Android M app standby feature – automatic idle for unnecessary apps


Android M is almost upon us and its features are more talked about than ever. One of the more interesting options you will have come Android 6.0 is the app standby feature that will allow individual unused apps to shut down in order to save energy.

Android M logo

What DOES app standby do to your apps?


This feature will discipline the apps you don’t use very much and it will kick in after a few days when you didn’t interact with said apps. On Android M, an app will be marked as idle if one of the following things have happened in recent past:

  •   The app is explicitly launched by the user.
  • The app has a process currently in the foreground (either as an activity or foreground service, or in use by another activity or foreground service).
  • The app generates a notification that users see on the lock screen or in the notification tray.
  • The user explicitly asks for the app to be exempt from optimizations, via Settings.


If an app becomes idle, it will stop using network connectivity and it will not sync anymore. These standby restrictions stop when you power up your device and if you don’t, the apps get a daily chance of syncing.


If you put up a high-priority Google Cloud Messaging Alert the standby apps will get some network connectivity time. Android M app standby will be found in the Inactive apps menu in developer settings at the moment.


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