While some custom companies with custom Android skins the likes of OnePlus, Samsung, or LG already display the battery level of a Bluetooth device paired to the phone, stock Android could soon bake in the feature natively.
Battery Level Indicators Could Come To Stock Android Soon
As XDA Developers spotted, the Android Open Source Project, or AOSP, just added support for Android to "retrieve battery level information of [a] remote device." Should this launch on forthcoming versions of Android, most likely Android O, it will allow phones to display a battery level indicator for any Bluetooth device connected to the user's smartphone.
It's surely a neat feature, though it's not new at all. Most people who own phones loaded with custom ROMs such as Xiaomi and OnePlus have probably encountered this feature already. Yet this is something that's long been missing from the AOSP, which means any phone with stock or near-stock Android doesn't support it.
When Will Google Release A Version Of Android That Includes This Feature?
Exactly how long it'll take for Google to polish this feature and bring it to stock Android remains a question, but during an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit earlier this month, one of the engineers working on Android O implied that they're already working on it and acknowledged that other manufacturers already support it in one form or another.
"We're looking at this and are happy to report that some of our hardware manufacturing partners already support this."
How Google plans to design it also remains a question. Will battery level indicators populate the notification area? Will it include a standalone app, which is kind of akin to a terminal where one can view a list of connected Bluetooth devices? The latter seems unlikely since many are opposed to any kind of bloatware. As it stands, the setup seems flexible, with Google possibly allowing developers to tinker with it however they'd like to.
The company seems nearly finished with Android O as it released the fourth developer preview on July 24. Google is rumored to release Android O before summer ends.
Android O will not feature a radical shift from Android Nougat, at least in terms of design and overall interface. Mostly, it will target under-the-hood improvements that will give way to faster performance, loading times and more efficient battery usage.