Nokia smartphones’ passive-aggressive app killing ends with discontinuation of Evenwell

Besides shipping with locked bootloaders, one other thing that has irked advanced users of Nokia smartphones since they hit the Android platform has been the passive-aggressive manner in which they handle processes.

Since the bulk of HMD Global’s smartphone lineup is geared towards the budget segment of the market, this is very visible in the various devices offered especially in the entry-level and lower mid-range categories.

You launch an application, use it for a while then a new notification prompts you to switch to another. By the time you’re done with it and get back to the initial app you were on, you discover that the app simply restarts, instead of picking up from where you left. At times that is the case, at other times that isn’t the case. Does that sound familiar?

If it is then it is because you had come face to face with the solution HMD Global had deployed on its Nokia smartphones to deal with the resource-hungry monster that is Android. Given that Nokia smartphones run on almost “pure” versions of Android, there’s little in the way of customizations to ensure that battery use is kept in check, as we often see on the kind of overlays that are on smartphones from the likes of Oppo, Tecno, Xiaomi, Huawei and others.

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Evenwell, as the solution has been known as, was HMD Global’s way of trying to rein on Android’s battery management. Much as Google has previously tried various ways to tame the big battery drain occasioned by the continuous demand for system resources by better managing the said resources (remember Project Svelte?), before Android Pie, a lot of that was still up in the air.

With the release of Android Pie came Adaptive Battery, a feature that built on Google’s efforts over the years by invoking the use of on-device machine learning to learn user behaviour, anticipating it and acting accordingly. As we noted in our look at Android Pie in its early days last year, “The operating system figures out the apps you will be using in the immediate future and those that you will be using later on to try and map out your needs, anticipate them and adapt.”

Given that HMD Global has rolled out Android Pie to almost its entire smartphone lineup, the company, through a posting on its community pages, notes that it has discontinued Evenwell so it won’t feature on new devices and “completely disabled it” on its older devices. Reason? “With Android 9 Pie’s adaptive battery feature, the need to have an alternate solution no longer exists.”

Have something that you believe I need to have a look at? Hit me up: echenze [at]