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Regarding Android Vitals Section - Stuck Partial Wake Locks

butterbeanbutterbean Posts: 4,315Member, PRO

I haven't posted in here for what feels like ages, but I wanted to inform the Gamesalad community about some recent changes google play has made in their android vitals section.

More specifically, in recent weeks google is now penalizing and down-ranking apps that have "Partial Wake Locks" running in the background. If you go into your app, and click on android vitals, and overview, you will see this new stat come up in the dashboard. Anything above the .10% threshold is considered bad behavior, and the app will downrank and be penalized as a result. (We noticed 2 of our Gamesalad apps were penalized because of this new issue. We also noticed some Corona SDK built apps were affected, and they recently patched and updated their daily build to remedy this).

You will also see other stats like ANR and crash reports, but those thresholds are a bit higher than the one for the Partial Wake Lock.

I have informed the Gamesalad team regarding this issue, and hopefully a fix will arrive soon, as this one seems the most urgent in terms of how much leeway google play gives us for error.


  • adent42adent42 Posts: 1,439Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    Just an FYI, this one may take a bit since we don't make the call to that lock specifically in our code (at least not found in a quick search), so we're gonna need to figure out other circumstances that make that happen.

    If it's us, we'll hopefully have a fix quickly, but if it's one of our ad networks, we'll have to chat with them about how to fix this kind of thing.

  • butterbeanbutterbean Posts: 4,315Member, PRO

    Thank you! Just as an FYI, the apps that are affected on my end use Admob banners (admob ad network) so not sure if that may play a role.

    There is also documentation in the google developer console specific on how to remedy the issue. Not sure if that is helpful, but here is a link:

  • DigiChainDigiChain Posts: 1,216Member, PRO

    I'm seeing Partial Wake Locks of 1% - 2% on many of my apps, so way above the threshold!

    @butterbean - how do you know your apps have been downranked - have Google informed you or have you just noticed yourself?

  • butterbeanbutterbean Posts: 4,315Member, PRO
    edited June 2018


    I noticed a few weeks ago that both my Gamesalad built games were downranked significantly. They went from getting around 8K downloads a day and were reduced to around 1-2K per day (They were very steady apps too)

    This Partial Wake lock issue needs fixing for sure, otherwise the damage to these apps' rankings may not reverse.

    We had this issue before with ANR and crash issues on other engines that eventually got fixed, but the ranking never returned. Google play is penalizing apps now that have heavy ANR, crash reports, and now this new Wake Lock issue :/

  • butterbeanbutterbean Posts: 4,315Member, PRO
    edited June 2018

    Any updates or rough ETA's on when this will be fixed? Our games have a 4% rate of partial wake locks which is above the .10% threshold of acceptable bad behavior. Can someone please let us know if a fix is coming soon?

    With other game engines that had this same issue, it was a sound issue that was not suspended when they stopped playing the game. Not sure if that could be the culprit.

    Thank you.

  • adent42adent42 Posts: 1,439Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    Haven't had a chance to look at this yet. We'll be taking a look tomorrow so hopefully something by Monday.

  • adent42adent42 Posts: 1,439Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    Have you republished your apps with the newest android build recently? While we haven't addressed the issue specifically, we have updated all of our adnetwork and core android and google play libraries. If any of those libraries are part of the issue, that may help.

  • butterbeanbutterbean Posts: 4,315Member, PRO

    @adent42 - I just submitted an update with the latest GS build - 1.25.92 is what I'm seeing? I'll let you know if the wake lock stats start to reduce in the next 3-4 days. It will take some time for those states to propagate, and see if they are going down vs up.

    Thank you!

  • adent42adent42 Posts: 1,439Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    I think I may have found the source, trying to figure out a fix.

  • adent42adent42 Posts: 1,439Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    Bug found and fixed. We'll be deploying it as an RC tomorrow morning (I'm going out tonight and gonna leave the build running since it takes a while on my meager laptop).

  • butterbeanbutterbean Posts: 4,315Member, PRO
    edited June 2018

    Thanks so much for fixing that! Really appreciate it! You guys were so quick to respond to this, and it was very much appreciated!

  • adent42adent42 Posts: 1,439Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    @butterbean regenerate your app with "Build RC". It should be pretty safe to publish to the store, but I'd do some spot checks on the app first. It's in RC because we won't be able to have the full team test til Monday, so for now I'm just pre-releasing to give you a chance to check it out.

  • butterbeanbutterbean Posts: 4,315Member, PRO

    @adent42 - thanks so much for the pre-release! I haven't had a chance to publish or take a look yet, but let us know when the full release is available, and we will publish using that one today, thank you again!

  • butterbeanbutterbean Posts: 4,315Member, PRO

    Is the new update that fixes this issue released yet, or do we still use "Build RC" and if so, can we publish with a build RC version?

  • adent42adent42 Posts: 1,439Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    Still Build RC. And for android, yes. (We made a mistake in the RC for iOS, but android is good).

  • Glass FrogGlass Frog Posts: 79Member, PRO
    edited June 2018

    I believe this is affecting me also.

    All my apps on Google Play have seen massive drops in downloads over the last few weeks.
    My most popular apps have gone from several thousand downloads a day to a few hundred.

    This is most worrying as it could cripple my business if I cant fix the issue.

    I have tried using the “RC build” but I am not receiving any Chartboost ads, only admob banners.
    I did not have this problem with the regular build.

    @butterbean have you found any improvement regarding Partial Wake Locks with this new build?

    My Website:
    My Apps on Google Play:
    My Apps on Apple App Store:

  • DigiChainDigiChain Posts: 1,216Member, PRO

    @butterbean Have you seen any improvements with the update yet?

    I think many of my apps have been downranked too now (possibly due to this). I'm seeing a sudden fall in downloads of between a 50% - 80% reduction, all on very stable apps which have been performing well for a number of years.

  • butterbeanbutterbean Posts: 4,315Member, PRO
    edited July 2018


    The reduction you are speaking of is an issue with a lot of indie developers right now. The 80% drop you speak of has impacted well over 2,000 developers and counting, and happened around 6/21.

    Check out this article, there's also a discord thread where developers have been discussing this for over 2 weeks now. It's caused a lot of panic in the indie dev community:

    Check out this forum post in Unity:

    We've noticed some improvement since updating with the RC build, but if the app has been on the store for quite some time, it takes time (once you update) to see the reduction happen. Just check the trends compared to before and as long as it's trending down, it should be good!

    Are we still building RC right now to correct this for future releases?

  • butterbeanbutterbean Posts: 4,315Member, PRO

    @adent42 - do we still need to build RC for the partial wake lock issue?

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