Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Nexus 5 battery drain on Android 6.0 Marshmallow


One of the improved features of Android 6.0 Marshmallow is improved battery life. Be it the Doze mode or the polishing of the rough edges of its predecessor, most people – at least the reviewers – seem to be noticing that their devices aren’t as thirsty for juice as they once used to. Unless you have a Nexus 5 or 6 that is.

I finally switched back the Nexus 5 couple of days ago and I immediately noticed how fast the battery of my phone drained. Today at work, I was down to the 30%s in no time. When I checked the battery status from the settings app, I notice something weird. The item that was using the highest percentage of battery was Wi-Fi. Why it is weird is because I did not have Wi-Fi enabled while I was away from work. So how could the Wi-Fi feature be responsible for draining the battery.

Battery status

Google search – ironically in this case – came to my assist. It appears that there is a feature called Wi-Fi scanning in Marshmallow which helps improve the location by letting system apps and services detect Wi-Fi networks any time. I am not sure if it really helps with anything, but all I know is that I am not getting my whole day battery life anymore.

You can turn this feature off from Settings → Location page. Once you are in this screen, tap on the three dots on the top right hand corner and tap on Scanning.

Location pageOption

You will see the following screen and you can turn off Wi-Fi scanning from there.

Wi-Fi scanning page

Now enjoy your longer battery life on your old Nexus 5/6 device.

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