Google Said to be Suspending Nexus S ICS Update Due to High CPU Usage and Battery Life Bug



Google began rolling out the Nexus S ICS update in several regions a short time ago but it seems they’ve already had to suspend the upgrade for an issue that is affecting battery life.

Alongside abnormal battery drain users are seeing high spikes of CPU usage, two things that could be directly related. If you’ve gotten a notification that the upgrade was available but you have since been unable to apply it, don’t worry – you’re not crazy.

Now is as good a time as any to mention that Galaxy Nexus users have also been experiencing less-than-normal battery drainage for quite some time. Many believe it to be a kernel driver issue and is causing the OS to keep the device awake (this doesn’t necessarily mean the screen has to be on) which causes excessive battery drain.

I personally have been seeing half the awake time as overall up time (for instance, 4 hours on battery gives me 2 hours of awake time even if I’m not using the device more than 10 minutes throughout that period) on my Galaxy Nexus. Compared to other devices this most certainly is an anomaly. We’re not sure what’s going on but Google is apparently aware and working on a fix.

For the time being, if any of you have a Nexus S receiving the official update would you please be kind enough to go into the Battery Usage menu and letting us know what your Android OS usage is showing after using it for some time? It would go a long way toward figuring out if this is an Ice Cream Sandwich issue in general or if the two devices are unrelated. [Google Code (Galaxy Nexus)Google Support, XDA via Droid Dog]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Hello again, Quentyn. I just wanted to let you know that I sent you an E-mail recently in regards to the contest coordinator and the Galaxy Nexus. I understand that you’re busy, but if you could get back to me when you have a chance, that would be great.


    1. Hi Spencer,

      My apologies for the delay. I’ll be in contact shortly.

  2. good. hope they fix this soon cause i’m gonna kick a monkey if i see another thread posted about this in the forums ;)

  3. I am running ICS 4.0.3 on my Nexus S and “Android OS” is the top battery drainer. It’s currently at 21%, with keep awake time of 1h20m after 9h30m of use from battery (with medium use).

    So to me, it’s likely to be an OS issue.

    1. interesting you point this out…..my primary battery drainer has been the screen (naturally). yesterday and this morning i see the Android OS rivaling the screen as the top drainer (mostly I do texting, email, some web browsing for work…nothing i would think is too taxing on the CPU or OS). i dunno.

      how did you get 4.0.3? i’m still on .2

      1. Are you on the Galaxy Nexus? Nexus S has 4.0.3 while as far as I know the Galaxy Nexus still have 4.0.2.

        1. yes i have the galaxy nexus…are they using guys for guinea pigs or what?

      2.  Yep same here..the first 2 days with ics I got 17-18 hours battery life and thought that my low battery life problem had been solved…Then suddenly today the os was using loads of battery and I got only 5- hours life ? I dont know what  happened?

  4. Manually updated to ICS on my Have noticed that ICS seams to hate Juice defender, crashes all the time now, and quite oftern it will turn data off and wont turn it back on when required, have to manually turn data back on, but i would have thought that was something App specific.  

    1. was facing this on 2.3.6. No issue on 4.0.3

      i posted this on the google mobile help forum also. but unfortunately got no help.

    2. Maybe Juice Defender hasn’t been updated for ICS yet?

  5. On my galaxy nexus I have been on Battery for 4h 51m, the screen has been on 38m 31s, the CPU total is 34m 2s and keep awake 1h 33m 47s

    Signal keeps dropping in and out as per a similar post – switching between 3g and 4g

    1. I had a signal issue on 2.3.6

      But haven’t noticed any on 4.0.3

  6. Got the ICS update on my Nexus S yesterday about this time. Not noticing any battery issues. OS using 22%. Keep awak time 1h, 1m, 52s. CPU total 3m, 3s. Am noticing slow screen rotations and some fairly serious 3G connection issues that I never had before. Phone is displaying a connection and activity but no data coming in or going out for several minutes at a time. Has occurred roughly 5-6 individual times in 24 hours I’ve been on ICS. 

