You know, it’s starting to look like Apple may have been on to something with the whole prohibiting third party apps from running in the background thing. While the iPhone isn’t exactly known for its stellar battery life, Apple could at least be certain that apps weren’t drawing more power than they needed by constantly running in the background. And while iPhone OS 4.0 will support allowing some apps to run while you’re doing other things with your phone, there will be a limited set of APIs for multitasking, which should help keep energy consumption down.
Google Android, on the other hand, lets developers run pretty much willy nilly. The up side is that users can quickly switch between any running application. The down side, apparently, is that there are no real limitations keeping apps from constantly running in the background, using your phone’s radio and other hardware, and running down your battery.
Speaking at an event this week, Google co-founder Larry Page basically said that Android phone should be able to get at least all-day battery life. And if that’s not happening, Page blames third party apps that are running constantly in the background.
The answer is basically to develop apps that do a better job of managing how they use the radio transmitter and receiver. But it doesn’t sound like Google is planning to make anyone do that anytime soon.