Steve Kovach/Business InsiderGoogle released a big update to its search app on iPhone this week to include its Google Now product, an intelligent assistant similar to Apple's Siri.
But a lot people are complaining that Google Now is hurting battery life because the app requires their iPhone's GPS to remain active to work properly, even when the app is closed.
The only way to fix the problem is to either disable the location function of the search app or delete the app entirely from your phone. However, disabling location on the app takes away some of the best features of Google Now, like the ability to monitor traffic conditions.
In an online forum discussing the issue, Googlers say the search app was designed to have minimal effect on your battery and actually uses Wi-Fi to determine your location more than regular GPS.
Update: Google reached out to us with a statement that backs up the one Googlers mentioned in the forum linked to above. A company spokesperson said the Google search app does not use the iPhone's GPS radio to track your location. It uses Wi-Fi and cell towers instead, which use less power.
Here's the full statement:
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.
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