Anyone who is wondering why their phone has poor battery life since installing the KitKat update may not be alone. It seems that the issue is down to Skype and at the moment Google are working on a fix to stop the battery running down as there is a bug in the camera software on KitKat 4.4.2.
It seems that the bug runs in the background on KitKat handsets under the name of “mm-qcamera-daemon” and is causing handsets to lose battery or overheat.
Hundreds of owners of the Nexus 5 along with other Android devices have been reporting the issue on the Android Open Source Project Issue Tracker as in some cases the software uses half the battery and causes overheating.
In the past 48 hours Google have found a number of bugs and will be sending out a fix, but at the moment we don’t know when it will arrive. They also told owners of devices without the Nexus branding to contact their phone maker for a fix.
One Google AOSP member said “High power drain on non-Nexus devices is not something we can help with. If you have a Note, or any other non-Nexus device, you’ll have to reach out to your manufacturer.”
Owners of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 also complained about battery issues when running on Android 4.3.
“While the camera daemon process is named the same on many devices that use a Qualcomm chip for camera support, the code in it will be very different, as it is heavily customised for each device. Fixes for one device do not apply to others directly,” the Google AOSP project member said.
Google said that the recent string of reports about the issue could be due to Skype being updated and this regularly accesses the camera using background services and it seems to be a trigger for the bug.
A project member of the AOSP said that there are two ways to get around it for now. One is to uninstall Skype and the other is a reboot of the device. Of course un-installing Skype is a no-no for some people.