Hot on the heels of Google adding Now to its iOS app, a handful of users began complaining that the app update made their iPhone and iPad batteries drain more quickly. Questions arose, was Google Now slurping too much juice?
Google has responded that iOS battery life doesn't have anything to do with Google Now. The Web giant sent a statement to CNET giving a bit more explanation as to why the battery draining allegations were false.
Reports that Google Now on iOS drains battery life are incorrect. We understand people's concern about seeing the Location Services icon stay on when they use Google Now. Many apps that keep the icon on actually do drain the phone's battery because they require very accurate location. (For example, some apps have to run your GPS all the time during navigation to keep you from missing your turn.) This update to the Google Search app is built very differently: it uses cell towers and wifi hot spots for much lower battery impact.
We extensively tested Google Now on iOS for months and didn't see reports of significant battery impact -- we would encourage you to try it in the Google Search app for a few days and we don't expect you to see significant impact on your battery. If you are seeing a problem, please do tell us (just tap feedback in the app settings). We take user feedback very seriously.
Just like on Android, Google Now on iOS is built to give users information before they even ask for it. Whether it's the current temperature outside, what the commute looks like to and from work, favorite sports scores, or the current price of a particular stock, Google Now tracks all of this without users having to constantly tell it what to do. This information is then displayed in the form of cards that users can swipe through from the bottom of the app.
This complex of an app seems like it'd take its toll on mobile battery life, but Google appears to be adamant that minimizing battery use is part of this whole app experience.