There is no free lunch even in Freetown, is a popular saying around here. While many mobile users opt for free apps, have you ever wondered how free they really are?
Everyone loves free stuff. In the app world, most of the apps we download and use every day are free. They have no cash price on them. However, not everything is truly free. Chances are that you would pay for those apps in other ways than with direct cash. Here are the ways you pay for free apps:
Increased drainage of batteries
Researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology in the United States and Queen’s University found out that ad-supported apps use up to 16 percent more energy than apps without ads. This would reduce the battery life on a typical phone by up to 40 minutes. Also, a study carried out by Microsoft discovered that on apps like Angry Birds, 45 percent of the consumed energy is taken by location services trying to figure out your location, so it can decide which ads you should see.
Ad-supported apps have an effect on phone performance. When an app runs ads on the top of your screen, it takes up an average of 48 percent more processing time, 22 percent memory usage and 46 percent CPU utilization. This is quite problematic if your smartphone has low memory.
Increased Mobile Data Consumption
These ad-supported apps also drain huge amounts of data. These apps use as much as 100 percent more data than ad-free apps. On average, they use 79 percent more network data. Examples include apps that require you to watch shot videos to unlock features.
We all know that the Google Play Store is one of the safest places to download apps. This doesn’t mean that it is completely safe. A lot of free apps on the Play Store have secret connections to different internet addresses. Some of these connections are reasonable. Many of them are not.
Loss Of Privacy
Many free apps collect user data for marketing purposes. These data get sent to servers around the world and get analysed and sold, exposing you to some measure of exposure that you may not desire. Some of the unsolicited marketing emails you get are as a result of this.
Free apps are not so free after all
So much for free apps; right? If paying for ad-free apps means you are shielded from some of the problems listed above, then it is probably a good idea to buy your apps whenever you can. If you cannot afford to pay for your apps, free apps are great. Just know that you are paying heavily in some other ways.