Batteries on mobile devices drained more quickly by apps which are free, researchers say

batteries on mobile devices drained more quickly by apps which are free researchers say low batteryFree apps are all well and good when you’re looking to save a few bucks, but new research suggests they might have you reaching for the battery charger more often than you would if you were using paid apps. And then there’s the long-term implications regarding battery life to consider too. The culprit? Why, those pesky ads, of course.

Researchers from Microsoft and Purdue University used a special energy profiling tool to find out more about how apps on Android and Windows Mobile phones affect battery life when run over a 3G connection. In one case in particular, 75 percent of an app’s power requirement was spent not on gameplay but instead on operating third-party ad services.

In its study, the research team used six popular smartphone apps — including Angry Birds and Facebook — and looked at how they performed on three HTC smartphones: the Android-powered Magic and Passion handsets, and a TyTN II running Windows Mobile. Apple’s iPhone wasn’t able to be tested because of restrictions built into its iOS operating system.

Fans of Rovio’s bird-flinging game may be surprised to learn that, with the free versions, only 20 percent of the game’s energy consumption was linked to gameplay. Forty-five percent was used for finding out the player’s location so that targeted advertising could be served.

The researchers also discovered what they called a “3G tail,” where the battery’s energy continues to be sapped even after a particular action, such as the download of information, has completed. With Angry Birds, for example, they found that this so-called 3G tail accounted for more than 25 percent of the app’s total energy consumption.

But the batteries needn’t be placed under quite so much pressure, the researchers said. By restructuring the source code on some of the apps they used in the study, they were able to reduce their total energy consumption by between 20 and 65 percent.

Of course, it’s annoying when you’re away from a power source and you see your battery life diminishing fast, but worse than that, inefficient apps will also be decreasing the overall life of your device’s battery at a faster rate than necessary. Maybe the paid version is looking like a more attractive option after all…

[Source: BBC]  [Image: Norebbo / Shutterstock]

Computing

Canada’s winters inspired a startup to warm homes with cryptomining heat waste

Cryptomining may be the key to untold riches and the future of currency, but it’s also an environmental nightmare. Heatmine, thinks it has the answer, but it could mean bolting a mining rig onto every home and business in the country.
Mobile

Give Rachael Ray a run for her money with these 13 recipe apps

You don’t have to be Gordon Ramsay to make a killer meal, you just need an easy to follow recipe app. We’ve compiled our 13 favorite cooking apps for Android smartphones and iPhones, including countless recipes to suit any taste.
Mobile

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.
Home Theater

Common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Mobile

Doubts emerge over when LG will reveal its folding smartphone

LG may be working on a folding smartphone, making it the latest device manufacturer to be linked to the technology, which may become one of the standout designs of the coming year.
Deals

Save up to $800 with the best smartphone deals for December 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $800.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Mobile

You forgot all about these 6 phones of 2018. Prepare to forget them again

The best phones of the year are memorable, exciting, and ones we all want to buy. But what about the others? We're not talking about bad phones, we're talking about forgettable phones -- ones that aren't even bad enough to be remembered.
Mobile

T-Mobile is giving away free iPhone XRs and Galaxy S9s for the holidays

T-Mobile is celebrating the holiday season with a series of deals for customers who want an iPhone XR, Galaxy S9, OnePlus 6T, LG V40, or LG G7. There are terms and conditions to the deals, but they are still worth considering.
Mobile

Why Honor’s new screen is the hole-y grail in quest to ditch the notch

Honor will release a smartphone with an in-screen camera in the new year, a trend which is gathering momentum in the industry. Honor said it has cracked the formula, and explains what's special about its All-View Display.
Mobile

Forget 3 being a crowd, 4 is the magic number on the Huawei P30 Pro

Huawei's sequel to the P20 Pro, the P30 Pro, has already started to leak ahead of its 2019 announcement and release. The company is likely to improve even further on the P20 Pro's excellent camera.
Mobile

How to use Samsung’s Bixby assistant for all of your smartphone tasks

Samsung Bixby is a powerful tool, but not the most intuitive one we've encountered. Here's how to set up and use every feature of Samsung's digital assistant, as well as what to expect in the future.
Mobile

Declutter your life with our favorite wireless chargers for Android and iPhones

We checked out the best wireless phone chargers to make tangles and uncooperative ports a thing of the past. Whether you have an iPhone or Android, find out which wireless charging pads are worth buying, and how their features compare.
Mobile

AT&T makes 5G a reality for a dozen U.S. cities, with more to come in 2019

Ready to experience a radical transformation in mobile communication? AT&T is launching mobile 5G in cities across the country over the next few months. Here's everything you need to know about the AT&T 5G rollout.