Your favourite streaming application might be the root of all your battery woes. Mobile Enerlytics (a tech firm) recently discovered that Netflix running in the background was causing some significant battery problems on older Android phones.
Here’s what they discovered:
…we recently downloaded the Netflix app and started consuming video content on a Nexus 6 phone running Android 6.0.1. Soon after, we noticed significant battery drain of the phone when the phone was not in use, in some cases up to 20% if left unplugged overnight.
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Being curious, we filtered the user review of the Android Netflix app in the review tracking tool appbot (https://appbot.co/) to look for battery complaints. We found that we were not alone — the battery complaints from users had gone up significantly last year in May 2018 and was ongoing as of January 2019.
Mobile Enerlytics tested 5 different builds of the Netflix app and came to the following conclusion:
…We took a dive into the energy profiling output generated by Eagle Tester and compared the May release version 6.4.0 with the mid-April release version 6.1.0 of Netflix. What we found was that in steady state version 6.1.0 drains only up to 2 mA of current while it is idle in the background.
In contrast, Eagle Tester’s power timeline revealed that version 6.4.0 drains up to 300 mA of current while it is idle in the background.
The constant draw of power is due to a processing loop that results in Netflix constantly leaking battery even when sitting idle in the background. Fortunately, the problem only occurs in Android 6.0.1. Android’s Distribution Dashboards states that currently, 16.9% of Android devices are running Android 6.0 which means there’s a significant number of devices that could be affected.
How to fix the issues?
Well, it’s pretty simple. Update your Netflix application as the newest version of the app (v7.8) addresses the issues.