Wow! Free apps on your smartphone! You might think that those are the next best thing since sliced bread, but there is always a trade-off in life. You cannot escape that inevitable fact, and one of the issues that we are looking into today consists of free apps. Sure, they get the job done just like a paid version, but the downside would be being greeted with ads from time to time that might just ruin your mojo, not to mention eating up your phone’s battery life faster than normal since it sends ads and uploads user data. In fact, it is said that up to 75% of the energy used by free versions of Android apps is actually dedicated to serving up ads or tracking and uploading user data. In fact, running a single app might drain your battery in a mere 90 minutes, scary stuff, no?
Abhinav Pathak, a computer scientist at Purdue University, Indiana, spearheaded this research with his merry band of colleagues after working on software that analyzes apps’ energy usage. When they took a closer look at hugely popular apps like Angry Birds, a mere 10% to 30% of the energy was spent to run the app’s core function, while the rest were used to find and upload the user’s location using GPS, followed by downloading location-appropriate ads via a 3G connection.
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