December Feature Drop introduced a trio of smart features to better optimize Pixel usage. Adaptive charging, which causes the Pixel to charge slowly overnight to preserve the health of the battery, is the most important, but there are key requirements to make it work.
Adaptive charging helps maintain battery health over time by dynamically controlling how fast a Pixel device charges. Just plug in your phone at night, set an alarm, and Adaptive Charging will work magic.
This feature charges your phone regularly for several hours instead of working as fast as possible to reach 1
Adaptive Charging is available on Pixel 4 / XL, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5, and helps you extend the battery so that it can better maintain its original capacity while owning that device.
It can be enabled / disabled manually from Settings> Battery> Adaptive Battery> Adaptive Charging, while Google will notice when it is active at the bottom of the Ambient / Always-on Display. From Google’s description, all users need to (1) charge at night and (2) have an alarm.
A Google Support Document contains specifications for both points. Your phone must start charging after 9 pm, while the alarm must be set between 5-10
Important: When you charge the phone after 9pm, with an active alarm set to 5-10, the phone uses adaptive charging. Otherwise, the phone charges normally.
It should be in line with most people’s schedules, but there are always edge cases, such as those who work at night and sleep during the day. Meanwhile, it is also an obstacle for those who get up very early or go without alarms on the weekends.
As such, Google setting specific hours is an injury. In comparison, Apple’s optimized battery charging works more generally by predicting when an iOS device “will be connected to a charger for a long time.”
In theory, Google should be explicitly aware of your alarm so that the feature can work at any time, not just at night. Hopefully, Google Adaptive Charging will expand to work on the schedule for more Pixel owners in the future.
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