If you’ve looked under your battery usage settings lately, then you’ve probably noticed that “Google Services” take up a big chunk of your battery life usage.
You may be wondering – how much do I really need those Google services? Can’t I just turn them off and save 25% of my battery life?
Well, one Android user did exactly that. He posted his results over at the XDA Developers Forum. The results will surprise you (seriously).
The User Disabled All of Google’s Apps and Services
The user didn’t just disable the default Google services on his device. He didn’t even use a debloater tool, or disable stock settings. Instead, he went the extra mile and installed a version of Android without any Google apps or Google services (yes, you need a rooted device to do this).
The device he used was a Motorola Moto X 2014 (his daily driver did not have an unlocked bootloader, unfortunately, due to Verizon restrictions).
Finding Replacements for Google Apps
Of course, removing Google services from your device means removing critical features. To ensure the test was accurate, the user switched out common Google apps for the most popular alternative third party apps. Those apps include:
-Google Play Store: Amazon App Store, F-Droid, XDA Labs, APK Mirror, etc.
-Google Keep/Docs: Omni Notes
-Google Search App: Cortana
-Play Music: CM Music App
-Google+/YouTube/Maps: Gello Browser
Ultimately, although he found replacements for most of these apps, he cautioned that going without Google on an Android platform “is no small feat” and that there was a noticeable lack of functionality across the operating system.
The Battery Life Results
So how much battery life did he save by removing all Google apps from his device?
Here are the results in graph form. You can view the full images at the original post here.
Ultimately, the results were described as “not what I expected going into the experiment.” Some of the observations included:
-The runs with Google apps yielded more device wakeups, which was expected
-Google apps runs have a much more gradual slope
-The non-Google apps runs leveled off more frequently, although the screen-on drain was approximately the same
–Negligible difference in performance. Apps crashed more often on the Gapps runs (Hangouts was the primary culprit).
-Overall, the differences in battery life and overall performance were not significant
Is It Worth It to Remove All Google Apps?
When asked whether or not it was worth it to use an Android with absolutely no Google Apps, the author concluded that “the short answer is no”.
Battery life was mostly consistent across the Google apps and non-Google apps services, with the phone not lasting any longer with any particular method.
He did say the non-Google apps method was a great way to dissuade you from using your phone:
“It might be useful to live Sans Gapps if you are looking to limit yourself from using your phone on a vacation or something, but not much else. If I had to sum up the lack of functionality, I would say the experience is reminiscent of the feature phone days before the smartphone boom.”
Ultimately, we like to trash Google apps for taking up lots of performance and battery life – but in reality, they’re doing a job that’s pretty much equal to their competitors.