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Robert Siciliano - IDTheftSecurity.com

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Free Mobile Apps Equal Drained Battery

27 May 2012  |  2248 views  |  2

Go through your smartphone right now. Look at each app and seriously consider whether you need it. If not, delete it. Then, determine which of the free apps are worth upgrading to the paid versions, since free apps that contain advertising that puts an additional drain on your battery.

Using a special energy-profiling tool, researchers from Microsoft and Purdue University found that when a mobile is run over a 3G connection, Android and Windows Mobile apps operating third-party ad services dedicate up to 75% of their power requirements to ads rather than game play.

Applications often communicate with their sources, transferring data back and forth between your mobile phone and the app’s home server. This information could be about you, gleaned from your mobile use, or it could be new advertising. The most effective way to deal with this is to either delete the app, or in some cases you are given an option to prevent it from running in the background.

But don’t stop there. There are numerous other battery drains affecting your smartphone. To preserve battery life:

Set your phone to lock automatically after being idle for one minute

Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when they are not in use

Disable all unnecessary notifications

Disable any unused location services

It’s also a good idea to get yourself set up with extra chargers for your car, travel bag, and various rooms of your home. I like getting a mix of extra long and very short cables for different applications. They can often be found inexpensively on eBay.

TagsSecurityRisk & regulation

Comments: (2)

John Dring - Intel Network Services - Swindon | 27 May, 2012, 10:27

Thanks, good reminder, and its true that Ad Serving is a significant contributor to app-cpu use.  I am constantly amazed at how little use/time one really gets out of a smart phone if you actually use it, and after a few months of use when the battery is degraded from new. 

The problem is increasingly not available bandwidth, but power.

I would add - invest in a spare battery, or a portable battery booster.

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Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 29 May, 2012, 12:57

It's ironic that the true power of a smarphone - anywhere, anytime on - is so badly undermined by problems in another kind of power - battery! Personally, I like targeted ads and LBS apps among other smartphone goodies. While all suggestions to preserve battery life are useful, I begin to wonder if following them wouldn't downgrade the smartphone to its poorer cousin - feature phone. 

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job title Security Analyst
location Boston
member since 2010
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Security analyst, published author, television news correspondent. Deliver presentations throughout the United States, Canada and internationally on identity theft protection and personal security....

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