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Here’s why so many ‘free’ apps drain your phone’s battery and memory

Smartphone Battery Drain Causes Free Apps

Believe it or not, quality apps really are worth paying for. If you want proof, look no further than new research that shows how ad-supported free apps are a significant drain on your smartphone’s battery and memory — and they use up a lot more mobile data compared to apps without ads as well.

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Per Science Daily, researchers at the University of South California (USC), Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and Queen’s University in Canada have found that ad-supported free mobile apps use up 16% more battery power and 22% more memory than paid apps with no ads. They also use 79% more network data as well, which means having a lot of ad-supported apps running at once can really push you over your monthly data cap limit quickly.

USC’s William Halfond says that app developers need to be smarter about how they design apps because these battery life and memory problems mean users on average give ad-supported apps worse reviews than they otherwise would.

This strikes us as unfair, however — after all, app developers need to make money some way and it’s either going to come through users paying money directly or through support from advertisements. If users want to have a better experience on their mobile devices, they should probably be more willing to pay for apps.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.