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Google squashes Android 5.0 Lollipop battery-drain bug

The bug was reported by developers with Nexus 5 smartphones but has been resolved just as the updated mobile operating system begins to trickle out.

Nicole Cozma/CNET

A bug in Android 5.0 Lollipop was draining Nexus 5 smartphone batteries at a fast clip, but the Wi-Fi-related glitch was fixed by early Thursday.

Nexus 5 users who had received the Android 5.0 update had been complaining that their phone battery would drain much faster than expected when Wi-Fi was enabled. Users piping in on the Android Developer Preview site noted that an entry on their device's battery stats screen called "Miscellaneous" was sucking up a lot of juice.

On Wednesday, Google's Trevor Johns, a senior developer programs engineer for Android, confirmed the bug on the Android Developer Preview site:

Android Engineering is aware of an issue affecting Nexus 5 users running Android 5.0 which causes significant "Miscellaneous" battery usage while WiFi is enabled. This appears to be caused by an abnormally high number of IRQ wakeup events.

We are continuing to investigate this issue.

In a comment posted Thursday, Johns reported the resolution saying:

This issue has been fixed in the latest builds, and this issue is now considered resolved. Thanks everyone.

The battery-draining problem itself was ironic since one of the enhancements in Lollipop is a new battery-saving mode that slows down the CPU and turns off background data when your battery is running low. With the Wi-Fi-related glitch fixed, the rollout of Android 5.0 that began as a trickle this week for older Nexus devices should move forward as planned.

Google did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.