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Google Pixel adaptive charging feature has a pretty weird quirk

A new Google Pixel feature that works to preserve battery health requires users to set an alarm within certain hours in order to work.

The feature, which arrived in the December feature drop for Pixel 4/XL, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 5 devices, is designed to aid the long-term health of the battery by charging it more slowly over night.

“Adaptive Charging helps preserve battery health over time by dynamically controlling how quickly a Pixel device charges,” Google says. “Just plug in your phone in the evening, set an alarm and the Adaptive Charging will work its magic.”

However, it seems to be triggered only when users have an alarm set to wake up the next morning. A Google support document spied by 9to5Google points out that the phone has to be charging after 9pm, with an alarm set between five and ten in the morning.

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It reads: “Important: When you charge your phone after 9 PM, with an active alarm set for 5–10 AM, your phone uses Adaptive charging. Otherwise, your phone charges normally.”

So, if you’re working nights, for example, and wish to charge your phone during the day you won’t be able to access this feature. Same goes if you just fancy a lie-in without some godawful alarm blaring at you for the other five days of the week.

Why Google sees the need to set the hours and the alarm requirement is unclear. Apple has an Optimised Battery Charging feature for iOS that predicts when the iPhone will be charging in order to prolong the battery health.

Apple explains: “When the feature is enabled, your iPhone will delay charging past 80% in certain situations. Your iPhone uses on-device machine learning to learn your daily charging routine so that Optimized Battery Charging activates only when your iPhone predicts it will be connected to a charger for an extended period of time. The algorithm aims to ensure that your iPhone is still fully charged when unplugged.”