Free Mobile Apps = Drained Battery

Go through your smartphone right now. Look at each app and seriously consider whether you need it. If not, delete it. Then, determine which of the free apps are worth upgrading to the paid versions, since free apps that contain advertising that puts an additional drain on your battery.

Using a special energy-profiling tool, researchers from Microsoft and Purdue University found that when a mobile is run over a 3G connection, Android and Windows Mobile apps operating third-party ad services dedicate up to 75% of their power requirements to ads rather than game play.

Applications often communicate with their sources, transferring data back and forth between your mobile phone and the app’s home server. This information could be about you, gleaned from your mobile use, or it could be new advertising. The most effective way to deal with this is to either delete the app, or in some cases you are given an option to prevent it from running in the background.

But don’t stop there. There are numerous other battery drains affecting your smartphone. To preserve battery life:

Set your phone to lock automatically after being idle for one minute

Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when they are not in use

Disable all unnecessary notifications

Disable any unused location services

It’s also a good idea to get yourself set up with extra chargers for your car, travel bag, and various rooms of your home. I like getting a mix of extra long and very short cables for different applications. They can often be found inexpensively on eBay.

Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Evangelist to McAfee. Watch him discussing information he found on used electronic devices YouTube. (Disclosures)

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