  7. i have great battery life on my galaxy nexus it lasts me about 16 hrs without a charge and thats with constant game playing,fb and internet

    1. Constant, huh? :/

      1. He’s gotta be tired….16 hours of straight game playing, fb, and internet?

        Whew…let that men rest.

  8. also vs. my tbolt with constant charging 3-4 times a day

    1. currently mine is twice a day. overnight charging & then around 3 hours in the afternoon. have to use apps like juice defender to keep up the battery life.

  9. Quentyn,

    What is your source of this news?

    And will Google fix this same issue on Galaxy Nexus?

    Because this has been reported first as Galaxy Nexus issue with almost 600 users starred already:

    1. Check Google code issue no. 22878.

      I cannot post URL …

  10. In my Nexus S “Android OS” took 37% of batery, with CPU Total of 32 min and 3 hours and a half of keep awake with 5 and a half hours being the phone on. (https://plus.google.com/100612508592058272526/posts/LcLuCxyzQ5e)

    1. Hmm, only 15% on my Nexus.

  11. It might be related to a kernel bug that Phoronix discovered some time ago[1]…

    [1]: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=linux_31_power_regress&num=1

  12. Just for comparison, Android OS takes about 5% of my battery on good ol’ Froyo. something is definitely wrong.

  13. Well, I guess I’ll hold off buying a nexus till next year then. I really would like it if google would get its act together already. :-P

    Stuff like this is why apple is still being used. I really think that if there were more pride in the quality of the android os, these problems would be far fewer, and less of a problem for users.

    Google needs to implement some serious quality control measures. And soon! If what I suspect apple is doing, with it’s patent suits and the things I’ve been hearing from behind the scenes, become reality. Google will have one hell of a fight on it’s hands.

    1. Stuff like this is why apple is still being used. I really think that if there were more pride in the quality of the android os, these problems would be far fewer, and less of a problem for users. 

      Oh yeah? Like how Apple never had a problem with QC on the iPhone 4 with its antenna issue and the iPhone 4S battery drain? Oh wait, they had the same problem. Device launches sometimes have unexpected problems and no company is immune from them, especially not Apple.

      1. People just like to complain. Nobody can be happy anymore.

    2. Ummm … GTMF the battery issues that the 4S has had since it was released and that were apparently sort of fixed with the 5.0.1 update but didn’t solve it completely and have a nice can of shut the **** up. kthanx. :)

  14. Well least they address the issue in a timely manor, unlike htc and Verizon LOL.

  15. i am showing 20% OS on my Nexus S

    1. I am showing OS 17% CPU total 6m 17s Keep awake 2h 59m 17s

  16. I have definitely been noticing this since I upgraded on Saturday.

    Right now my battery is at 64%, 4 hrs on battery, usage=30% screen, 27% Android OS, 13% Android System, 7% Gmail (Gmail is basically all I’ve done on my phone today)

  17. My Nexus S has gotten ICS, and is behaving as the article states.  With my normal usage patterns, I’m seeing about 30% battery usage on Screen, 30% for OS, and then the rest.  Usually it’s 50% Screen, and OS is somewhere low in the list (<10%) depending on if I've been using a single app or multiple ones that day.

    1. True…with Gingerbread, Android OS used to be somewhere at the bottom 3 or 5 in the list

  18. Now are these updates only going out for the ATT Nexus S or both Nexus S and Nexus S 4G? I just want ICS!!!!

  19. I have a friend who is on his 4th IPhone 4s ,each as bad as the last buggy as hell and with terrible battery life ,everytime he complains they swop it out..still not working correctly.So give Google a break and don’t believe the hype about apple 

    1. blind hatred goes a long way to ignoring facts.

      1. What “facts” do you speak of? The dude’s friend has literally had 4 iPhone 4S’s all with a visible issue. How is that blind hatred? My boss also had three iPhone 4’s, all brand new devices and all gave him problems of different kinds, from syncing (or lack of), battery, broken mic, etc. Apple makes a decent product, but they’re not immune from problems either.

  20. Android OS is at the top of usage with 29% and a keep awake time of 3h 20m after 12h 38m on battery. Applied the update about 2 hours after the initial release.

