In-game advertisements have always been annoying and invasive, and now it looks like they're actually affecting the way in which your phone functions. Researchers from Purdue University and Microsoft have discovered that when an app drains your battery, it's not the app itself doing it, but the ad-serving process. Up to 75 percent of the damage an app does to your battery life is caused by advertisements - uploading user info and location, as well as downloading and displaying the ads. While the user info is only uploaded once, in games like Angry Birds, a new ad is downloaded and displayed on each level.
According to lead researcher Abhinav Pathak, their objective wasn't to point fingers at any developers, but rather help developers and advertisers make their software more efficient. The study suggests that Android ads don't have to consume so much energy, they're just poorly coded in their current state.
I've always scoffed at the idea of paying for otherwise free applications just to get the "ad-free" version, but now that's looking like a good idea.
via The Verge