Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Adverts in free apps take a lot of battery to run

You know those naggy advertisement that pop-up below the app you are running but don’t mind it because the app is for free and you can’t/don’t want to shell out for it? Yeah, those advertisements are draining your phone’s battery more than the actual app itself.

This is according to a research conducted by Purdue University’s computer scientist Abhinav Pathak, who has revealed some startling numbers to present his case.

For his research, he compared apps on Android and Windows Mobile (that’s Windows Phone, we assume) with a tool called eprof to monitor the energy consumption of each. He tested apps like Angry Birds, Facebook, NYTimes and Free Chess, and found that they were only responsible of consuming 10-30 percent of the phone’s battery. The rest were eaten up by the advertisements.

In the case of Angry Birds specifically, the app itself would only consume 20 percent of the total battery. The rest was used to track users on the GPS and download location-specific adverts over a 3G connection. The app then kept the 3G connection open for at least 10 seconds, even when the data transmission was completed, resulting in another 28 percent of battery consumption.

Pathak, who has urged app developers to take better care of battery use, will be presenting his research at the EuroSys conference in Switzerland next month.

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