Re: "Google wants battery life to be improved"
The design changes will easily be handled the GPU and shouldn't really affect battery use that much. The main power drain will continue to be the illumination of the screen and any decoding of image or video formats.
Better battery use can be achieved with a runtime that uses less memory and compiles more efficiently. Better compilers are now possible on the newer chips. With the right combination, more apps can be moved in and out of RAM, which requires power, faster.
But based on my devices I'd expect to see better management of the radios. On all my devices, disabling wifi is the single best method of range extension.