Android Development – Free Apps Suck Power

Purdue University and Microsoft have recently conducted a study and revealed that about 75 percent battery power a smartphone app draws is used for serving third party advertisements. This study covered several popular smartphone applications like Android Browser, Angry Birds, and other Ravio’s games. It was also reported that app download manager at The New York Times eats-up a great deal of energy even after its main operation, to download news, has completed. The study mainly includes the users who use free app and avoid paying money for removing apps. Android phone software developers have suggested that users should use free app on trial basis and once they find it useful, they should buy it to eliminate ads. Longer you use free apps, sooner the battery life ends. Users should take care of battery because it’s many times costlier than small fee of an app. The study only involved apps for Android, not the apps for Windows Phone or iPhone.

The study was conducted using a tool called eprof. It concluded that a lot of apps spend sizable time in performing I/O functions including accessing Wi-Fi or 3G data. The study also revealed that numerous apps have a hidden feature to keep a device operating in full-power mode even after app’s operation is complete. Rovio’s Angry Birds, for an instance, has third party ad network that eats-up 45 percent of the total power consumed by the app. Opening Android search page in native browser consumes 20,000 µAH and about 31 percent and 16 percent are used for 3G and GPS.

In the testing, a sample app found engaged in establishing connection to remote server and sent 5 packets of data. Even after the app completed its operation, its 3D radio was found active for additional 6 seconds that further wasted 57 present of the total energy consumed by the app.

Hundreds of other apps also behave in similar way and are causing provocation among users. It is also a tough time for Android software development experts whose apps are pointlessly draining battery. The study concluded that the most of energy an app consumed is actually consumed by I/O operations that do not often correlate with the operations the app is made for. Android phone software developers need to reconsider the strategy they follow for developing apps and to calm down their temptation for collecting the personal data from user’s device. This is also advisable that the business communities should go with as fair as possible Android programming that does not suck user’s battery for irrespective I/O operations.


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