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One in four Android apps has battery draining bugs, study shows

Posted: , by Nick T.

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One in four Android apps has battery draining bugs, study shows
The folks at Purdue University are at it again! This time, a research that they conducted revealed bugs in Android apps that cause severe battery drain. These so-called "no-sleep energy bugs" are caused by mishandling of power management APIs and are capable of draining a smartphone's battery in as little as five hours even when it is not being used. 

In a nutshell, a smartphone is in a power-saving idle mode by default. Its processor is in a sleep state unless an application wakes it up. Most developers use the power management APIs well, which is why their software does not put any load on the processor when that is not required. About a quarter of the apps that were tested, however, contained errors that could potentially keep the processor occupied, thus draining the smartphone's battery in no time. 

Back in March, a similar Purdue University study demonstrated how free, ad-supported Android applications had a negative effect on a smartphone's battery. It was discovered that a significant amount of the power needed to run a free app, up to 75% at times, is sucked by the advertisements that are being displayed. Even the free version of Angry Birds is affected, according to the research. About 45% of the power that the game needs is consumed by the third-party Flurry advertisement network. Of that 45%, 15% is used to acquire your location via GPS and 24% is used for transferring data online.

So think about all that the next time you take that smartphone out of your pocket and realize that its battery had died. A recently installed application could be causing all the trouble. 


33 Comments
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posted on 18 Jun 2012, 08:12 7

1. Fallout09 (Posts: 414; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Lets see all the IOS sheep now say Android is to blame and not the poorly written application code.

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 08:15 4

2. aaronkatrini (Posts: 237; Member since: 06 Jun 2012)


Brace Yourselfs :)

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 19:25 1

30. sprockkets (Posts: 1160; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


Weird. An article just like this came out months ago about how the vast percentage of a games use is the adverts and how it doesn't turn the radio back to sleep.

It affects ios as well btw.

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 08:24 3

3. Sniggly (Posts: 6942; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Don't you worry your pretty little head. They'll still claim it's somehow Android's fault.

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 08:36 2

5. good2great (Posts: 1039; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


i doubt anybody from the apple camp will come here to say anything...

its usually android trolls and trolls in denial that kick off the wars in here...

now if you check the apple articles then yes you will see the i$.he..P talking trash about android.

but yes i agree with you it is primarily poorly written code.

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 11:22 4

19. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


Exactly android articles are very rarely trolled. Android users are free to have discussions in peace. Apple users don't get the same respect. Every Apple article has over half the comments by android trolls.

Wish PA would do something about it.

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 11:53 6

20. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


says the sites biggest troll... hmm.. your words are a little hollow..
wait.. arent you on an android article.. right now.. whining about cross trolling? lolol.

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 14:33 4

26. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


Am I trolling? No.

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 12:24

22. TROLL.ISAHA (banned) (Posts: 535; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)


Cause iFans can't argue nor dispute cause they all no Android is much better than Heavy restrictions....
Ooooo look taco is asking and requiring help... how funny hahaha... There's nothing to Troll on Android
cause its an Linux free full OS operating system ....
There not Trolls... there just pointing out inferences...

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 14:09 2

25. metalpoet (unregistered)


Troll?

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 15:28 3

28. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)


Taco I kinda agree on this one! Green from me.

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 08:31 4

4. xtian1103 (Posts: 357; Member since: 11 Feb 2012)


android is not to be blamed. the battery drain is because of the poorly written application code. happy now? this article isn't an ios vs android topic so don't start any flame war ok?

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 11:17 1

18. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1268; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


Agree. All I care about right now is "FIX IT!!!"

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 08:41 2

6. shadowcell (Posts: 300; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)


I think some of the battery drains are existent due to the fact that most apps are not written to utilize the multithreading on dual core phones. Just a thought....

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 08:49 4

7. wendygarett (unregistered)


thats why you should buy an iphone :)

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 09:07 2

10. BigRed83 (Posts: 142; Member since: 19 May 2008)


If I ever want a device that so "smart" that I don't need to be (or am allowed to be), I'll consider an iPhone. In the meantime, have fun at the mall.

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 12:29

23. TROLL.ISAHA (banned) (Posts: 535; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)


We are not aliens or animal's.....

