Some time ago a site called Dontkillmyapp appeared that brought to attention that smartphone manufacturers begun using aggressive background tasks killers to improve battery life on their devices. For a period of time, Nokia smartphones had the worst grade regarding background task, but with the Pie update the situation was improved, and now Samsung and Huawei carry the title of unfriendliest phones regarding background tasks.
The app responsible for the aggressive handling of background process on Nokia smartphones came in a com.evenwell package. Users also discovered more apps from “evenwell” on their Nokia phones, that are responsible for handling various system tasks. Later it was discovered that “evenwell” apps were (co-)developed by HMD’s manufacturing partner FIH Mobile, probably to make sure that hardware and software function as they should.
With HMD now operating on a multi-ODM strategy, meaning FIH Mobile is no longer the sole manufacturer of Nokia smartphones, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that HMD in the process of replacing the “evenwell” solutions, probably with in-house solutions, as a recent rumor suggests.
Nokia Anew shared via Twitter that HMD Global is planning on removing Evenwell software from all devices, and that the first results should be seen with the Android Q update. The current Android Q beta build for Nokia 8.1 features evenwell packages, as it was pointed out in replies to his tweet, so it remains to be seen if the final version of Android Q will come with HMD’s “in-house” software solutions for all the things Evenwell handled.
If you ask me, outsourcing stuff is completely normal in today’s industry and what’s important is that the final product works great and that users don’t have to worry about the software on their devices. That said, I’m glad that HMD might be moving more into doing software, especially now that they abandoned the unique hardware differentiation of using aluminum bodies on their devices. In FIH’s H1 report it was stated that phones now differentiate more by software, so this might be a step in that direction. Time will tell.