Every sixth Android App has Energy Bugs

On 12. August 2013, in Allgemein, by cwilke

18% of all Android applications contain energy bugs. This is the central result of a study conducted at the Technische Universität Dresden, being presented at the international GreenCom 2013 conference on August, 21st. Besides from energy bugs in applications developed by small and unknown software developers, energy bugs can be found for mailing and social media applications of well-known software developers such as Microsoft (Outlook) and Google (Google+).

German Version / Deutsche Version

Within the study, more than 9 million user comments extracted from the Google Play store have been extracted and analyzed w.r.t. hints indicating negative energy behavior of the respective applications. „An example for an energy bug is the running of an application is the background over a long time period, without providing its user an additional use“, says Claas Wilke, research assistant at the TU Dresden. „A typical, often-mentioned scenario is the complete depletion of a smartphone battery over night, afterwards users installed an additional application containing such a bug.“ Further typical energy bugs include synchronization problems and frequent reloading of advertisement banners within freely-available applications.

Within the 9 million analyze user comments, for 18% of the respective 21’500 Android applications, comments have been found, complaining about negative energy behavior. „Although one single comment complaining about the energy consumption of an app cannot indicate energy bugs within this application, these numbers illustrate the dimension of the problem“, says Claas Wilke. Furthermore, it could be shown that energy bugs negatively influence the ratings, users give for applications within the market place. „Applications having many energy bugs are rated more negatively than competitors“, says Claas Wilke. „Thus, energy mugs are not a problem for applications users only, but an economic problem of their vendors as well.“

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