Ad-supported apps in Android smartphones are an immense energy suck.
According to a Purdue University study (PDF), which—interestingly enough—Microsoft helped research, third-party advertising in free Android apps deplete 65 percent to 75 percent of an app’s energy. The study said more than 50 percent of energy used for serving ads occurs during the “3G Tail.” In other words, energy continues to dole out after the process requiring power completes.
The researchers analyzed the energy squandering of 21 Android and Windows Mobile apps over a 3G connection, but the study only highlighted five Android apps (Angry Birds, the Android default browser, Chess Free, MapQuest, and The New York Times).
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Angry Birds gaming capability wastes about 20 percent of the app’s total energy. Meanwhile, software for third-party ads and analytics tally 45 percent, which equates to an unnecessary battery drain. Chess Free allots 50 percent of its total energy ply to ads, while The New York Times spends 15 percent on user tracking. The Android browser also expends 16 percent on user tracking.
Ad-supported apps are generally free to download and use, but it seems they are more costly than paid apps in terms of energy consumption.
It is worth noting that Microsoft is in the midst of a smear campaign against Google in recent weeks. Previous to this latest study, the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant released videos and websites that paint Google as a shady advertising company.
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