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 13:17

24. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)


In your dreams... but who is the babe in the tight pink top??? She's hot...

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 16:35

29. rasinhussy (Posts: 87; Member since: 28 Dec 2008)


He must have an Android phone.

http://www.phonearena.com/news/Android-users-more-likely-to-get-lucky-on-the-first-date_id26485

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 23:05

31. SSyar (Posts: 14; Member since: 03 Jan 2012)


his profile shows.. HTC ONE X... in Have It :p

posted on 19 Jun 2012, 00:00

32. wendygarett (unregistered)


Hey!!! I have iPhone4s too...

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 08:54 3

8. tumchaaditya (Posts: 71; Member since: 21 May 2012)


Nice article...
Though poorly writtern on ad-supported apps are to blame for lesser battery life on droids, in my opinion
(I REPEAT, in my opinion because I don't intend to start a comment war here),

Android is not as efficient OS as some other mobile OSs(I'm not naming any) in terms of resource usage(battery and processing power)

From a noob's perspective, why does android need minimum 1 GHz processor and 512MB of RAM to run as smooth as butter when some of the desktop OSs still in use can run off lesser resources.

One more point here is other mobile platforms also have ad-supported apps. But, still, they fare better than android when it comes battery life.

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 01:51

33. joey_sfb (Posts: 2887; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


"From a noob's perspective, why does android need minimum 1 GHz processor and 512MB of RAM to run as smooth as butter when some of the desktop OSs still in use can run off lesser resources"

Ans: iOS, I have an iPad 2 its similar spec. The new iPad has better spec so things keep improving.

The point is there an open discussion about it so things to change for the better.
iOS fan are living in denied and therefore does not see it. They even think that notification bar is invented by Apple, latest joke is the ML safari with search function on the URL bar... great invention indeed.

Actually, to each their own. Some are born to serve, Apple Inc. so be it.

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 09:04

9. xtian1103 (Posts: 357; Member since: 11 Feb 2012)


isn't it nice when you learned something new while reading comments from tech enthusiast here in PA and not the word wars by keyboard warriors?

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 09:08

11. hutty24 (Posts: 84; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


How do we fix this?

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 09:23

12. shadowcell (Posts: 300; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)


We don't. I'm guessing the developers have to take charge and update their apps to prevent this "no-sleep bug" issue.

If you're an Android user you'll notice some of these apps are still being run in the background even when you set your battery mode to "night time mode".

I've noticed this when I switched to a new alarm clock app (doubletwist). It drained my phone to about 20% loss at night.

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 09:25 1

13. thelegend6657 (unregistered)


Yeap thats the price you pay for not staying inside apple's walled garden
So if you are on android always buy paid apps ?

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 09:37

14. medicci37 (Posts: 624; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)


Would like 2 see Android be more strict with devs about these kind of issues. When you have alot of apps installed, troubleshooting them can be very time consuming. I prefer Android. But like any other os, it does have its drawbacks.

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 09:46 1

15. jbitounis (Posts: 54; Member since: 08 Oct 2011)


It would be interesting to check the percentage of similar battery-drain apps for other platforms (iOS, Symbian, BB7) and, if there is a significant difference, find the reason why.
These surveys are conducted to imporve the user experience and not to declare a winner among mobile platforms.

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 11:06

16. Luuthian (Posts: 210; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


Some people just code their games in a sloppy manner. Just ask Kairosoft. While they develop amazingly good, time waster strategy titles, those games are completely unoptimized for dual-core processors. They drain battery faster than most 3D intensive games if you're using the wrong kind of phone.

It's a shame, but it's true. The blame lies entirely on the developers though.

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 11:08

17. iamcc (Posts: 1319; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


For anyone interested there is a free app called "badass battery" (I believe) that lets you track what % of your battery life (that has been consumed already) was used by each app.

It's very helpful for identifying if there is an app such as the ones the article describes eating your battery life. It's also worth noting I have almost 200 apps and the only one that seems to cause any issues is actually Facebook.

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 11:53

21. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


facebook can be a battery killing little bastard if it gets hung up on something. u think they would have fixed that by now.

posted on 18 Jun 2012, 15:09

27. networkdood (Posts: 6267; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


End all apps...ICS has an option that let's you have an aggressive task killer...adaway gets rid of the ads

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