Is Your App a Power Hog? New White Paper on Power and Performance

Thursday 1/16/14 08:15am
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Posted By Rick Schwartz
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If your app consumes too much power, you could have bigger problems on your hands than just battery drain.

You may start to see a string of one-star ratings in the application store.

Your download numbers may drop off for no apparent reason.

Some of the biggest champions in your user community may suddenly go quiet.

Mobile apps become frustrating when they needlessly run system resources like the radios, CPU, GPU and display. If you knew what to look for, you could take care of the programming bottlenecks that can cause battery drain, but they’re not always easy to find. Worse yet, there aren’t very many comprehensive tools for finding them.

Power profiling tools – new white paper

Wayne Lee and I have blogged and spoken about the importance of power consumption in mobile apps, and we’ve just released a white paper titled “When Mobile Apps Use Too Much Power – A Developer Guide for Android App Profiling Tool." You can use the paper to help identify and fix common power consumption problems that affect battery life.

Here are some of the highlights of the white paper:

  • 3 reasons why power consumption and battery drain are important to mobile app developers in the first place
  • 5 common ways mobile apps use too much power, including hanging sockets and ungrouped network activity
  • the role of mobile network states and network dynamics in power consumption
  • what to look for in app profiling tools
  • the current landscape of profiling tools

The paper explains that, to be effective, tools need to profile the app in real time on the device, yet make the profiling data available in the development environment on the PC. Our own engineers came to that conclusion some time ago, so it’s the approach we’ve taken with Trepn™ Profiler and Trepn Plug-in for Eclipse, tools we make available at no cost to Android developers. The paper includes details on the approach and the tools so you can decide whether they’re a good fit for your development effort.

Next Steps

Whether you’re ready to dive right in and start profiling or just want to get smarter about power consumption in mobile apps, I think you’ll find the white paper useful. You’ll find dozens of diagrams, images, screenshots and resources for additional reading.