In order to preserve battery and to keep the performance of phones optimal, devices usually restrict how much activity an app is allowed to do in the background. This isn’t necessarily a decision made by Google as handset makers with their own skinned versions of Android can make those decisions as well.
For the most part, it’s a good thing in terms of battery and memory management, but sometimes it can feel a bit unfair, which is why Google has published a questionnaire in which they are asking developers if they feel that their app might have been unfairly restricted while running in the background.
This is because handset manufacturers sometimes have a whitelist of apps that are allowed to run in the background. This might be the result of a partnership between the developer and the OEM, but since those partnerships don’t always extend to smaller indie developers, some might feel that this could have a negative impact on the perceived usefulness of their app, especially if its background process keeps getting killed in favor of other apps.
This is what the questionnaire seeks to find out.
We’re not sure what Google plans to do with this data and if they will actually be able to do something about it. Presumably if there are enough complaints, Google might be forced to step in, but we’ll have to wait and see if this amounts to something or nothing.