Ads in Apps and Resource Usage

John Gruber linked in a study from Purdue about the majority of battery life going into supporting and displaying ads.   Rather surprising really, but largely due to the fact I hadn’t considered it much on mobile devices.   I usually get paid versions of apps as I’m just not a fan of ads eating screen real estate.   That said, I use ClickToFlash to limit ads on web pages and further cull their activity with Little Snitch blocking a lot of track sites and flash serving ad sets.   I’d rather have a way to subscribe, or read inline advertising as Gruber does with Daring Fireball already.   It’s much more effective as well than the pop-over ads and interstitials I go looking for the close button on before the thing even gets rendered.

I wonder if this sort of study is going to affect purchasing decisions in people if it becomes more widespread?   And if that happens it will affect developer decisions and will actually wind up changing some of the ad industry approach in that they too will have to consider efficiency and battery life.   It won’t just be the application developer dealing with the restriction.   The ad is a supporting mechanism, so really it should use no more than say 10% of the resources the application uses itself.   Definitely not 3x the resources at any rate.

In-App Ads Consume Mucho Battery Life:

Jacob Aron, NewScientist:

Up to 75 per cent of the energy used by free versions of Android apps is spent serving up ads or tracking and uploading user data: running just one app could drain your battery in around 90 minutes.

Abhinav Pathak, a computer scientist at Purdue University, Indiana, and colleagues made the discovery after developing software to analyse apps’ energy usage. When they looked at popular apps such as Angry Birds, Free Chess and NYTimes they found that only 10 to 30 per cent of the energy was spent powering the app’s core function.


(Via Daring Fireball.)

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