Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
- Google and Samsung promise consistent and reliable app background behavior in One UI.
- These changes are promised to come into effect with One UI 6.0 based on Android 14.
- The background services of your favorite apps will work reliably with the upcoming update and will not randomly terminate.
The foundation of Android is built on freedom and choice, which is reflected in the way OEMs can take open-source Android and customize it to their customer’s needs through Android UX skins. A side effect of this approach is wildly inconsistent behavior for foreground and background apps and services. Google is now taking a step towards resolving this inconsistency as it has announced a deeper partnership with Samsung for the forthcoming Android 14-based One UI 6.0 update.
App developers and end users have long been dissatisfied with how some OEMs can be very aggressive in the way they treat background services. Apps like instant messaging apps and others often get killed in the background, causing users to miss important messages and more. It’s a bad experience for everyone, compounded by how different this behavior can be between the different UX skins present in the Android ecosystem.
Google wants to make sure APIs that control how apps work in the background function predictably and consistently across the ecosystem. To that end, the company has announced a partnership with Samsung to ensure that app foreground services will work the same way on One UI 6.0 as they do on Android 14.
Samsung states the following in the announcement:
To strengthen the Android platform, our partnership with Google has resulted in a unified policy that we expect will create a more consistent and reliable user experience for Galaxy users. Since One UI 6.0, foreground services of apps targeting Android 14 are guaranteed to work as intended, as long as they are developed according to Android’s new foreground services API policy.
This is great news for app developers. As long as app developers build the app to the correct specifications and follow Google’s recommended best practices, they can expect the apps (and their relevant background and foreground services) to run reliably on One UI 6.0.
Oddly enough, Google’s announcement mentions Samsung as the “first partner.” If we’re allowed to read between the lines, it suggests that more Android OEMs could get on board in the future.
Does your phone aggressively close background apps?
Part of the reason iOS is receiving high praise is the consistent software experience across the lineup. While the same wouldn’t be a fair comparison given the sheer amount of Android devices out there, every step towards achieving a consistent and predictable experience would be appreciated by app developers and end users alike.
Android 14 includes a slew of under-the-hood changes that work towards this future. We hope to learn more at Google I/O.