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This app could be killing your Pixel phone’s battery life

No smartphone is perfect, but more so than almost any other Android phone, Google Pixel devices seem to find themselves in the spotlight for bugs and software issues. That reputation is being reinforced once again as numerous Pixel owners report that one particular app — specifically, the Google app — is causing significant battery drain and overheating issues.

If you look at the r/GooglePixel subreddit and Google’s own Pixel Phone Help forums, you’ll find numerous people complaining about their Pixel devices experiencing unusually bad battery life and/or poor thermals. These complaints have been ongoing since earlier this month, and one Pixel owner also reached out to Engadget to voice their concerns about what’s happening. When looking through all these complaints, they all seem to come back to the Google app being the culprit.

The Google app is wrecking Pixel battery life

Pixe 7a home screen.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

One user on r/GooglePixel reported that their Pixel 6 Pro and their wife’s Pixel 6 had been “overheating and using battery doing literally nothing since yesterday.” They also claimed that the phones were “losing 20% battery in under an hour without using it.”

Another Pixel owner on Google’s support forums reports similar problems, with their Pixel 7 showing a significant decrease in battery life and the Google app accounting for 28% of their phone’s total battery usage. The person who contacted Engadget appears to have a similar issue, as they shared a screenshot that shows the Google app hogging up 14% of their Pixel’s battery. They also report that their phone is “still very hot,” even after rolling back to an older version of the Google app.

And the complaints keep piling on the more you dig through these reports. Someone else on Google’s support forums says their Pixel 7 has been “hot” with “terrible battery life all of the sudden [and] Google and Android taking up [a] huge percent of the battery usage.”

Google is rolling out a fix

Google Pixel 7a showing exterior
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

This all sounds pretty bad! Thankfully, Google does have a fix for what’s going on.

In a statement sent to Digital Trends, a Google spokesperson said the following:

“A recent Google App backend change unintentionally resulted in a subset of Android devices experiencing accelerated battery drain. We rolled out a fix shortly after becoming aware of the issue, and impacted users should see their devices return to normal behavior immediately. This fix does not require an app update.”

While certainly frustrating to have this issue in the first place, it is good to see Google act so quickly on getting a fix rolled out to users. Now, here’s to hoping something similar doesn’t happen again — especially when the Pixel Tablet and Pixel Fold hit store shelves later next month.

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Joe Maring
Section Editor, Mobile
Joe Maring is the Section Editor for Digital Trends' Mobile team, leading the site's coverage for all things smartphones…
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