In December, a new update for Google Pixel smartphones added in some new features. One of the most interesting features was Adaptive Charging, designed to allow the phone to charge slowly overnight to help preserve its battery health. The idea is to help preserve battery health over time by dynamically controlling how quickly a Pixel device charges.
The goal is to help the battery retain all of its original capacity for as long as possible. Adaptive Charging is available on the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 5. The setting can be manually enabled and disabled inside settings – battery – adaptive battery – adaptive charging. When active, there is a notification at the bottom of the ambient/always-on display.
Google pointed out when the feature was released that users need to charge their devices at night and have an alarm set. Recently, a Google support document surfaced that clarifies details on adaptive charging. The first caveat is that users have to start charging the device after 9 PM. The second caveat is that users must have an alarm that is set between 5 and 10 AM.
That means if you work odd hours and go to bed early and wake up before 5 AM, Adaptive Charging won’t be available to you. Reports also indicate if you have no alarm set for the weekend, adaptive charging won’t work. Having limitations on hours is certainly a downside for the new feature.
Apple has a similar feature called Optimize Battery Charging that predicts when the device will be connected to a charger for an extended period of time. While Google’s charging scheme will likely fit into most people’s schedules, there will be those unable to use it because of the restrictions. Presumably, Google fears people with weird sleep schedules may wake to find their device isn’t fully charged.