Do Adverts Really Use 75% Of Your Phone's Battery?

by @edent | # # #


(N.B. I work for a mobile advertiser – but this is my personal blog. This post isn’t written on their behalf. Naturally I’m biased.)
(N.B. I’m in India and jetlagged to hell – this may not make any sense!)

Wild headlines abound – but very few people seem to have read the original Microsoft sponsored paper.

The 75% claim is based on…

  • one app,
  • running on the very first Android hardware (Magic & Passion),
  • not disclosed whether the phones were running Android 1.5 (what they shipped with) or an updated ROM,
  • based on the first thirty three seconds only of the app lifecycle,

There is no doubt that running adverts opens a 3G connection – and that takes energy. And, if your app is calling data every minute – that takes more energy.

But most apps aren’t coded that way.

And, even if they were, most phones keep a data connection open anyway for push email.

The energy used by downloading, say, a dozen adverts over a 30 minute session of Angry Birds is dwarfed by the total energy used by the screen, and the sound, and the music playing through your bluetooth headphones, and the vibration of incoming text messages.

Now, a sucky tracking SDK which turns on GPS, makes constant polls over the network might drain your battery a bit. But that doesn’t seem to be what these guys have found.

Profiling the apps’ only at their startup – rather than the continual playing of a game seems disingenuous at best.

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