12-14 November 2020
UTC timezone

Brickless battery saving with Ubuntu Touch

14 Nov 2020, 17:30




Dalton Durst


On the Linux Desktop, we value always-on, always-connected, and always in-sync applications. Our data, discussions, and research must always be available to us. We must always be instantly notified of important changes to the state of our chats, computer, or the world around us. Until we shut the laptop lid. Once the lid is shut, the laptop can safely become a brick until the lid is opened again.

Your phone likely doesn't have the luxury of becoming a brick whenever you put it in you pocket. You expect that important changes to the world around you, whether targeted toward you specifically or people sharing your interests, will command your attention.

Meanwhile, you also expect your phone to last at least a whole workday of mixed use and sleep periods. It might have a more efficient processor and smaller screen than your laptop, but it also has a much smaller battery. There's no way your phone would last all day if it was in the same "active" state that your laptop is with its lid open. But likewise, your phone doesn't become a brick as soon as it falls asleep. How?

Your phone isn't always active. It just fools you into thinking it is. As we move Desktop Linux further into form factors like tablets and candybar phones, we'll need to provide this illusion of continuous connectivity to more applications.

This talk is all about how Ubuntu Touch can manage calls, SMS, Telegram messages, news broadcasts, and infrastructure alerts while still providing multi-day battery life. We'll discuss the Ubuntu Touch forced application lifecycle and its exceptions, then take a look at how push notifications are critical to the illusion of continuous connectivity. We'll finish by talking about the future of push technology on Ubuntu Touch and abroad, especially where we need help in evaluating and producing new technologies based on Web Push standards.

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