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The hidden costs of a free app

In all fairness this is perhaps not news for you; you may have suspected it all along if are a moderately active user of smartphones. The more apps you have on your phone the faster the battery seems to demand your attention. Nothing surprising - your run of the mill mobile anxieties. Some of us, though, had a nasty suspicion regarding free apps: do they actually drain your battery even faster because of all those ads and pop-ups? Do you pay what you know you are paying, namely zeo?

Turns out, you are not developing a special case of paranoia.

William Halfond and Meiyappan Nagappan, the authors of new research paper, maintain that free apps are actually not that free. Users of free apps are being "taxed" in multiple ways.

  • Using ad-based apps drains an average of 16% more energy
  • Shortens the battery’s life cycle from 2.5 to as much as 1.7 hours during constant use
  • Apps are taking up 22% more memory use
  • Apps may lead to a 56% greater CPU usage
  • An ad-based app can have data usage increased by 79% on average

Alphatech is firmly committed to our transparency values: all our costs are upfront and you know exactly what you are paying when you install apps we build for you.


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