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Ad-Driven Apps Are Sucking Your Android Battery Dry

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Ads in free Android apps might be annoying but you probably never imagined they were radically draining your battery. New research from Purdue University and Microsoft highlight just how much ad-driven apps tank your battery life.

What did they find? That poorly designed ad-modules in free ad-driven applications are terrible at conserving energy. In popular applications like Angry Birds and Free Chess 70% of the energy the application consumed was used to drive the ads. They also surveyed other applications and found that ad-driven apps weren’t alone in excessive battery use–the New York Times app, for example, spent 15% of its battery consumption on tracking and background tasks.

Hit up the link below to read the full whitepaper for a more in depth look at the methodology and results.

Fine Grained Energy Accounting on Smartphones with Eprof (PDF) [via ZDNet]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/20/12

Comments (9)

  1. oneshot1

    solves all your ad blocking needs, needs root!

  2. UltimatePSV

    There’s also a Permissions app for rooted phones. I use that to take away internet and location permissions for apps that don’t need it. It also helps.

  3. r

    oh no,…app suckers !

  4. Hansy

    Good to know really useful and it saves me from irritations.

  5. Enthusiast

    Someone should determine how much those ads affect your bandwidth allocations.

  6. motang

    I buy app on my phone if there is an option to buy it, I really do dislike ad supported apps.

  7. Kevalin

    “I buy app on my phone if there is an option to buy it, I really do dislike ad supported apps…”

    Well, and, besides… I’m often blown away when people give bad reviews for free apps because they can’t access all the features without paying the monumental fee of 99 cents or 2 dollars. And the small detail that three-quarters of these whiners are probably giving their bad reviews while sucking down their daily $6.00 Venti Caramel Macchiato seems to be lost on them.

    It’s one thing to want to jerk the movie industry or whoever around, since they’ve been ripping off the people they claim to be protecting since time immemorial–and are, despite the SOPA fiasco, still trying to find ways to completely eliminate our communications freedoms by becoming the sole arbiters of censorship on the internet. But we need to quit treating app developers (many of whom are one-person “companies”) like their time and effort isn’t worth anything. If we can, we need to buy the apps if we really like them.

    If that doesn’t work for you, and you don’t want to download the apps some of the other folks here have suggested, then run the apps you can with the wifi/3G/4G OFF, and suffer with the ads that can’t by putting up with a few ads.

    Oh, yeah, and USE THE EMAIL ADDRESS the developer supplies to make suggestions to him or her directly! More often than not, they will respond. And the ones who don’t, don’t deserve you.

  8. Dev

    Wow… who pissed in YOUR Cheerios this morning?

  9. Philster

    Really Dev, good question! Anyway, if I like an app and it’s reasonably priced, I’ll buy it. If not, I’ll unload it. Ads or no ads. I used to write shareware so I know how that goes. But this is good to know anyway, because I’ll run things as a “trial” with ads to see how I like it.

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