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These apps absolutely murder your smartphone’s battery

Published May 24th, 2021 8:44PM EDT
Most popular apps
Image: onephoto/Adobe

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As of today, we’re now exactly two weeks away from the kickoff of Apple’s WWDC 2021 event, during which CEO Tim Cook will deliver a keynote address and various other Apple executives will tout new products and services on the way from the iPhone maker. Among them, we’ll get a look at the next version of the mobile operating software that powers Apple’s iPhones — though, for all of the bells and whistles that Apple will tout as being on the way thanks to iOS 15, it’s a pretty good bet that at least one somewhat annoying thing won’t change for many of us: By the end of the day, I never have much juice left in my iPhone battery, and I’m not holding my breath that will change anytime soon. I’m a heavy iPhone user throughout the day, and this is the way it’s been for so long.

Along these lines, the cloud storage company pCloud recently decided to take a look at the worst culprits behind this problem — and, surprising no one, many of the most popular and pervasive mobile apps like Facebook and Uber were found to be among the biggest smartphone battery hogs.

In a summary of its findings, pCloud explains that it set out to determine which apps were draining the battery the most, as well as slowing down phone performance and taking up the most memory. “When looking at which apps are the most demanding on our phones, we (analyzed) three things,” pCloud notes. “The applications each app uses, such as location or camera, the battery these applications use and whether dark mode is available.

“By combining the results of these three factors, we were able to calculate which of the 100 most popular apps are the most demanding and crown them the ultimate phone killers.” And you check out their list of the worst offenders in the graphic and at the link below.

According to this analysis, social media apps and dating apps are the most guilty when it comes to draining your smartphone battery. pCloud notes that Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Snapchat, YouTube, and WhatsApp are all in the top 20, and all of them permit almost a dozen features to run in the background (which is a big drain on your phone’s battery and resources). Likewise, dating apps Bumble, Grindr, and Tinder account for 15% of the top battery-draining apps, and they let about 11 features run in the background.

For this analysis, pCloud says that each “demand” a particular app makes on an iPhone’s resources, such as Wi-Fi, was weighted, based on its perceived battery consumption, to come up with a weighted total demand. “If an app had access to a larger total of battery draining permissions,” the company explains, “it would be ranked highly as a phone killer.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.