Updated: How to Fix the Rapidly Draining Battery Issue on Your Nexus 5
Update (March 18, 2014):
Skype has issued an update to their Android app, and among other things, has "fixed" the runaway camera process issue by creating a workaround...and that's about all we know. No details were provided, but with the considerable uproar over the bug, let's hope it's been squashed for good.
The other big change also affects battery life, with the introduction of "aggressive battery savings", a feature that in theory should allow you to leave Skype running in the background all day without taking significant hits to battery life.
Head to Google Play to update your app, and let us know if you notice your battery life getting a little better.
Ever since the Nexus 5 was released back in October of 2013, many of us were left scratching our heads as to the why our batteries were draining so much faster. And boy, did we let Google know!
With so many people reporting the same type of issue, Google took notice, and today, stated that a fix was on its way. Ready to be delivered through the next maintenance update, the fix concerns high CPU usage causing battery drain through the persistent use of mm-qcamera-daemon, a camera process built into the Qualcomm CPU.
This process is called up whenever the camera is activated. In most instances, the process will stop when you leave the camera/gallery, but that's not always the case. Skype utilizes the camera, obviously, but with Nexus 5s, the process was left ongoing, meaning that the camera never stopped and your battery continued draining.
As reported by Eino-Ville Talvala, Google "can't provide an estimate for when the maintenance update will be ready, due to all the testing we need to do for this and other fixes."
Until then, you can try two common fixes for the issue:
In most instances, a reboot will kill the process, and you should see normal drain of the battery. Unfortunately, this means having to reboot whenever the camera is used, and that's a pain.
This is probably less appealing, as lots of us use Skype. It's important to note that this is not an issue with the app, but rather how the Nexus 5 deals with the process. But until the update this issued, Skype users may want to search for alternatives, or install/uninstall the app on an as-needed basis.
If neither of these options appeal to you, you're not alone. But rest assured that a solution has been found, it just needs to find its way to our devices.