Noticing your smartphone gets drained faster than usual? One study says that it might be because of all the free apps that are installed in your device. A study says that up to 75% of energy used by a free app is used to serve you free ads or sending user data, with one app having the potential to drain your battery in just 90 minutes. The usage statistic was uncovered by Abhinav Pathak, a computer scientist at Purdue University, Indiana after developing software that tracks the energy usage of an app.
He, along with his other colleagues used the app tracking software on three popular free apps: Angry Birds, Free Chess and NYTimes and found that only 10 to 30 percent of the power used powers the core function of the app, with the rest going to sending user information such as location to serve you localized ads. The tests were conducted via 3G, and some apps left the 3G connection open for up to 10 seconds after downloading information from the net. This phenomenon is dubbed as the “3G tail”, which Pathak says consumes up to a quarter of the app’s total energy consumption.