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Mobile Apps and Games Are Also Energy Thieves

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Smartphones running a variety of apps.

Doctoral student Ekhiotz Jon Vergara has found that different mobile apps deplete the energy of a smartphone differently, depending on both the amount of data transmitted and on how it is sent.

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Linkoping University's Ekhiotz Jon Vergara developed EnergyBox, a tool for measuring how much power mobile devices use due to data communication, for his doctoral thesis on comparing the energy consumption of various apps, computer games, and chat services. He found consumption relies not only on the amount of data transmitted, but also on how it is sent.

Vergara says the length and energy efficiency of the "handshake" between systems is a key determinant of the amount of energy consumed.

Among the energy-efficient solutions Vergara proposes in this instance is queueing the message for a second, because "if the application can queue what we're writing and then send everything at once, we can save up to 43 percent of the energy."

In his tests of mobile games, Vergara found single-player games can run equally well while consuming significantly less energy when an Internet connection is absent.

Because there currently are no clear incentives for software developers to cut energy consumption, Vergara has assessed various strategies for distributing the total energy use of a system among the consuming entities as fairly as possible. "In my thesis, I have identified some possible methods and provided guidelines to choose among the alternatives," he notes.

From Linkoping University
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Abstracts Copyright © 2016 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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