  21. I applied the ICS update on saturday. Haven’t noticed a drastic decline in battery life.

    As of now, 5 and a half hours since i plugged the phone of the charger, almost 60% on wifi,27% screen, 31% android OS usage, 5m 35s CPU total, Keep awake 4h 9m.

    The cpu usage seems to be high but have had an app or two running in the background like the music app or endomondo app.
    Will take note of this & respond tomorrow also if i an able to notice any such thing.Is there a possibility that those who have already updated their phone will be able to rectify this ? Will they be getting another “rectified” update OTA ?

    Please inform if you get to know this.


  22. 4min35s of keep awake out of 4hours. 5% of battery drain. Everything works smoothly except bad 3G reception.

  23. See my pic attached
    Nexus S i9020 with ICS 4.0.3

  24. My battery drain seems about like it was with 2.3.6…not that that is a good thing, but it doesn’t seem worse. However, look at that “Keep awake” time vs. CPU total. Yikes! This is just with some light-moderate use this morning. (Nexus S, I9020 on T-Mo)

  25. Here’s what I know.  I went from 7:30a.m. until 11:30 p.m. without charging yesterday.  That’s with above average use because the phone is new so I’m constantly playing with it.  The battery is fine.  Turn 4G off when you’re not streaming video or downloading a large file and you’ll be fine.  Verizon’s LTE drains the battery…period.  There’s no way around that at the moment regardless of which phone you buy.
    Take it from a person who’s not just regurgitating rumors:

    Battery life and reception are fine if you don’t abuse 4G.  The only real issues I’ve found are that some apps act funny because they’re not optimized for ICS yet; Transition from portrait to landscape and vice versa is slow (don’t know why); Camera isn’t amazing.

    That’s pretty much all I’ve found after almost a week of playing with this device non-stop.  The G-Nex is king right now so, for whatever reason, people feel the need to try to bash it.  The phone is absolutely amazing!  Do not hesitate to buy it just because you hear some random rumors about poor battery life.  I can only speak for myself, but I’ve experienced none of the signal or battery issues with my device.

  26. 38% on my Galaxy Nexus. Higher than screen usage…

  27. Is this valid? I understand some people are having issues but I don’t see this story posted anywhere else.

  28. I have a different battery issue with my Verizon GNex. If I use the charging cable that came with the phone, all is well. If I try to use any other charger that I have laying around while the phone is on, it doesn’t recognize the charger. If I turn the phone off and plug in the non-Samsung charger, it indicates that the battery is charging but doesn’t actually charge the phone. I am hoping this is a software issue and it will be fixed with 4.0.3. I have seen others having this issue in the forums.

    1. Update: Figured out the charger issue. The charger I was using was 0.7 Amps while the Nexus requires a 1.0 Amp charger. 

      My Android CPU usage: 45% Screen Usage: 29% on LTE GNex

  29. I’m definitely having this issue on my GNex, I hope Google gets it together and fixes it.

  30. I got some pics from 3 different Nexus phones with ICS:

    Galaxy Nexus 4.0.2 (mine)

    Nexus S 4.0.3

    Nexus S 4.0.3 (also)

    Not always the same result but the Nexus S seems to always have high Media Server usage and sometimes high Android OS but the Galaxy Nexus always has high Android OS usage.

  31. UPDATE: My NS has been on battery now for about 3hrs40min and is at 62%. Even though Android OS is taking 40% of the battery, this doesn’t seem any worse than before up upgraded to 4.0.3. Also, “Keep awake” is at 5hrs, which is longer than it’s been on the battery. This total seems to be growing QUICKER the long it has been unplugged. Has anyone done a real test to see if this is actually just a measurement issues with the battery app? Maybe the stats are just wrong? (FYI, ignore the image below. I seem to have attached it accidentally and can’t remove it.)

  32. i9020T.  Keep awake 6h 30m. On battery 9h 89. Android OS 39% Screen 30%. 
    Relative to  2.3.6 Android OS % is six fold higher and Screen percentage used to be 50-79%.

