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Free Apps Eat Up Your Phone Battery Just Sending Ads

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Free versions of Android apps use up to 75 percent of their energy serving up ads or tracking and uploading user data, says Purdue University's Abhinav Pathak. Moreover, the free apps can drain a smartphone's battery in approximately 90 minutes, Pathak and colleagues say.

The Purdue researchers developed software to analyze the energy usage of apps. The software found that popular apps such as Angry Birds, Free Chess, and NYTimes spend only 10 percent to 30 percent of their energy powering their core function. For example, Angry Birds uses only 20 percent of its energy displaying and running the game, but 45 percent on finding and uploading the user's location with global positioning systems, then downloading location-appropriate ads over a 3G connection. Another 28 percent of the app's energy is consumed on "tail energy" from the 3G connection staying open for about 10 seconds, even if data transmission is complete.

Pathak says inefficiencies in the third-party code used to generate profit for the apps is the reason for the energy leakage.

From New Scientist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2012 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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