It’s no secret, the majority of smartphone’s battery life sucks. You turn this off, that off, and it still drains faster than what you would like. And to pile on one more time, even when you take your device off the charger after it has charged to 100%, it instantly drops 5% (we’re reaching a bit). This has the attention of every OEM, carrier, OS provider, and most recently Purdue University.
The Purdue University team, led by project leader Abhinay Pathak, makes it clear that free apps are a big reason as to why your battery is draining so fast. Why? Well most free apps have ads all through them (Angry Birds & Words With Friends = big offenders), and the results of the study found that the vast majority of the power used when you are running those free apps come from advertisements and GPS locators within the apps. Engadget states this from the study,
Drilling down into those Angry Birds figures: the game itself only consumes 18 percent of the power, while advertising platform Flurry has 45 percent and GPS location tracking a further 15 percent.
So what does this mean? Well I won’t say get rid of your free apps, I’ll just say this should be a consideration when going free. Maybe it’s worth the cost of battery life … maybe it’s not. At the end of the day however, as Pathak points out, these are just “poorly coded apps.” For more information, check out the graphs below centering around Angry Birds.