first_imgYes, you read the headline right; a recent study conducted by researchers at Purdue University has shown evidence that your miserly ways of “purchasing” the free app over the $0.99 one will cost you in another way. But not in the way you might think. Play a lot of Angry Birds Free version on your phone and you’ll notice a shorter battery life than had you paid full price.Researchers Abhinav Pathak, Charlie Hu, and Ming Zhang asked a simple question, “Where is the energy spent inside my app?” They took several popularly downloaded apps for the Android and Windows Mobile operating systems, including Angry Birds, Free Chess, and The New York Times, and looked specifically at power use. They developed their own software to analyze the apps’ energy usage by breaking down power drawn for hardware and specific entities within each of the apps.The results were shocking: 65 percent to 75 percent of energy in free apps was spent specifically in advertising modules. Breaking it down in more detail with Angry Birds, the researchers found the core of the app consumes only 18 percent of the total app energy. Here’s the kicker though, rendering the ad itself takes only 1 percent of energy while a third party entity called Flurry consumes 45 percent of energy. This energy is being spent gathering your GPS location and aggregating information from the user’s phone. Further adding to the overall power drain is even after the ad has been downloaded, the 3G connection remains open for about 10 seconds.The bottom line is there are inefficiencies when it comes to third-party coding in apps that require advertisements. The smartphone market is expanding at a rapid pace, some predict that it will become a $38 billion industry by 2015, so third-party advertising services should look to make their applications more efficient. Or, if anything, you could just take the high road and go green by spending the extra $0.99 for Angry Birds.via New Scientistlast_img read more