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Bloated code depletes smartphones

Source: Washington Post
April 23, 2012
Researchers find ways to cut the energy that smartphones need to access sites

Smartphone users know that watching a video or playing a game can quickly drain a battery. Free apps are also power-hungry, and even simple Web browsing has an energy cost.

Now, researchers at Stanford University and Deutsche Telekom have discovered that such popular sites as Wikipedia, IMDB and even the home page of Apple are wasting energy due to bloated code. The researchers have also shown how to reduce this energy usage by almost 30 percent without affecting user experience.

Stanford computer scientist Narendran Thiagarajan and colleagues used an Android phone hooked up to a meter to measure the energy used in downloading and rendering 25 popular Web sites. Simply loading the mobile version of Wikipedia over a 3G connection consumed just over 1 percent of the phone’s battery, while browsing to, which does not have a mobile version, used 1.4 percent.

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