As a part of the December Pixel Feature Drop, Google announced a new feature for select Pixel phones called Adaptive Charging. The idea for Adaptive Charging was to offer a solution that could help take care of your battery by charging it steadily over a long period of time rather than quickly.
I’m not sure there was a lot of confusion about how Adaptive Charging would work (we assumed it worked at night and trickle charged a phone), but a Google support page for the feature lays out exactly when your Pixel 4, Pixel 4a, or Pixel 5 will try and trigger it.
In order to use the new battery charging feature, you’ll first have to turn it on (Settings>Battery>Adaptive Battery). Once done, your phone will look for two things: 1) that you start charging your phone after 9PM and; 2) an active alarm is set between 5-10AM. If you don’t meet all of that, Google says, “Otherwise, your phone charges normally.”
So that’s obviously not awesome for those with alternate schedules or who don’t use alarms. If you work in the evening and sleep during the day or plan to wake up earlier than 5AM, Adaptive Charging will apparently never kick on. I’m the type who rarely sets an alarm, so it seems I’ll never benefit from this and won’t be able to take care of my battery.
Why Google can’t use all of the fancy AI they never shut-up about to predict when your sleep schedule is or that your battery is low and might be on a charger for a long time to trigger Adaptive Charging is odd. Hell, even a manual toggle would be nice to have rather than this limited scheduling.