Free Apps Devour Your Phone Battery With Ads

If you think watching an ad for a few seconds is the only “catch” to using free-versions of your favorite apps, think again! In a recent post from the folks over at New Scientist, they discovered that up to 75% of battery power used by free versions of Android apps is spent delivering ads, or tracking and uploading user data (to deliver you more targeted advertising, of course). The team investigated apps like Angry Birds, and in that particular case found that only 20% of the energy used by the app went to powering the actual game itself. While this study focused mainly on Android Apps, it’s not a stretch to presume that similar results could be found with free apps across all mobile devices.

This certainly adds a new twist to the free apps vs paid apps debate. When considering whether or not to get the free-version of popular apps like Draw Something or Words With Friends, many people (myself included) make that decision by weighing how annoying the in-app ads are, and how willing we are to sit through them. However, if you were also taking a significant drop in battery life into account, the decision may become a lot easier. But hey, if you’re curious about the kind of drain those apps will put on your battery life, it won’t cost you a penny to see for yourself.

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