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Mobile Ads Blamed for Free App Battery Drain

  |  March 22, 2012   |  Comments

Free applications consume more power with ads.

The use of ad-supported freeware applications can significantly increase battery drain, say researchers.

A report from Microsoft and Purdue University has found that applications which rely on mobile advertising networks show as much as a 75 percent higher rate of power usage than other applications.

Using an energy-profiling tool known as "eprof," researchers sought to gain a fine-grained picture of data consumption on Windows Phone and Android applications.

Researchers found that within some applications, such as the free version of Angry Birds, the majority of power consumption was in fact due to 3G network traffic.

The study concluded that as much as 45 percent of power usage on the applications was from advertisements being served over the wireless broadband network.

Additionally, the researchers found that advertising network activity consumed 15 percent of power even on data-intensive applications such as the New York Times reader application.

Overall, the study found that I/O activity was the main culprit for energy loss.

The researchers recommended that application developers and platform vendors adopt a 'bundle' analytical approach which provides a clearer view of energy consumption and optimization.

This article was originally published on V3.



Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the deputy editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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