The simplest way through which free applications make money is by serving advertisements. These advertisements, as in the case of iPhone are served by the iAd network servers, that serves rich-media advertisements. Advertisements generated by iAd are based on user preferences like age, location, gender, and other parameters like these.
In addition, to the preferences set in the iAd Network module, the meta-data provided in iTunes Connect is used to improve the type of advertisements that are served. Advertisements are based on two key metrics – ad impressions and taps, which help developers and iAd to earn revenue. Developers get up to 70% of iAd network revenue.
Application-advertisements are engaging and customized as per the audience they are targeted for. However, the frequency of occurrence, as such, can be annoying for its users. The reason for this being, as soon as the user, logs-in to his application the advertisements start pouring in. Based on the users interaction with the advertisements, data algorithms are generated by iAd.
The network servers then start sending an array of advertisements to the user, based on this new data collected. This is like a vicious chain which keeps going on and on. The result of such frequent advertisement bombarding leads to quick battery loss by the phone.
In such a case, even developers feel helpless as all they can do is integrate the phone with the ad server. Further, they can exercise no control over this integration. Besides, passing a lot of user-behavior information to ad networks; a number of calls are made to other ad-based platforms to send the same data and to receive targeted advertisements. This whole process significantly leads to draining the phone battery as well as extracting money from its users.
Solution for Developers
Generating advertisements from such networks weighs heavy on the developers pocket. Moreover, the results generated by such campaign does not account for measurable results or zero success rate in some cases. As quoted by David Smith, Founder and Owner of Cross Forward Consulting, “iAd did one thing that no other platform can offer – a seamless purchase experience. The user never leaves the current application to complete the purchase, so the user experience is about as good as you get. However, I think that Apple has found itself guilty of exactly the same problem when they launched iAd Network. However, the advertisements lack engagement and emotion.”
Developers do not have much choice, in terms of the ad network, running in free applications. They can just observe their users on how they go about with the ad engagement. Other thing, that developers can look into is about data transmission to such networks. Some ad networks can cut down on calls made to ad servers regarding user data preferences. The number of these calls can be limited, to save the user from being attacked with random advertisements.
Considering the case of Android, battery consumption seems higher as applications run in the background for a longer time. Even if applications are shut down by the Android OS, it will be only for a short period of time and not serve as a permanent solution for battery drainage. While, Apple’s iOS shuts down applications for as long as the user wants.
Advice for Users
Until advertisement networks work out a solution; there is nothing much users can do on their part to save their batteries getting run down. However, users can follow simple cautionary steps to monitor the functioning of their applications to tackle the problem a bit:
- Android users must remove applications that are not in use to avoid battery wastage.
- While using any mobile applications whether Apple, Android or any other make sure to keep track of the number of applications being run in the system and how important they are to you.
- Try to opt for paid applications over free applications. There will be two advantages of using paid applications: firstly, you will not be attacked with an array of advertisements and secondly, this will save your phone battery.
- Apple and Android users can turn off GPS in their phone to avoid getting location-specific advertisements.
- Android users can even install a Power Management Application that can control the functioning of various systems in the devices like data, GPS and so on, to help save battery.
The ultimate solution lies in the hands of the ad networks and the developers they are serving. Hopefully with time, SDKs will invent tangible solutions to help users save on their battery and money.