Ad-Supported Mobile Apps Are Killing Your Battery

Filed under "you get what you pay for": Researchers at Microsoft tested the energy consumption of various apps on Android and Windows Mobile (iOS restrictions kept them from testing the iPhone) and found that up to 75% of an app's energy use goes to power the advertisements in free, ad-supported apps.

The numbers may not have much of an impact without tying them to an app you actually use, so what about an extremely popular game like Angry Birds:

In the case of Angry Birds, research suggested that only 20% of the total energy consumption was used to actually play the game itself.

Of the rest, 45% is used finding out your location with which it can serve targeted advertising.

The lesson: Next time you're choosing the ad-supported version of an app over, say, its $1 counterpart, you may want to consider whether you're willing to pay extra just to keep your battery going longer. Yet another way free stuff isn't always worth it.

Free mobile apps 'drain battery faster' [BBC]


    How many paid version apps would still have the ad code in them, just hidden or turned off though? I bet there's a lot of apps out there that would still do all the hard work for getting ads, just not showing them.

    this is really annoying...too bad they cant use caching to server adds - i.e. check location 2 times a day and download 20 adds to show based on the region.

    I upgraded Words with Friends to the paid version, and whlst I skip the ads after each turn, the initial screen is still full of bloat and slow to load.

    Try this if your phone is rooted.
    it simply blocks the hostfiles.
    it worked for me and there are no more ads and happy gaming :)

    Interestingly this led me to have a look at the settings on an iPhone 4S... If you go to Settings --> Location Services --> System Services --> Location Based iAds and set this to off, I wonder if that helps the situation. Either way if it saves me battery I don't care whether the ads are relevant or not.

    Anyone else had experience if this makes a difference for them?

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