued to drain and then died.
It wasn’t until I could connect it to a wall charger later that I was able to recharge the phone. By then I had hit the XDA developer forums to find other Galaxy Nexus having the same issue.
The main culprit was the Exchange services. Looking at the battery usage in settings (a very useful function in Android) I found it to be using a disproportionate portion of battery life. By disabling the process and then deleting the account I was able to nix the battery drainage.
Even after adding the same Exchange account, the issue appears to be fixed. Others posting on help forums had contacted Google for support, to be told the company was aware of the problem but did not yet have a solution.
Besides battery issues, the other hiccup getting attention is the disappearance of December when attempting to add a birthday to a contact. High-profile bugs are often with an operating system update, though the two that have been reported may make life troublesome for Nexus owners.
Fortunately for most on Android they won’t see these issues; only Google Nexus phones and tablets are getting 4.2. Other devices will wait for carrier approval first.
Problems with the operating system is one area that doesn’t quite match up to the iOS experience. If you have problems with your iPhone or iPad you can go any time into an Apple Store and get advice. If you are under warranty, even better – Apple has a pretty liberal policy about swapping out your device for a replacement at no charge during the first year of ownership.
However, getting help with Android involves either contacting Google’s help line or heading back into a wireless carrier store (never a great experience).
While the Android experience is great, some technical know-how and patience is certainly required.
Image Credit: Derek Walter