Free apps drain your battery

Tue 20 March 2012 12:00, Tamara Yadvichuk

Free apps drain your battery

Research conducted at Purdue University in Indiana revealed that free smartphone apps powered by advertising consume considerably more battery life than their paid versions.

It’s perfectly logical, if you think of it. Delivering cool apps such as Angry Birds for free is not an act of charity – their developers make money on display advertising targeted to specific users in specific places. The downside of this system is that in order to show targeted ads to the right audience, the app has to access the internet and track your location, which consumes a lot of battery power.

As a result, in case of Angry Birds only 20% of the energy consumed by the app is needed to play the game itself, and another 45% is used to find out where you are and show you the right ads.

Like many others, Angry Birds app (currently number 10 on the list of top free Android apps) requires access to the information about your location, network communication, storage and phone calls.

According to Chris McClelland, director of app developer Ecliptic Labs, higher battery consumption is unavoidable for free apps supported by advertising. Would you consider paying for an app available for free just to save battery life? To be honest, I wouldn’t.


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