Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Android Apps With Ads Consume 75% More Battery Consumption

Apart from being obnoxiously annoying, those pesky ads that pop-up within our Android apps are actually taking up to 75 percent of the app's total power consumption.

This result was found with the help of an energy profiler named EProf that can analyze the power consumption of a device by monitoring each and every app. The team performed this test on a Nexus One running Android 2.3 with some popular apps such as Angry Birds, FreeChess and the New York Times app.

While testing Angry Birds, it was found that the game itself consumed only 20 percent of the total power consumed by the app. The remaining of it was used to display the ads. To do this, the phone has to upload the user's location to a server and then download the ad over a data connection. The location upload happens the first time only but the ad data is downloaded with every new level. Similar results were obtained with FreeChess as well.

But it is hard to believe, download and taking location takes insignificant amount of time while app is running, especially in case of games. If level takes (say) 120 seconds, while taking position and downloading 1 second - this cannot consume 75% of power especially comparing to high CPU/GPU/screen usage. May be, in some special cases, when ad displaying was badly implemented.

Basically, when your phone tells you Angry Birds used 30 percent of your phone's battery, only 20 percent of that 30 percent was used by the game and the rest was used for showing you ads.

Android is usually slammed for consuming a lot of power, the fault lies with the ads within the apps and the apps themselves, which are often poorly coded with little to no optimization for the device it is running on.

As a user, there is little you can do now apart from buying paid versions of the apps that don't serve ads and hoping that this research makes developers improve their apps and find a better way to make a revenue than serving ads.

The EProf app will soon be made available for download under an open source license. The team is also working on bringing it to Windows Phone.

Here is a quick fix for battery problem on Android.

Put the Brightness on Auto, Turn off the GPS and set the network to GSM or WCDMA only (NOT AUTO GSM/WCDMA).

Network GSM (if 3G Connection is available often) and WIFI can be off or on depending upon your usage.  (I have wireless data at work and home, so I will keep it on).

If you really don’t need DATA connection on your android, you can turn of data..of course the life of the battery will improve further. .but I want data so this is the best compromise for me. But smart phones are for data…


About bench3 -

Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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