In app advertising impacting battery life

Recently I carried out a full reset of my lovely Samsung Galaxy Nexus as it couldn’t survive more than 4 hours away from a charging source, truly shocking! I went through all my settings and my apps and removed any that I thought could be causing the problem to no avail. I still don’t know what caused it, a combination of apps perhaps? I’ll never know as I couldn’t continue to live with it and after the reset, my phone lasted a respectable 53 hours with some average use of emails, phone calls and text messaging before bleating for a charge.

I started to research some of the factors that could cause the problem and no surprises that the GPS, Bluetooth, Wifi, 3G can all hammer the poor old battery. But what did surprise me was how in -app advertising can have such an adverse effect.

PC World report that potentially 75% of the energy used for an app is taken up by the advertising engine! I recall playing some games that had advertising and thinking ‘I can ignore that, not costing me anything’ but in reality, draining my battery faster means I have to plug it in to charge it – and that most certainly does cost me money!

What I find interesting is in that article they discuss a report that has been produced and a tool to identify to developers what their battery consumption is. Question I have though is; do they care? I’m sure to a certain extent developers and software companies don’t want their app to get slated because it drains the battery dead in five minutes flat. But how bothered are they if the majority of their app is to support the advertising aspects that are there for their benefit, not ours?

Battery life is of course improving, it’s not something I’m excited about though: I just expect my battery to last a reasonable amount of time to keep up with my demands. How long before we see solar panels built into the phones? Remember the old solar powered calculators? Obviously the power requirement is a lot more but I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody develops an LCD screen that has the capability to act as a solar panel.

How about a mini wind turbine built in to the phone so I could charge it in the car by sticking it in front on the air vents?! It may sound crazy now but I think phone manufacturers are going to be looking for more innovative ways of increasing battery life in the future.

Let me know your thoughts on what’s coming next to improve battery lift!