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iPhone and Android Data and Battery Draining Apps

Updated on December 27, 2017
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Alfred is a long-time teacher and computer enthusiast who works with and troubleshoots a wide range of computing devices.

iPhone's own battery app for monitoring and freeing up resources
iPhone's own battery app for monitoring and freeing up resources

The inadequacy of smartphone battery will for long remain a hindrance in the quest for smarter mobile devices, and with increasing number of apps and widgets in the market, battery solutions are not coming fast enough.

Apart from the usual functions like voice calls, sending/receiving of messages and listening to music which consume average battery life, extreme activities that will drain your battery life include and eat up data and memory include:

  • social network apps
  • background data sync
  • hi-speed internet
  • map apps
  • push services
  • buggy apps

It is also important to note that power and data hungry apps are the ones you use most often, and interestingly the ones you are tempted to leave running, for quick and repeated access.

Battery and Data Hungry Apps

It is not possible to exhaust all apps that are strenuous to your iPhone and Android battery life, but below is a look at just some categories that you may want to pay close attention to.

1. Social Networking Apps

Social network apps like Facebook have a penchant for your movements. They continuously check who of your friends are online and who is not, and continuously monitor your location. They also check and send push notifications throughout the day.

And because you never know when your photo or comment will receive a compliment, you are tempted to leave all options open, just in case a notification pops up.

Just like Google+, Facebook also wants to sync your photos. Only one click will activate this feature, and with or without your knowledge your every new photo will be contributing to endless loops of data sync.

Facebook photo sync for iPhone and Android
Facebook photo sync for iPhone and Android

2. Google Apps

Google apps come free of charge, and there is a reason for this. Google wants you to have as many of these products in your mobile device.

Upon installation, Google requires you to log into most of them. You can skip this if you wish, but alas, you feel compelled to sync your bookmarks, mail, and other settings. This way you don’t have to lose that page you visited and bookmarked last year.

Once in these apps, Google starts monitoring your location on maps using inbuilt location services. With this information, it can appropriately target you with ads both on your mobile and desktop.

Once you have logged onto apps like Google+, Search, Now, Chrome, Maps, Mail etc, you will definitely have them syncing, geotagging your location and even attempting to sync your photos!

Google+, Maps, GMail, Google Drive are notorious battery draining apps
Google+, Maps, GMail, Google Drive are notorious battery draining apps

3. Google Drive, OneDrive, DropBox, iCloud etc

Any cloud-based services will most certainly want to take a share of your data and memory. To top it up, cloud sync services tend to work in the background. If you are not keen enough, you may never realize any activity.

The nature of cloud sync is what should keep you alert. Since these services sync entire files already in the cloud, and those that you keep adding - across your devices, you need to be cautious how much info you are spreading around, in relationship to your data.

This practice helps if your routine depends on these files, and for this particular case, you do not need to complain. But if you have been short-circuited, better find a way to stop them from draining, not only your data but your battery juice.

The utility above shows how apps like Google Drive are eating up IOS resources
The utility above shows how apps like Google Drive are eating up IOS resources

4. Buggy and Free Apps

There are apps that are not necessarily resource hogs but end up so owing to bugs and lack of updates. Buggy apps are supposed to be a reserve of jailbroken iPhones but somehow find their way onto App Store. On the other hand, the Android platform is riddled with them given that app installation is a reserve of the smartphone owner; for the most part!

Besides buggy apps, free apps available in App Store and Google Play can also do damage to phone battery life. As much as Apple applies stringent rules to make it hard for buggy apps to enter App Store, somehow some of them get lucky. This cannot be said about Google play and a host of other stores whose rules are not stringent enough.

Whereas there are good free apps out there, many of them are of no good. Because developers are giving you free apps, they are obligated to bombard you with adverts in order to make some cash on the sideline.

Learn to remove apps that report unnecessarily huge data intake and apps with ridiculous ad pop-ups.

5. Games Apps

Games are a must for some users but come at a price. Multiplayer games and almost all 3D games eat into your data and battery life.

Lengthy spell in a particular game can turn iPhone and Android smartphones into boiling devices. This is not good for the lifespan of your battery. Prolonged exposure to heat reduces battery perseverance and it won’t last as long as a smartphone battery that is spared game frenzy.

What You Can Do To Get Your Battery and Data Back

If for some reason you are not using any app but still see your battery draining fast, just log out of these apps and you will be surprised with the outcome.

Unlike Android-based smartphones which come packed with 2GB of RAM, iPhones comes with a paltry 1GB: it is good enough but can be impacted quite fast once you have many apps running both in the fore and background.

  • Find and install a utility app like Battery Doctor: A host of battery utilities abound and you can catch one from App Store or Google Play. Battery Doctor exists for both IOS and Android. It gives you a good idea about what apps are taking most of the juice out of your smartphone battery.

Battery Doctor can also be used to optimize memory usage, by clearing backlogs of app activities.

Battery Doctor app for both IOS and Android
Battery Doctor app for both IOS and Android
  • Use iPhone and android data meter: Within the guts of IOS and Android smartphones, are inbuilt features which give indications over what apps are taking down most of your data.
  • Log Out of apps regularly: When not using particular services and apps, it is probably wise to log out of them. I know it is somewhat tiring to keep logging in and out of apps like Facebook and Google+, but if data is your problem, then you have no choice.

Alternatively edit the settings within these apps to stop them from running riot with your data. One example is to turn off photo sync, especially within Facebook and Google+.

  • Update your apps: Make it a point to update your old apps. New updates come with upgrades to features which may have been resource hogs or bugs.

Cellular  data usage feature in IOS 7
Cellular data usage feature in IOS 7
  • Do a complete discharge at least once every 30 days. This means using your iPhone or Android smartphone until the battery is completely done.

Complete discharge basically helps calibrate your smartphone and optimize its reliability. Kind of gives it a new lease of life.

  • Finally, learn how to disable network related features which take advantage of GPS and internet when you are not using them. Read more about them here.

Do a complete discharge of your smartphone battery at least once every 30 days
Do a complete discharge of your smartphone battery at least once every 30 days

What app category according to you drains more battery life and uses more data?

See results

When you get caught off-side with your iPhone or Samsung battery running low on juice, and yet you should be out and running, your emergency strategies should just about save your day, rather than getting you desperate. With a few tricks up your sleeve, you could get your smartphone battery running in very few hours. This should also involve charging your battery fast.

© 2013 Alfred Amuno


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