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Study Shows Free Applications May Drain Batteries Faster Than Paid Apps Due to Advertisements

Thanks to research published by analysts from Purdue University and Microsoft, people are getting a good look at how much power that free app is actually costing you. With the use of special tools that recorded the drain from batteries on a 3G connection, multiple apps that have a paid for and free version were tested. For example, the ads that were displayed and power it takes to find your location in the free version of Angry Birds were a whopping 45% of the apps total power consumption on the device.

The report went on to state that app developers should think twice before inserting 3rd-party advertising services, which of course, probably won’t be happening anytime soon. Telling an app developer to not make money just doesn’t sound very enjoyable.

Via: BBC

  • Josh Groff

     One of the reasons I buy apps if there’s an option to, which is yet another reason why I hate “free” games/apps with in app purchases and you still get the ads. 5 apps a month is still cheaper than going out to eat once.

  • Gemma Bagiaji

    My god what kind of screen is that???????

  • Balls
  • KevinC

    you people that use AdFree and other similar adblocking methods are nothing more than common thieves that rip off hardworking developers.  no different than those that download paid apps for free online.

    some of us have bills to pay and don’t exactly work for free.

    • Josh Groff

       If a developer refuses to release a paid version without ads, I will usually block them. Otherwise, I pay for the ad-free version.

  • zuyu180
  • Salam

    Bitch, please! use AdFree no drain no ads !!!

  • Ahku Droid

    The point is moot if you have a RAZR MAXX, and it will be so for other manufacturers when they start adding mammoth batteries.  I used my phone constantly for texting, picture taking, uploading, calling, etc and all on 4G on St. Pat’s last Saturday.  It lasted from 9 AM, withstood 12 hours of very heavy use while McBoozing, and stayed charged till the next afternoon.  The majority of my apps are ad supported.  I am not concerned.

    • Dain Laguna

      its still affecting your battery life, imagine how much BETTER it would be if it wasnt full of battery hogging ads

      • Balls

         hes actually asking for props

  • that’s like saying keeping an app open longer and using internet drains your battery more then not doing so…. 

    • Josh Groff

      Recent study shows your phone uses more power when it’s on than when it’s off.

  • Skennedy412

    Step1. Root phone.
    Step2. Download an add blocker.
    Step3. Smile!

    • Josh Groff

      Step 1: Buy the paid version
      Step 2: ?????
      Step 3: Win

      Also, it’s ad… Unless you were referring to something that blocks attention deficit disorder.

      • r0lct

        Install AdFree and buy the paid version of apps you use regularly.  I’m sure am not going to browse the internet on my phone with ads as long as I can help it for adfree for me.  

  • GQGK

    Regardless, people that sit and brag about ad blockers annoy me. Look, not only am I so cheap that I can’t buy a 99¢ app to support a developer, but I can also completely remove their backup source of income on an app. The more I develop the more I dislike putting out free apps. And my free apps don’t have ads, but there are people that abuse developers either way. quite sad. stop being a cheap ass. 99¢ or ads. fair trade. no need to steal.

    • Jmichalakjr

      Torrent sucka!!!

      • feztheforeigner

        Why won’t people just support their developers? Yes, you go ahead and steal money from the developer that worked so hard to make that app for you. 🙁

        • Josh Groff

          This ^

          Speaking of, is there a manual of sorts for getting into making games and porting them to android?

        • Kyle Fullmer

          I’m sorry, but pirating isn’t stealing because 98% of the time if it wasn’t pirated the person wouldn’t be using it at all.  When something is stolen there is a cost to replace it because there was a cost to produce each piece.  For electronic mediums like music, DVDs, programs and apps, you aren’t losing anything from someone who WONT pay for the game to pirate it.  If anything you are gaining extra advertisement (regardless of how small).  Take minute to read 
          http://notch.tumblr.com/post/1121596044/how-piracy-works by notch.  His game is probably one of the most pirated ever.

          This would be like a venue giving away shirts say for the sports team they support.  Then after giving away 10,000 shirts they realize if they had actually charged 20 dollars a shirt they would have made 200,000 dollars?!?! Except wait, that is only if those people were willing to pay for it.  Of course they took it for free, but that doesn’t mean they would have bought it.

          Now I am not saying pirating is okay and I certainly love to support developers and indy game designers, but I am so tired of everyone acting like a pirated game is taking money out of their pockets. 

