Earlier this week, Google released the much anticipated Google Now update to its’ Google Search application. The app has been available on Android for a while now, and like myself, many users of iOS devices were happy to have a taste of what those guys were having. Few if any users expected an experience exactly akin to that of Android users, but even more so, no one expected a degradation in battery life.
The net has been buzzing about how Google Now’s location service is constantly running and draining battery life in iOS devices. I can’t say that I’ve experienced the same, but that’s likely due to me quickly disabling the location feature upon noticing the location icon constantly on, even after I exited the application.
So what does Google say?
Reports that Google Now drains battery life are incorrect. We understand people’s concern about seeing the Location Services icon stay on when they use Google Now. Many apps that keep the icon on actually do drain the phone’s battery because they require very accurate location. (For example a navigation app has to run your GPS all the time to keep you from missing your turn.) Google Now is built very differently: it uses cell towers and wifi hot spots for much lower battery impact.
We extensively tested Google Now on iOS for months and didn’t see reports of significant battery impact — we would encourage you to try it in the Google Search app for a few days and we don’t expect you to see significant impact on your battery. If you are seeing a problem, please do tell us (just tap feedback in the app settings). We take user feedback very seriously.
While the statement from Google is only semi-assuring, I can’t help but give the application another try, and actually see if it affects my battery life. What about you? Be sure to let us know what you’re experiencing using the application.