Free apps drain smartphone battery faster

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Saving a few bucks by downloading free apps have been very ideal for spendthrift individuals. Unfortunately, your free app downloading hobby may turn your device into a battery eating machine.

Researchers from Microsoft and Purdue University teamed up and used a special profiling tool to find out the connection between free apps and a smartphone’s battery life. In one case, 75 percent of an app’s power requirement was spent not on gameplay but on operating third-party ad services.

Those pesky ads are the culprit for this.

The research team used six smartphone applications to study. These include Angry Birds and Facebook. They compared the results on three HTC handsets the Android powered Magic and Passion, TyTN II running on Windows Mobile OS. The iPhone wasn’t tested due to the restrictions built into the OS.

With free versions of the Angry Birds, only 20 percent of the power is being consumed by the game. Forty-five percent of the power is being consumed finding out the player’s whereabouts so that a specific ads can be served.

They also found out what they call a “3G tail”. This is when a battery’s energy continues to be sapped even after a particular action. They found out that this “3G tail” accounts to more than 25 percent power consumption.

So don’t be frugal and spend some hard earned bucks for your favorite apps.