Smartphone Battery Drainage Due to Ads by Free apps


Recent study by a research team at Purdue University says that if you’re seeing a quick drain in your smartphone battery, then it must be caused due to the ads which are displayed in the free apps that you use. The free apps and games that you play in your smartphone displays ads that are location based, so the research study finds that these free ads consumes more power than the app itself to run the game.

The lead reseacher Abhinav Pathak, a student from IIT kanpur and now pursues his thesis at Purdue university talks about the study when asked he says ” His team developed a EProf, the diagnostic tool that could assess the energy consumption of apps across operating system like android and windows mobile 6.5 and find what caused these apps to consume lot of battery power. Now you might think what about the iPhone ? However building the tool requires OS level changes to perform event logging. We do not have access to iOS to implement our lower level changes, so no app energy measurements from iPhone.”

The study actually found that the energy used to produce those ads can account for as much as three-fourths of the total energy used to run the apps. The one app which was showcased in the research study was the great ‘Angry Birds’. The study finds that the Angry birds game uses only 20% of the energy used to power the app which is used on actually running the game. 45% of the energy used is on your phone’s GPS and locating you in order to deliver locale-specific ads over your 3G connection.

Also the lead researcher Pathak believes that these battery drainage can be stopped from the developers side through some clever programming. Also in future the research paper would come up with solutions to excessive battery drainage due to ads generated by free apps.

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  1. Since those are some of the reason that can consume more power, can users have a way to disable those adds? how?

    • You cannot disable the ads which are displayed in free version of the app. Because only with those ads the developer earns and allows the app to be downloaded for free. If you want to get rid of ads, only way is to buy paid versions.

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