Mobile Apps Displaying Ads Kill Smart Phones Batteries Faster

SmartPhonesDid you ever use mobile phone app that displayed ads (in order to be a free version) and saw that your mobile phone’s battery was drained very fast? Well, it’s natural, according to a new report from Microsoft and Purdue University which shows that such applications have a rate of power usage up to 75% higher than other apps.

Researchers concluded that in some apps – like famous Angry Birds, the free version – most of the power usage was due to 3G network traffic, up to 45% of that consumption being generated by ads. These advertisements served over the wireless broadband network are the payment for a free version of an app, and it seems the annoying pop-up-ing of colourful (and sometimes not even relevant or interesting ads) is not the only side effect.

The present study employed  Eprof, “the first fine-grained energy profiler for smartphone apps”, and offered an in-depth look at power usage using a suite of 21 apps. It also analyzed bundles, “a new presentation of energy accounting that helps apps developers to quickly understand and optimize the I/O energy drain of their apps.” As the results show, the main source for energy loss remains I/O activity, the study showed.

I don’t know about you, but I have to admit I play one (OK, two) free game on an Android based phone. And yes, I can live with the ads (I don’t play for hours and hours, just for short breaks, and not even daily), but seeing how fast the battery discharges is indeed annoying at times.

It is true however that nowadays there are many ways to recharge a phone: various cables that allow charging from the car battery, from the laptop or a basic outlet, but also some gadgets like phone charging boots, solar-powered cell phone chargers and so on. In these conditions, if not using apps without having close access to such a power charge solution, it is OK to pay the price of free in battery life. Otherwise, one should pay attention to what he or she does with the mobile phone in order to have enough battery for necessary functions. The study is very useful though, as many people are complaining that new, more powerful and advanced smartphones are being launched, but that the battery lasts even less than in older versions of mobile phones. When analyzing what actually eats up the battery, everyone is (or should be) aware of the many applications offered and used by new technology.

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