Free mobile apps users, watch your battery!

In a one of its kinds study conducted by a team at the Purdue University in Indiana, USA, it has been revealed that free mobile apps are the culprits behind fast depleting batteries of several smartphone users, who use scores of such apps, frequently. The research report, titled - Where is the energy spent inside my app?, which can be read here, has been put together by Abhinav Pathak, Y. Charlie Hu, Ming Zhang of the Purdue University. Pathak, and his team have in the report emphasized on the need for optimizing the energy consumption of several millions of smartphone apps.

Battery eaters? (Image credit: Getty Images)

Battery eaters? (Image credit: Getty Images)


They cited this, after stating that smartphone app market is a booming one and by 2015 it will inflate to become a $38 billion industry. The report, in a nutshell put forth some startling facts. For one, it asserted that  in one case, a whopping 75 percent of an app's energy consumption was spent on powering advertisements. Those who use free smartphone apps would know that each of these apps come with built-in ads, which become the source of revenue for developer's who for this reason don't charge an initial download fee, unlike those developers who make paid apps. The researchers, as part of their study conducted tests on six popular smartphone apps, which include the popular game, Angry Birds, Facebook, Browser, among others. The report suggests that as much as 65 - 75 percent of the energy in free apps in third-party advertisement modules.


The research report also threw light on some crucial aspects of energy consumption pattern. According to the report, "collecting the handset information consumes less than 1% energy (CPU only); uploading the information and downloading the ads consume 1% energy with only under 2KB data transfered over 3G; but the 3G tail consumes 24% energy." The report added that while Angry Birds consumed 28 percent of the phone's energy in 3G tail alone, that by Free Chess was about 18 percent. A 3G tail essentially is the brief period (roughly 10 seconds) for which apps leave connections open for after downloading information. 

Published Date: Mar 20, 2012 06:27 pm | Updated Date: Mar 20, 2012 06:27 pm