Experiencing battery drain issues? The cause could be free apps

Abhinav Pathak, a computer scientist at Purdue University, Indiana, and colleagues have concluded that free smartphone apps with in-app advertising may lead to the battery being drained at a faster rate, compared to paid apps. What's interesting (and slightly alarming) is the team discovered through testing that Angry Birds, Free Chess and NYTimes only used 10 - 30 percent of the battery power for core functionality.

Using the Android Market as the test grounds for the research, the team found that 25 - 35% of the app power consumption went to third-party advertising code displayed in apps for developers to make ends meet. In the case of Angry Birds, 20% is used to display and run the game, while 45% of the power is used finding and uploading the user's location with GPS, followed by downloading location-appropriate ads over a 3G connection.

This is something to consider when next browisng any smartphone marketplace. The findings will be presented by Pathak at the EuroSys conference in Bern, Switzerland, next month. Be sure to check out the full research documentation as it's fairly lengthy, but interesting.

Source: Microsoft Research (opens in new tab), via: NewScientist (opens in new tab)

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • What about that article that said something about AT&T making battery die fast wen ur using 3g r 4g
  • It's not that at&t is making the battery die fast, that's just the nature of the technology.
  • the problem with WP draining the battery is because it has a bug.... and I found it and solved it! my focus' battery was lasting just 5 hours LOL So,.... your phone drains the battery? no problem, do this:
    - go to settings and check as 'enabled' all these options
         ease of access
         find my phone (connect faster has a bug that it always get's enabled itself)
         high fidelity position
    - now go to the same options and check them 'disabled' and voila! your battery will last for 15 - 19 hours 'again' ;) ps: don't trust the 'settings' telling you that some options are 'disabled'... because they actually might not be disabled, do my suggestions to make sure those options are disabled for real!
  • Ok
  • if you're running a game with data activated, you shouldn't be surprised when your battery goes to shit. The game or data alone would do that.
  • I have Bluetooth and wireless enabled all the time and with calls throughout the day, texting, internet browsing and reading news all day long with WPCentral (among others) I get a whole day out of my HD7 battery plugging it in when I go to bed. Obviously playing games drains the battery but that is expected.
  • Apps with ads are lame. Anything with ads is lame. I can't even stand listening to the radio anymore cuz the ads just piss me off. I don't have time for that crap.
  • I feel your pain.
  • Some radio ads are funny
  • I would gladly pay for an app to get rid of the adds. I wish developers would always offer paid apps as well as add supported free ones.
  • If a game has intrusive ads then I just disable data & wifi before playing it... half the time the ads don't even display, or they'll show the same ad without the lag.
  • And those ads (I hate'm) are also eating your data up....
  • D*mn!
    I swear I just heard someone shooting themselves in the foot! Sent from the free, ad-supported WPCentral app on my HTC Titan.
  • Anyone experienced battery drain with gmaps background tasks?
  • If you turn location off then your local scout would be useless and you can't check in anywhere... You'd have to turn it on and off everytime you need to use one of those features which would defeat the purpose of a "fast" windows phone