5 Reason Your App is Draining the Battery

Mobile Apps Drain BatteryNothing is a bigger turn off than an app that drains the battery. Once users peg the offending app, it’s sure to be deleted. Rajat Harlalka wrote a guest post for The Next Web highlighting the biggest power sucking offenders – and the best way to avoid making this dire misstep.

Here are the biggest battery drainers:

1. The Display. According to a research paper the display of a mobile device is capable of consuming 45-50% of the system’s power in some cases. Luckily, display and image brightness levels can give you some workarounds to avoid this issue.

2. Network Interfaces. Research from the National University of Singapore found that “wireless data communication represents roughly 40 percent of energy consumption in mobile devices when the display is on, and roughly 70 percent of energy consumption when the device display is switched off.”

To limit the power used by network interfaces, Rajat recommends taking a second look at how, why and how often devices are connecting to servers. Limiting the connections is a logical way to limit excessive power consumption. This goes double for GPS and location based services – consider whether user location data is absolutely necessary to your app.

3. Mobile ads. A subset of Network Interfaces, I think mobile ads deserve their own paragraph, especially since this blog is all about mobile app testing. A study put out by researchers are UC Berkeley and Microsoft Research found that mobile ads “consume 65 percent of an app’s total communication energy, or 23 percent of an app’s total energy.” If an app seems to be draining a lot of battery power, consider if there are more ads than usual or if they change often.

4. Too much pressure on CPU. Not paying attention to CPU is as major no-no. Boost battery life by focusing processing power only where it’s necessary. Rajat highlights six specific things you can consider to decrease the pressure.

Pay special attention to this one: “It is important for developers to understand the hardware configuration of their target device. For example, when designing audio-video applications, choose the format and codec type that is hardware assisted. Substantial CPU load savings can be realized by developers who utilize hardware accelerated codec’s solutions rather than software based alternatives.”

We don’t live in a one-dimensional mobile world, there are a lot of different devices to consider. Understanding how they all (or at least a few) work can help you avoid an issue down the line.

5. Unnecessary Hardware. “Smartphones contain several other components such as a camera, accelerometer, various sensors, etc. When accessing device hardware, you should ensure that your software has failover parameters which turn off the peripheral after period of inactivity. Turning off Bluetooth, GPS and other features when they are not in use is an easy way to save battery life in your app.”

Read Rajat’s full article on The Next Web >>>


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