One of the big new features in Android L is “Project Volta,” an initiative to improve battery life. This project is similar to “Project Butter” which made Android feel much smoother. We’re hoping Volta has a similar impact, and if early tests are any indication it seems to be making a big difference.
Under tightly controlled conditions many users have reported a 36% increase in battery life. These results don’t even use the new Battery Saver mode, which turns on when 15% of battery remains. Not all of the results were positive. Some users reported drastically worse battery life, but most of those results were due to apps like WhatsApp not being optimized for Android L.
Project Volta uses several new features to get this improved battery life. It has a new API that schedules minor tasks better, a “battery historian” for tracking what is using battery, and ART, the new runtime. Right now Android L is just a developer preview, but so far it seems Google has made some really great changes. Battery life is always an issue with smartphones. If Project Volta can do what it says we will be enjoying more time away from walls.