A study carried out by a team in the US have concluded that free apps are draining battery life considerably faster than paid-for versions. Researchers at Purdue University in Indiana monitored applications on Android and the erstwhile Windows Mobile OS, and discovered that additional resources were being consumed by the third-party services used to promote advertising.
Researchers studied popular apps such as Angry Birds and Facebook and in one case discovered 75% of the power consumed by the app was being utilised by advertisements. In the case of Angry Birds itself, only 20% of the energy consumed was being used by the actual game with 45% going on GPS to enable targeted advertising. iOS restrictions meant the tests couldn't be carried out on the iPhone.
The findings demonstrate that app developers need to take energy optimisation more seriously, report author Abhinav Pathnak told the BBC.