          • GQGK

            It does cost to produce, even if it’s digital. I suppose you could call me the average “indie dev”. I’m a full time computer science student, work part time at the local grocery store (although getting a summer internship with a company that builds e-commerce software), play intramural sports, do the college social life thing, and develop when I find time between that. It may not cost the price of a CD, but it costs a lot of my time. It takes me around a month to get around to having a fulling working build, then after that more time to polish it up for market. Now if you torrenting that app means 3 people that would have never heard about it buy it, great. But how many people really show off that game/app they just downloaded. As someone who used to do it before I realized the amount of work that goes into making the things we take for granted, I can with no doubt say there was a single game, song, or program I downloaded that caused someone to buy it. And as for the advertising, Deadmau5 or Kanye or Skrillex don’t need advertising. Anyone around that type of music know who they are. And most artists that are small release free songs on their twitter, facebook or whatever social media trend is big right now. Follow them, like their facebook, then grab their free stuff. That’s really free advertising for them. And yes, notch is a member of the pirate party. But even he thinks it’s wrong for people to use paid software for free. Someone told him on twitter they don’t get their paycheck for a week but they can’t wait that long to buy/play minecraft. His response: torrent it, but buy it when you get paid.

            tl;dr: I’ve never met someone that torrented something and shared it. 

          • Kyle Fullmer

            That still doesn’t address the fact that pirating isn’t stealing.  I mentioned in the OP that it is advertising (regardless of how small).  Sure it may not be anything some times, but that still doesn’t mean you lost anything when it was pirated.  You aren’t making less money from people stealing it as opposed to not buying it AND not torrenting it.  The obvious problem for this is if your app has any type of overhead like needing server access, because the strain from those torrents will cost you money in server power/storage.

            I was mostly addressing Fez’s notion of stealing money from developers, as if pirating your app is going to put you on the streets.

            With that said, support your devs people.  It isn’t stealing but if you like an app, toss the dev some money.  They worked hard for it.  Even free apps without a premium version usually have a way to donate.  Do it.

    • Trueblue711

       Agreed. A dollar is a fraction of what most people pay for lunch, not to mention their monthly cell phone bill.

      • TheOiulkj

         You need food to live, and a cell phone to communicate. Comparing those things to a mindless game or app is stupid.

        • djh36

          Because obviously everyone needs that six dollar bacon-filled burger with super-size fries and soda to live.  And yes in the U.S., most peoples’ lunches are along those lines.  Probably 90% of the expenses people spend on food are for the enjoyment factor, not for life/death.  You could live on beans, rice, and spinach.  But you don’t because you like to enjoy your food.  So no, it’s not stupid to compare it to paying for a 99 cent app you enjoy.

          • Dain Laguna


          • Josh Groff

            I know right, I actually use that as my justification for dumping ~ 5 bucks a month into apps.

        • Trueblue711

          Looks like you’re one of those cheapos. The $20/month (minimum) data plan required for your $200-300 smartphone is NOT needed to communicate. People have no problem paying for data packages they don’t really need (many are fine just using Wifi) yet they can’t part with that dollar for an app that can provide hours of use.

          • Noyfb

            I like the devs that have a donate option so i can pay what I can afford, usually from $1 to $20, and its ad free. I don’t mind paying for an app if I like it and will use more than once, but its hard to want to pay for an app that only gives me 15 mins to decide if its worth it. And 15 minutes isn’t going to tell you if the app is super buggy either

          • Josh Groff

             That’s why I like free apps without ads that have unlock codes you can pay for which enhance the user experience by unlocking features.

          • Trueblue711

             Agreed. Google really needs to allow a developer-defined return period.

        • Josh Groff

           There are apps available besides just games i.e. ROM Manager/ Power AMP. Also, I use my phone as a portable game console in place of a PSP or DS. Saves money compared to buying console games and still kills time on the go.

    • FortitudineVincimus

      BS… people that use adblockers – like me – have no, zero, none, zilch, zip intentions of ever hitting an ad, so I just also block them from being seen. You imply that if it were not for adblockers, I would hit the ads? Poppy-cock. Also, it is an ahole comment to say it is stealing when adblock users never intend to hit the ads.. total 100% BS. Adblockers just save me the clutter or your crap ads.

      If you don’t like putting out free apps, don’t. But then do not beotch if I don’t like paying for a pro version of every app I want as most pro versions are hardly worth it anyway whether .49, .99 or 2.99.

      • RadicalPie

        Your comment is hardly worth reading

      • I agree completely, and if I wanna support the dev because it is a good app I either buy it, or turn it off for a bit and hit a few ads.

      • feztheforeigner

        It is impossible to put out an app for $.49, Google requires a minimum in each country.

      • Josh Groff

         I prefer to buy my apps and support the developer. Power Amp and ROM Manager pro are well worth 5 bucks.

