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A Google Messages glitch could be eating your battery

A fix is currently rolling out.

android messages icon
Image: KnowTechie

Noticed the battery on your Android phone draining more quickly than usual? You’re not alone, because a bug in Google Messages leads it to chew through your battery reserves.

First reported by 9to5Google, the bug keeps the camera on in the background, which increases the drain on your battery.

It all has to do with the quick share feature inside the Google Messages app; which enables you to send photos to your friends. When you open it to pull a photo from the gallery, it also opens a live view of your camera for immediate sharing.

That live view is supposed to close when Google Messages isn’t on screen. The bug means that sometimes it stays open even if Messages is running as a background task. That leads to increased battery drain, and also heat, which is never good for your smartphone.

google messages camera icon
Image: 9to5Google

9to5Google figured out what was happening by diving into the new privacy indicators included in Android 12. Those show that Google Messages was actively using the camera, even when it wasn’t in view.

Closing the app completely stops the bug from happening, so we recommend doing that once you’ve sent your message.

google messages permissions
Image: 9to5Google

You can also deny Google Messages from using the camera, by long-pressing on the Messages app, tapping the Info button, then tapping Permissions and denying the app access to the Camera.

You might not have to go through those preventative measures, however. Google told The Verge that the bug has been identified and fixed, and an update is rolling out now.

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