Many Android users can relate to the frustration of dealing with poor resource management caused by bloatware or unwanted pre-installed apps. These preinstalled apps not only clutter the device but also impact the system performance and ultimately the user experience. It becomes especially noticeable in entry-level devices as they often get more pre-installed apps than the pricier models and have fewer system resources.
The good news is that Android 14 seems to address this longstanding resource management issue by introducing a dedicated feature designed to manage it efficiently, potentially enhancing both battery life and overall system performance. Back in October last year, Dave Burke, the VP of Engineering for Android talked about some significant performance gains that came as a result of a smart control on cached processes. This is also expected to be one of the reasons for the improved thermal management of the Google Pixel 8 Pro.
Mishaal Rahman delves into the details of this Android 14 feature (via Wccftech), highlighting its ability to reduce memory and battery usage specifically for pre-installed applications. The operating system conducts a scan of system partitions during the device’s boot-up process. If Android 14 detects an app with “exported launcher activity” in this scan, it will place the app in a “STOPPED” state until the user actively opens it. This mechanism ensures that preloaded apps remain dormant, consuming minimal system resources until the user initiates their launch.
The success of the resource management feature in Android 14 will depend on the inclusion of apps in the allowlist
Described by Google as a feature that “significantly reduces the system resource usage,” this innovation has the potential to address long-standing concerns about bloatware’s impact on device performance. Google plans to incorporate this feature into the Android Open Source Project, allowing all Android Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) the option to opt-out. OEMs can even create an allowlist, designating specific preloaded apps that are necessary for a proper system operation to consume system resources while the rest remains “STOPPED”. Rahman notes that certain stock Google apps are already part of the allowlist in the Google Mobile Services bundle provided to various OEMs.
While the implementation of this feature depends on how OEMs choose to integrate it, its potential benefits could bring about significant improvements in the behavior of Android phones running Android 14 and future versions. Nonetheless, the success of this feature depends on widespread adoption and the inclusion of apps by OEMs in the allowlist.