Advertisements in Free Apps Costs You Battery Life

Discussion in 'Android Tablet News Depot' started by Spider, May 1, 2012.

  1. Spider

    Spider Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    15,413
    Likes Received:
    1,784
    Trophy Points:
    1,000
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Tablet / Device:
    NOOK Tablet Stock NOOKcolor Rooted/Flashed Nexus 7 (2013) 32GB Stock
    by Guest Posts | Tuesday, 01st May 2012[​IMG]A team of scientists from Purdue University and Microsoft will be revealing some vital information about some of the many popular apps around today and how they are affecting us in terms of energy. Almost 75% of the total energy which is used by apps such as Fchess and Angry Birds is in fact directed and used for advertising and marketing which is aimed at the app user. That is some of the information still to come forth by the joint team of scientists in their paper which is to be launched in Bern, Switzerland at the EuroSys 2012. So all in all, apps that claim to be free are actually charging you in terms of the extra battery life that they consume.

    In the paper put out by Y. Charlie Hu, Abhinav Phatak and Ming Zhang from Microsoft, they note that free apps such as Angry Birds are in fact spending more energy on activities such as uploading user information, user tracking and downloading more ads. In fact the apps spend approximately 25% to 35% on actual game play and 65% to 75% on peripheral activities.

    The researchers have developed a tool by the name of Eprof, whose function is calculating the energy being used in an app and finding out for what purpose it is being used. The tool currently works for both Android and Windows Mobile phone apps. As each app consists of many thousands of lines of code which then further differentiate into sub routines and threads, the Eprof tool will be used to calculate how much energy is going where, and in doing so, can help developers reduce their apps’ energy consumption by as much as 65%; rather than having to employ expensive hardware such as a power meter.

    This is clearly great news for developers working in the app market who can now tweak their apps more efficiently and hopefully it will bring a new variety of more power efficient apps.
    There have been as many as one million apps written to date since smartphones were introduced, with a large percentage of them written without any regard to energy use. After all, an app’s utility is always limited by the device’s battery life.

    There are several ways that apps waste energy; for instance, through processes such as tailing and programming bugs. Let’s suppose the research team came across some advertising software which fails to disconnect its connection to the internet after its application had been closed. This means that another app would have to cut the internet connection; and due to the first app’s inefficiency this results in more energy wastage. Tailing is a similar phenomenon which occurs when the direct connection to a cellular network isn’t instantly cut off by an app. Nearly seven seconds of power can go to waste in every transaction. So when using apps such as interactive games over a 3G connection, the user can see major battery depletion.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. sopranosv

    sopranosv Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    87
    Location:
    El Salvador
    Tablet / Device:
    Acer Iconia Tab A500
    Great info Spider...now it is time to asses the apps in my Iconia.

    BTW...what about a test on such apps like Angry Birds with WiFi off? I mean, as I understand almost all (if not all) the processes running while playing need a channel to be communicated...ads will not run...
     
  3. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Messages:
    5,172
    Likes Received:
    898
    Trophy Points:
    312
    Location:
    Northern CA
    Tablet / Device:
    Nook Color, Nook Tablet 16GB, Vizio VTab, Nexus 7
    Cost you battery life, privacy and regular life. In a cultivated store (Apple and Windows) there might be some recourse against developers but not in an open market. App developers have no incentive for efficient programming and the name of the game is serving you ads and uploading your data. As long as they do that and make their money they aren't going to care about the individual power efficiency of the app (only the OS creator, hardware OEM and carrier care about that).

    I saw this article a while back from a different source and believe they also mentioned that the over all energy use for apps was very low. So while "wasting" 65%-75% of the app energy use it amounts to very little of the actual drain on the battery. Still every little bit counts and that is why this is being looked into by MS.
     
  4. userbe1155

    userbe1155 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2011
    Messages:
    697
    Likes Received:
    55
    Trophy Points:
    102
    Location:
    plymouth
    Tablet / Device:
    wm8650
    Are there any ways to combat this other than 'no-ads apps? I would be interested. Maybe here's an app that could reduce this wasteage? I notice you still get ads when not online. Does this include them aswell?

    Sent from my M9701 using Android Tablet
     
  5. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Messages:
    5,172
    Likes Received:
    898
    Trophy Points:
    312
    Location:
    Northern CA
    Tablet / Device:
    Nook Color, Nook Tablet 16GB, Vizio VTab, Nexus 7
    The problem isn't just ads. The apps are also sending user data back and forth, contacts, location all manner of things you'd probably rather not deal with but should know about. Ads are only one part of what they are doing when they are "wasting" battery. If you want to secure your privacy and possibly improve battery life you should look into PDroid Privacy Protection.
     
  6. Spider

    Spider Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    15,413
    Likes Received:
    1,784
    Trophy Points:
    1,000
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Tablet / Device:
    NOOK Tablet Stock NOOKcolor Rooted/Flashed Nexus 7 (2013) 32GB Stock
  7. weezyrider

    weezyrider Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    180
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Tablet / Device:
    Acer A500
    There have been complaints about the ad services, too. The dev probably just signs with some agency, and that agency controls the ads. I've seen some with religious exception to ads - and I have received ads on stuff I am trying before buying that seem a little dicey in the porn area. If you can't opt for what kind of ads - I think political, religious, and sex ads should be forbidden from these services as the dev had no say, and no idea who owns the phone. He's also the one that gets the fallout. I don't care for ads, but don't mind cars, car dealers, stuff like that or more generic use in the same vein. The dev has a right to some income from app if not a pay-for.

    Should also be in permissions. Usually says app has right, but maybe should add that ads have right if the pay-for version doesn't need said permission.
     

Share This Page