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Music Streaming, Shopping, Social Media Apps Degrading Android Device Performance

The most data-intensive smartphone apps also tend to be the most power-hungry and can quickly deplete smartphone batteries – but there are some exceptions, as new research from online security provider AVG Technologies illustrates. Technology advances have helped minimize the battery drain of some high-bandwidth apps, while some apps that would not be expected to consume large amounts of data or power actually are some of the most resource-hungry because of functionality occurring in the background.

It’s important for network operators to keep tabs on this information, as overall user habits, in combination with app technology, also can impact overall network performance.

Streaming music service provider Spotify, new online games such as Deer Hunter 2014 and e-commerce apps such as Amazon's shopping app rank among the most “resource-hungry apps,” according to the latest quarterly “AVG Android App Performance Report.” In producing its quarterly series of mobile app performance reports AVG gathers aggregated, anonymous data from over one million AVG Android app users.”

Popular streaming music service provider Spotify's app rose two places from AVG's 3Q ranking of resource-intensive Android apps. Installed on over 600,000 devices across AVG's user base as of 4Q, Spotify's app ranked second behind Facebook's social networking app when it comes to hindering performance.

Facebook app's “constant background notification checks still have the greatest impact on overall Android performance, consistent with last quarter's findings,” AVG highlights.

In its latest quarterly report, AVG also identifies four major new trends:

  • Game On: demonstrating the ever-changing gaming landscape, last quarter’s gaming chart toppers, FarmVille and Puzzle & Dragons, showed major declines in their installed user base, contributing to the reason they dropped out of the AVG Q4 performance rankings. They are replaced by new entrants, Boom Beach for overall impact and Deer Hunter 2014 for storage consumption;
  • Seasonal Shopping Fever: over the holiday shopping and sales period, the official Amazon for Android app entered the charts this quarter, ranked number five in the top 10 list of most all-round resource-consuming apps;
  • Home Cinema Gets Smart: previously listed in the top three battery draining apps, Netflix this quarter no longer appears in the tables at all following a November update that has resulted in significantly less battery drain. Good news for film fans;
  • Helping Hands that Hinder: tools like Clean Master or background apps like Samsung’s Security Policies designed to help keep smartphones secure and smooth, actually rank among the highest drainers of battery, storage and data plans.

“In this quarter’s app report we saw some expected seasonal changes in the app landscape, such as uplift in usage of social, purchasing and GPS-based location apps,” commented Yuval Ben-Itzhak, AVG Technologies' chief technology officer.

“What surprised us, however, was that some of those tools and security updates aimed at improving your phone experience, were in fact impacting it quite heavily. This is not something most people would expect so we hope our report will encourage people to understand how to manage their apps to prevent them impacting negatively on their favorite mobile past-times.”

The complete report is available on AVG Now.

Chuck Harris leads the Alliance Development Team for NetAmerica Allaince whose mission it is to grow NetAmerica's 4G LTE footprint by working with wireless license holders across the U.S. interested in joining the NetAmerica Alliance to provide 4G LTE service to citizens in rural America.