The other day I grabbed my phone and noticed battery saving mode was on. Odd because I had 98% battery life left. I didn’t think much of it and just clicked it off. Well after reading this article by Mashable, it all makes sense.
According to the article, Google used its ability to remotely change a person’s settings in the background. No email, text, or notification was sent whatsoever. This only affected Google Pixel phones (Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL).
I have stated numerous times how much of a fan I am of Google phones. I have watched Google go from nexus, to planning on scrapping the program, and blossoming to what we are seeing now in the Pixel 2 XL. Yes, Google still have some improvements I would like to see. But overall I have been on the side of Google. On this issue, I have a bone to pick with Google.
I am not going to pretend I am surprised that Google has such ability. In fact I would lean more on being surprised if they didn’t. My issue is the fact that Google can remotely change any setting on my phone and not let me know. This opens up a number of concerns I have.
Google’s response: “[Some] of you may have noticed that battery saver turned on automatically today,” read the post. “This was an internal experiment to test battery saving features that was mistakenly rolled out to more users than intended. We have now rolled battery saver settings back to default. Please configure to your liking. Sorry for the confusion.”
To echo a post from a member of the above Reddit, if a customer was enrolled in the beta program that this is understood. But for everyone else this just violates privacy. Customers should be able to opted out from Google’s remote interference. If we wanted decisions made for us we would have chosen Apple.
I really have an issue with this. And honestly, this could come into play when I make my next few phone purchases.