Study: Free iPhone, Android games can gobble up your phone's battery

iPhone battery
iPhone battery

It looks like you pay for your free mobile games whether you like it or not. A study led by Abhinav Pathak, a computer scientist at Indiana's Purdue University, found that free-to-play (F2P) mobile apps can drain your phone's battery, thanks to ads. Pathak and his team of researchers made the discovery after developing software that analyzes an app's energy usage.

According to New Scientist, free versions of games like Angry Birds and Free Chess use a whopping 45 percent of the app's energy to determine a player's location over the phone's 3G connection and download location-appropriate ads. Even after the ads are downloaded, that connection stays open for about 10 seconds, draining another 28 percent of the app's energy.

The study, according to New Scientist, found that only 10 to 30 percent of a free app's energy is used to actually run and display content. (Pathak specifically points out that Angry Birds Free uses a mere 20 percent for this task.) Ultimately, the researcher points to inefficiencies in the third-party code that developers use to generate in-app advertising. Unfortunately, here's the only protip we can offer: Either play F2P games over Wi-Fi, or just cough up the buck.

[Via TouchArcade]

Do you find your phone or tablet's battery abnormally low after a lengthy session with, say, Angry Birds Free or Words With Friends Free? Share with us in the comments. Add Comment.

Originally published