Android L brings 'Project Volta' for improved battery life

Just like major initiatives before it like Project Butter, Android L brings a new project called "Project Volta" to improve battery life in the latest version of Android. Project Volta is an umbrella name for several improvements in Android L, including optimizations of subsystems, better display of battery usage, a new job scheduler and of course a new Power Saver mode.

A new app called "Battery Historian" will give users a better idea of what's using battery on their phone, giving a true representation of what was draining battery throughout the day so they can take action. On the developer side, a new Job Scheduler API can keep the device asleep a higher percentage of the time, then schedule tasks to run at more opportune times such as when it is charging.

Battery Saver mode in Android L, similarly to what Samsung and HTC are doing in their latest software suites, shuts down unnecessary processes, slows refresh rates, slows down the CPU and even cuts down on background data to extend battery. Google says that Battery Saver can extend battery by up to 90 percent if it is used for a full day on a Nexus 5.

Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

  • Can't wait Posted via Android Central App
  • Awesome! Not that Android has terrible battery life, but I can always appreciate squeezing more life out of my 2300mAh battery.
  • I'm guessing you don't use a nexus device? :p Posted via Android Central App
  • I use a nexus device and my battery life is just fine. Individual mileage may very. :p
  • My N5 battery isn't terrible but could definitely be better. Posted from my Nexus 5 via Android Central App
  • It depends. It's usually okay but it can get bad some days but 90% longer is a big deal. AC App via Nexus 5
  • My nexus 5 has fantastic battery life, no clue what you're talking about.
  • Hmm, my N4 probably won't officially get this, but it and it's siblings definitely need it! Posted via Android Central App
  • If you root it and use Greenify .. you'll get the same benefit. :)
  • Nice glad to see this stuff coming into the mainstream...
  • Anything that doesn't cut out or delay the features of your phone is a welcome improvement. But anything that starts to reduce your phone's actual functionality is not a smart way to increase battery life. If you start doing that, then the battery was too small.
  • Sometimes you're stuck in a situation (like an area with bad reception) for a long period of time, and stuff like that can make sure that at least your phone is still operational, even if it means you might not get your emails the very second they come in. A gimped, functional device is better than a device with a dead battery in some situations.
  • Extremely excited for this especially because my biggest gripe with my phone is the not-so-upto-scratch battery life. Since the I9300 is not gonna get any more official updates, I'm hoping that this is carried on into custom ROMs by developers. Posted from my de-TouchWized Samsung Galaxy S3 running SlimKat 4.4.2
  • Was not excited until up to 90% that's a ridiculous amount of savings. That could be what android needs to get all day battery.
  • You don't get all day battery life? Probably need a new phone. Any new phone will get all day performance, even under moderately heavy use.
  • I have the LG g2 and it is supposed to have great battery life... I usually have to charge it after lunch!
  • I have a nexus 5
  • Maybe in your world. I have to charge my phone everyday after I get home from work. I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.
  • Depending on device and outside factors (signal strength, etc), you should be getting a good 12-16 hours of moderate use right now. Key things to check are 1) make sure that your app sync'ing is "realistic". By default, Facebook syncs every 15 minutes. Most people probably don't need that. I set mine to 1 hour.
    2) same for email. it even offers "peak" and "off-peak" syncing. Got my work account set to "push" for peak times, and 2 hours for "off peak".
    3) turn off sync on stuff you don't use, like stock tickers
    4) make sure you aren't leaving your screen brightness on max 24-7. That's a huge battery killer that I see people doing all the time. if you don't like the way the "Auto-Brightness" works on your phone, check out the app "Lux" in the Play Store. It will replace the default auto-brightness on your device with a configurable one. You can define how bright you want the screen to be in different environments. For me, the auto-brightness was way too bright in a lot of low-light situations, so Lux was a huge saver. Anytime the screen brightness seems "off" in a certain situation, tell Lux what you want the screen brightness to be, and it uses a logarithmic scale to determine brightness around that sample. There is a free and paid version. Free version only allows like 3 different samples. Here's a link to the paid version.
  • I do all these things ans on a good day I'll go from 7 until 5 or 6. On a real good day I'll get 4 hours screen time, but I've been having a lot of battery drain issues. I think I may have to factory rest my phone.
  • I'm going to recommend you check out an app called System Panel in the play store. The $3 version will let you track cpu usage and battery stats going back up to 1 week. Install that, turn on device monitoring, and you'll be able to track down exactly what is using the juice.
  • I thought they said 90 minutes not 90 percent when you have power saving on.
  • It's 90 minutes I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.