      • GQGK

        You’re implying devs only get money when people click the ads. That’s incorrect. They get a fraction of a cent each time an ad gets loaded. Therefore, if the ad doesn’t load, you cost them a fraction of a cent. I’m sorry but if you want to be so cheap that an app you’re using isn’t worth a fraction of a cent, you probably shouldn’t be using it. So yes, ad-blockers do cost devs money. Kind of a dick move to have someone spend at least a month designing then developing, and you can’t stand having less than a 1/10 of your screen being taken up by an ad. 

        • Kyle Fullmer

          How is blocking an add costing a cent?  If an add gets blocked you have to cough up the money?  If that is the case then I am so sorry, but you should stop putting out free ads.

          • GQGK

            You misread. You prevent the developer from getting a cent. Ads don’t just work on CPC (cost per click), there is also CPM. Meaning the developer gets paid for each time an ad is shown. If you’re going to block ads, you keep him from earning the money that’s rightfully his. Basically the payment from an ad comes from the developer “renting out” screen space from their app. Sorry I didn’t make my last post clear enough. I just meant ad blockers keep devs from making their money they earned.

          • Kyle Fullmer

            Therefore, if the ad doesn’t load, you cost them a fraction of a cent.”

            That is what I was referring to.  Otherwise I completely agree.  Everyone should support developers for apps they like and use frequently.

    • I would 100 times rather buy an app and support the dev than use the free version. However, sometimes the only option for a given app is the free-with-ads setup. That’s the only thing I use an adblocker for, when they are unavoidable.

      Other than that, I’ll download the free-with-ads version as a test, and delete it to buy the paid version once I’m sure it’s what I want. I can’t understand why some devs won’t offer a paid version.

      • Josh Groff

         ^ For Zenonia 3 + 4, bought 1 + 2. I hate freemium apps…

    • I agree with you. Honestly, I have no intention of clicking any ad ever BUT the bonus of buying the app is getting rid of the ads. I’m all for it. But of course people use Ad Block. While its a great app to make browsing more pleasant, ad-less apps are a ‘bonus’ for some. That’s just very selfish. But hey, that’s of the dark sides of Android users. Why buy an app when you can just download an APK? Frankly, its so selfish and shameful. Typical Android entitlement complex. Open source doesn’t mean just take whatever you want for free. Some things cost money. 99c or hell, 4.99 is nothing in the grand scheme of things. Endow, people. Lets make this worth a dev’s while.

      • Josh Groff

        Kinda wish some of the old FF games would get ported to android already. Would love to drop 7 bucks a piece on em’.

    • feztheforeigner

      I completely stopped offering free versions. You get what you get.

      Sorry guys, when you act the way you do “those ads keep getting in my face!!! One star for you!!!” “Why do we have to put up with theses ads?! This is supposed to be free!” there’s very little choice in the matter.

      Please support your developers. All they want is to keep making great apps for you to enjoy, they really truly do…

  • -= )v(urphy =-

    One word : AdFree

  • I thought free apps was the advantage of Android… guess you get what you paid for

    • Trueblue711

       At least we get a CHOICE, which is what Android is all about.

  • Jmichalakjr

    Ad Blocker sucka!!!

  • kulanapan

    A non-story that’s been popping up all over the place…congratulations MS, your propaganda campaign is still churning.

  • Dan
    • Josh Groff

       Was coming here to say that, lol.

  • Stephen

    Do adblockers help

    • FortitudineVincimus

      adblockers kick arse… helpful or not, adblockers alone are a reason to root your phone. It seems logical it would help battery as well though.

  • Bewara2009

    That study is BS….

    • FortitudineVincimus

      Yeah? Why?

      And don’t use the classic empty parent response, “because I said so”.

  • FortitudineVincimus

    Horrible article title!

    So your lumping in all free apps as having adds in them?

    The story talks about only apps with adds and that does NOT mean all free apps. Free apps do not drain the battery faster.. apps with ads drain the battery faster.

    • Does it says ALL free apps? Ay caramba 

      • FortitudineVincimus

        Nope.. but it is a 14 word title where the real key clarifying point & purpose does not come until the last 3 words. It’s just a poorly written title.

      • Jk8

        it doesn’t say it, but he’s right, it insinuates it. better headline would have been “study shows free apps with ads may drain batteries faster than paid apps”. simple.

  • Michael Forte

    What advertisements? 😛

    • I know everyone is saying ad blocker…but I wonder if its still sucking the battery?  Most ad blockers just clear the ip table for ads…so technically, your phone will still try to load an ad, but get nothing…but this loading portion will still use battery?  Hopefully somebody has a real answer

      • Josh Groff

         Airplane mode? Anyway, would rather pay for an app, but if my only choice is free, i will block the ads.