Published: Fri, September 21, 2018
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Google accidentally remotely turned on battery saver for many Android Pie devices

Google accidentally remotely turned on battery saver for many Android Pie devices

Google has accidentally enabled the battery saver feature remotely on some phones running the latest Android 9.0 Pie.

The majority of phones affected were reported to be Google Pixel devices, but there were reports of other brands of phones having the battery saver feature suddenly enabled.

"This was an internal experiment to test battery-saving features that were mistakenly rolled out to more users than intended", the tech giant commented on Reddit. In a discussion on the Google Pixel subreddit, the official Google account confirmed the behavior, and said that it was accidental.

As well as reducing the phone's overall performance level, Battery Saver also prevents certain notifications coming through, which means impacted users could have missed critical messages from friends, family and work.

While numerous affected posters on Reddit described having a Google Pixel device, other brands of Android devices were also mentioned, including the Essential Phone, which was designed by one of the creators of Android.


Android Police, in an early report that has since been updated, initially theorized that the feature enablement might have been a bug.

'We have now rolled out battery saver settings back to default. "Sorry for the confusion". The notion that Google could remotely change settings on their smartphones was not well received, especially in instances when the phone's owner wasn't notified of the change first.

One Reddit user responded: "Yeah the whole "we'll fix it guys" is not gonna fly on this one".

When the people affected dived into settings, they saw it was set to turn on at 99% battery.

Both Google and Apple have "kill switches" that allow them to make changes to their smartphone software in the event of an emergency, but in this case, it was a test gone wrong. "What other changes are being made behind the scenes that may or may not be interfering with users' lives and or / feeding data to Google?"

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