Free apps are eating your battery life

Battery - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

There was an interesting study that was finished a couple days that had to do with free, ad sponsored versions of some popular apps. The study was done to see how apps with ads in them effected the battery life of your Android device. Now the study was specifically done with Android phones, but I’m sure what they discovered is true with tablets as well.

What Abhinav Pathak, a computer scientist at Purdue University in Indiana found might surprise you. They tested a few popular free apps such as Angry Birds, NYTimes, and Free Chess to find out what part of the app was actually draining the battery. When you play Angry Birds for example, the core function of the app, that is the actual game play only uses about 20% of the actual battery use. So where does the other 80% go? Well to getting those annoying little ads of course. The companies try to tailor the ads to a certain location, which means that the game is accessing your GPS and data connection to find where you are, then downloading ads tailored to you.

I read a couple different articles about this, and at the end of each one was a sort of plea to developers to make this ad-getting use less of your battery. I have a different reaction, and would say this is a perfect example of why you should support an app’s developer whenever possible by buying a paid version of that app. Not only do you get the satisfaction of helping that developer out; because let’s face it, most aren’t large companies like Rovio, but rather small time operators that code your favorite app in their spare time; you also save yourself some battery life in the process. If you do decide to play that extra round of Angry Birds, just make sure you have a spare battery charger lying close by.


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Bryan Faulkner

Bryan Faulkner is a former associate editor at Pocketables. He loves to find new ways to use his tablets while working as the Tech Director at his local church. Mixing sound from the iPad is his newest obsession. He currently has a pair of HP TouchPads, an iPad 2, a decommissioned HTC EVO 4G, and a Samsung Galaxy Note II to tinker with.

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