Free Mobile Apps Bad For Battery Life Says Report

A study carried out by Microsoft in collaboration with the Purdue University found out that free mobile apps that use third party services to display advertising tend to consume more power than others.

A team of researchers devised an experiment to monitor energy usage by apps on Android and Windows Phone handsets for the paper called "Fine Grained Energy Accounting on Smartphones with Eprof" (PDF).

Managing advertising on a mobile could consume up to 75 percent of an app's total energy consumption leading the author of the Report, Abhinav Pathak, to conclude that app developers must focus a lot more on power optimisation.

The experiment wouldn't work on the iOS platform because of restrictions on Apple's popular operating system; it looked at six popular smartphone apps including Angry Birds, Facebook and the default browser.

The research showed that applications tend to leave 3G connections opened for up to 10 seconds after downloading data off the network and this window called the "3G tail" accounted for up to a quarter of the energy consumption on Angry Birds.

It also revealed a number of "energy bugs" in smartphone apps with the authors of the report proposing to reduce energy consumption in some apps by up to 65 per cent.