New tool measures mobile apps’ energy efficiency

London, May 18 (IANS) A Swedish scientist has developed a new tool that measures and calculates how much energy is consumed by gadgets when connecting to the internet to use apps and games, a media report said.

“Until now, app developers didn’t care all that much about the energy consumption of their apps, but more and more have started to consider this issue, such as Spotify,” said Ekhiotz Jon Vergara from Sweden’s Link√∂ping University.

Vergara developed “EnergyBox” that easily quantifies the energy consumption of mobile devices due to data communication, ScienceDaily reported.

The tool simulates the consumption of wireless interfaces considering the aspects that impact the communication from the network operator and mobile device side.

He used “EnergyBox” to compare how much energy various apps, computer games and chat services use.

The study found that the energy consumption doesn’t only depend on how much data is sent, but also on how it’s sent.

When two systems are to send data back and forth, they start with a ‘handshake’. This procedure can be long and energy-intensive or quick and energy-efficient. How often the systems shake hands with each other depends on how the data is sent and also the configuration of the network operator.

Vergara tested a number of different messaging services using the same conversation such as Kik, Google Hangout, Skype, Messenger and a few others. He measured both how much data was sent to convey the content in the message, and how much energy was consumed.

“The amount of data sent is not proportional to the energy consumption. Messenger sends a lot of data and uses a lot of energy, Google Hangout sends significantly less data and is more energy-efficient, while Kik, for example, sends very little data but uses a lot of energy,” he said.

He also tested 20 different mobile games.

“In principle, online multiplayer games consume more energy — that’s logical — but several single-player games that don’t have ads are still top energy consumers. There isn’t any linear connection here, either,” he added.

–IANS

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