Similar to Android M, iOS 9 will use sensors to save battery life

It's about time software started to smartly use hardware to save battery life. That's going to happen in iOS 9 thanks to the ambient light and proximity sensors on iPhones.

At it's WWDC 2015 developer event, Apple said when iOS 9 arrives this fall, you can expect to see up to an hour of extra battery life on your iPhone after the software upgrade.

There really weren't any details shared on just how that's going to happen, but now we know at least one way iOS 9 will give a battery boost: Sensors.

The information is right there on Apple's iOS 9 website, as noted by AppleInsider:

"Thanks to ambient light and proximity sensors, your iPhone knows if it's facedown on the table and prevents the screen from turning on, even when you receive a notification."

This is in addition to the new Low Power mode switch that arrives in iOS 9. That's expected to add another three hours of battery life, but at the likely cost of reduced background processes, notifications and the like.

If the sensor-based approach sounds familiar, it should.

Less than two weeks before Apple's developer event, Google held its own where it shared details of Android M.

It too should arrive this fall, although I expect iOS 9 to launch first.

Google said Android M has a new "dozing" feature that reads sensor data to determine when the phone or tablet isn't being used. Perhaps its on your desk, your nightstand or in your pocket.

In that case, Android M goes into a low-power mode and reduces background activity.

High profile notifications and incoming phone calls will still appear, but other processes are put into a lower powered, or even a sleep, state.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter to me who brings a compelling feature to market first. It only matters that our smartphones and tablets improve.

Whether you use iOS or Android, it appears you'll be getting more run time on a charge once you have the latest software updates.

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