The use of ad-supported freeware applications can significantly increase battery drain, say researchers.
A report from Microsoft and Purdue University has found that applications which rely on mobile advertising networks show as much as a 75 per cent higher rate of power usage than other applications.
Using an energy-profiling tool known as "eprof," researchers sought to gain a fine-grained picture of data consumption on Windows Phone and Android applications.
Researchers found that within some applications, such as the free version of Angry Birds, the majority of power consumption was in fact due to 3G network traffic.
The study concluded that as much as 45 per cent of power usage on the applications was from advertisements being served over the wireless broadband network.
Additionally, the researchers found that advertising network activity consumed 15 per cent of power even on data-intensive applications such as the New York Times reader application.
Overall, the study found that I/O activity was the main culprit for energy loss.
The researchers recommended that application developers and platform vendors adopt a 'bundle' analytical approach which provides a clearer view of energy consumption and optimisation.
The report comes as many firms are working to integrate mobile devices into their IT networks. As firms are struggling with consumerisation, vendors are offering a number of services and platforms for managing access and activity on personal devices.
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