In this part 3 as the last entry, I will report the result of our investigation on app-related battery consumption issue and its reality.
Android Apps’ Battery Consumption Issue
According to Trend Micro research, almost 47% of smartphone users in Japan are bothered by their device’s battery longevity.
Dubbed “PC on your palm” the smartphone’s design puts prime on portability, which inadvertently leads to battery resource issues. Previously, traditional feature phone devices did not have this concern, as their manufacturing companies were directly responsible for overall development and quality assurance of device’s components e.g. from device’s operating system up to its apps.
With smartphones, users can install third-party apps that are less dependent on the devices and their respective manufacturers. On the positive side, this brought changes to the apps market, in which new players can now participate and release their own apps. In turn, this made the app market dynamic and new apps are regularly introduced.
The downside, however, is that app development is not aligned with smartphone devices and their operating systems, making quality assurance more complicated and fragmented. Because anyone can join this market, even individuals with insufficient technical knowledge can easily release an app. This could be a reason why “potentially unwanted apps” consume too much device resource.
Resource Consumption Used by Free Android Apps
Sampling the top 200 apps (both general apps and game apps) among free apps on Google Play, for August 31, 2012, Trend Micro examined their resource consumption using Trend Micro Mobile App Reputation (MAR). The details of the sampled data are as follows:
Measuring battery consumption is not an easy task since it is determined by complex combination of apps and hardware. In MAR’s investigation, we created three levels of battery consumption using various combinations of factors such as network bandwidth, memory consumption, hardware used, etc.