  33. I had a battery issue with Android 2.3.6 on my Nexus S. But it has been fixed with Android 4.0.
    Android OS = 21%   /   CPU Total = 1m50s      /      Keep awake = 52m 14s

  34. nexus s, manually applied ics. 2d 16h 13m 48s on battery, at 61%. android os 10% (fourth rank, after wi-fi, cell standby, phone idle); cpu total 5m 39s, keep awake 1h 14m 5s.

    1. is this after fully charged? or have you been charging through out this period and unplugging before phone is fully charged?

      1. After a full charge. The “on-battery” counter resets when I charge (which I do, as a rule, when I notice that it’s under 50%).

  35. But after the ICS upgrade I found an issue: Google+ Instant Upload doesn’t upload photos and videos anymore 

  36. FUCK YOU GOOGLE for releasing shitty hardware phones like the Nexus S. 

  37. My nexus s i9020 doesn’t seem to have behaved abnormally after applying the OTA ICS update, only 3m21s of CPU total and 1h11m56s of Keep awake in 12h16m8s on battery

  38. Now we have google’s attention on the battery drain, hopefully they’ll be pushing out the update with 3.03/3.04 for the Galaxy Nexus soon

  39. I think I’ve fixed this problem on my Nexus S! I had troubles with battery life when I’ve  updated on Friday. But after I’ve removed Google+ widget from screen the battery behave like it was on 2.3. 

    Guys please try if it’s helps.
    The reason I think is that this widget pinging Google+ for updates.I don’t think it is using Google push protocol for updates, only for getting notification… 

  40. Not had battery issues on my i9020T. Battery is currently at 19%, been on the battery for 1d, 8h, 17m, screen is the highest at 31%, Android OS is second at 25% with a CPU total of 10m 2s, keep awake 4h 15m 31s.

  41. My Nexus S has an OS usage of 31% as of right now.

  42. Installed ICS over the weekend on my Nexus S.  Battery currently at 65% after 7h33m on battery.  Android OS at 26% with 2m43s CPU total, 1h51m33s Keep Awake.

  43. I have the Nexus S GSM version on T-Mobile. So I’m running 3G. My battery with minimal use will go down to 30% in 4-5 hours. That’s less than half of what I had before the update to 4.0.3. My usage shows the screen and Android OS using most of the battery even though the screen is off and I’m not using the phone most of that time. I can see the batter drop drastically from just checking emails and facebook for 5 min. I thought this was an issue with the update, glad to see Google is aware of this now.

  44. Well i guess this bug is quite serious. Kept an eye on the usage today & found that the battery life has indeed dropped & the “Android OS” utilization & CPU awake time is really really high. Checked the same on a friend’s Sensation XE & two other Wildfires. 

    Here are the stats:
    7h 3m 9s on battery & only 54% battery left.
    Android OS 30%, Screen 26%
    CPU awake 3m 48s, Keep awake 1h 53m 24s
    Other apps FB 15%, Twitter 3%, Juice Defender 3%

    Snaps attached.

  45. Charged the phone to the max in the evening & the results were similar :(

    Snaps attached.

  46. i9023 
    Battery at 71%
     4hr 15min on battery 
    Screen taken 53%
    Android OS 18%


  48. I’ve been running ICS on my Nexus S for a couple weeks now, and Android OS always is at the top or tied with the screen as far as battery usage goes.  That being said, I still always get a full day of battery life.  Sometimes I have to charge it a few hours before bed if I’m on it an obnoxious amount, but that’s after 16ish hours of heavy usage.

  49. Same problem here. Got my Nexus S for about a year, and since the update the battery drain has skyrocketed! It used to last for 2 to 2 and a half days and now I’m lucky if I get 10 hours out of a full charge…Android OS is always on 1st on battery usage.

  50. charged my phone till 12:30am .
    7 AM 55% of the battery was drained . cpu usage high
    the phone was in airplane mode during these 6.5 hours

  51. Even if I use my Samsung Galaxy S2 only as a phone.
    Screen turned off, no calls no data transfer, no connectivity or gps turned on.
    Android Os takes most battery.
    WHY ! ?
    I want a telephone, not a device that uses most battery to run Android Os without any further explanation.

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