Author: Kimberley DERUDDER

Kimberley DERUDDER has been marketing and communication officer at GREENSPECTOR for more than 3 years. Kimberley graduated with a master's degree in Marketing - Communication and specialized in Inbound Marketing after her first two years at GREENSPECTOR. Today in charge of the animation of the marketing, social media and lead generation strategy, she also takes care of app comparisons and battles.

2019 Mobile video games ranking : 12 apps measured

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The 2018 year was a record year for the mobile application market, with more than 113 billion downloads worldwide, up 10% from 2017. These are video sharing and “casual games” applications which have been the most downloaded (Source: AppAnnie). If the carbon footprint of storage servers increases and has a strong impact on the environment, mobile applications are also becoming more and more energy intensive because they are demanding technical resources (RAM, CPU, Data, etc.). GREENSPECTOR has measured the energy consumption of mobile casual games apps. At the top of this ranking, Candy Crush Saga is the most energy efficient one.

Digital power consumption is up 9% a year, according to the Digital Environmental Impact Report released Oct. 4 by The Shift Project , think tank of the carbon transition. The share of digital in global greenhouse gas emissions has increased from 2, 5% in 2013 to 3.7% in 2018, representing an increase of 450 million tonnes in the OECD. These are the data centers that host softs and data, but also the use of terminals and networks. “The energy impact of watching video is about 1,500 times greater than the simple power consumption of the smartphone itself, the report.

In the study conducted in partnership with Atos, on the top 30 most energy-consuming applications, we have also identified that video game applications are among the most demanding applications, after those of social networks and browsers. This consumption has a significant impact on the battery life and therefore on the user experience: the drop in the battery level affects the remaining playing time before recharging.

Results

  • Subway Surfers, last in the ranking, consumes almost twice as much as Candy Crush Saga;
  • if Candy Crush Saga was running continuously on a smartphone for 60 minutes, the app would consume 19% battery, against nearly 40% for Subway Surfers.

The high energy and resource consumption of some applications can be explained by:

  • 3D games such as : Temple Run 2, My Talking Tom or Subway Surfers tend to be more consumer than 2D games like Candy Crush Saga, Hill Climb Racing or Pou;
  • some applications include unwanted ads that disrupt the user experience and increase energy consumption, aurtres offer to visualize advertising videos to win rewards in the game.

If we compare the energy consumption of these mobile video game applications to a heavier platform game (like Rayman Adventures for example, developed by Ubisoft), this one would be in the average consumption: it would only consume 24% battery and the average is 26%. Only the storage capacity of the device (weight of the installed application) would be more impacted.

For those who like numbers

ApplicationVersionDownloadsPlaystore GradeApp weight (MB)Exchanged data (KB)Memory (MB)In game Energy consumption (mAh)
8 Ball Pool4.3.1100 000 000+4.51650.77189.416.3
Candy Crush Saga1.147.0.2500 000 000+4.51320.22254.812.2
Clash of Clans11.446.11500 000 000+4.61350.8488.814.3
Clash Royale2.6.1100 000 000+4.51280.126261.914.9
Fruit Ninja2.7.2.504834100 000 000+4.31406.03294.414.8
Hill Climb Racing1.41.0500 000 000+4.41078.59211.111.7
Minion Rush6.4.1100 000 000+4.52101.51182.118.2
MyTalkingTom5.2.3.326500 000 000+4.51882.0345020.7
Pokemon Go0.137.2100 000 000+4.12180.27145015.4
Pou1.4.77500 000 000+4.3430.83139.813.9
Temple Run 21.55.3500 000 000+4.112016.65280.516.3
Subway Surfers1.100.01 000 000 000+4.516535.75320.923
Rayman Adventures3.9.010 000 000+4.65241.34326.615.5

The measurements were carried out by our laboratory on the basis of a standardized protocol, respecting a specific user scenario (launch of the app, launch of the game). The other scenarios are the launch of the application (20”), inactivity in the foreground (20”) and inactivity in the background (20”). This methodology makes it possible to estimate the embedded application complexity and its energy impact during the use phase.

Note: Find our other comparative applications articles:

Fight of the week: UberEats vs Deliveroo

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Today we will study food delivery applications. These applications have multiplied in the last three years. In France, two leaders share the majority of the market:UberEats and Deliveroo. We decided to compare these two challengers to confront them on the following criteria: their energy consumption, their amount of exchanged data as well as their busy memory.

Deliveroo is a British company, created in 2013 and the main competitor of UberEats in France, covering more than 45 French cities.

UberEats was designed by the creators of Uber in August 2014 and is available in several countries of the world, and in more than 70 cities in France and this 24/24.

These two applications allow you to order and receive meals delivered from restaurants near you.

Weighing

From the point of view of the app weight, Deliveroo is the featherweight. Indeed, its weight (22 MB) is 1.4 times lower than that of UberEats (31 MB).

Match

From the beginning of the match, UberEats takes a clear advantage over his opponent with a launch that consumes 13% less battery. He manages to maintain his advantage during the decisive phase of this match, which consists of ordering a meal (-2.5%). The confrontation ends with two rounds of observation of the rest phases of each opponent, during which the two competitors are tied.

Over the whole match, UberEats wins on the points against Deliveroo that resists well.

Note that we are dealing here with two “heavyweights” who will both mark your battery their footprint!

And the winner is…

For this very first fight, the match is tight but UberEats wins 15.7 mAh at 16.2 mAh in front of Deliveroo, consuming nearly 3.5% less energy.
Note however that the Deliveroo app is lighter to download and consumes less data – so if you have a small data package or unstable connection, it can be interesting.

These two applications can be compared on a one-minute scenario to the energy consumption of a Netflix, they are also 1.6 times more consuming than an application such as Spotify. (Source: Study Consumption of top 30 most popular mobile applications)

For those who like numbers

ApplicationVersionDownloadsPlaystore GradeApp weight (MB)Exchanged data (MB)Memory (MB)Energy consumption (mAh)
Deliveroo3.4.15 000 000+4.2223.35218.8512.02
UberEats1.201.1000250 000 000+4.2313.66227.7411.72

The measurements were carried out by our laboratory on the basis of a standardized protocol, respecting a specific user scenario (launch of the application, selection of a delivery address, scroll on the pages of choice of restaurants and selection of a restaurant, scroll on the page of the dishes and add in the basket). The other scenarios are the launch of the application (20”), inactivity in the foreground (20”) and inactivity in the background (20”).

Is the Messenger Lite app really lighter?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Note: Find our other comparative articles of lightened apps: Facebook vs Facebook Lite or Instagram vs Instagram Lite.

Messenger’s parent company Facebook launched its lightweight Messenger Lite version in 2016, originally intended for developing countries that don’t have stable, powerful connectivity or state-of-the-art smartphones. Nevertheless, success is also evident in developed countries where the connection in some regions is low. Facebook has made the choice to deploy Facebook Lite and Messenger Lite in other countries including countries of Europe.

If the first version offered only few possibilities in terms of functionality, it was enriched during the year while maintaining its promise of a lighter version: less data exchanged on the network, less memory occupied, fewer resources engaged on the smartphone. This is what we will check in this article comparing the traditional version of Messenger to its light Messenger Lite version.

Messenger is an instant messaging app launched in 2011 incorporated into the Facebook social network. It’s the most popular messaging application in the world with nearly 1,500 million monthly active users. It allows you to send messages, photos, videos, gifs, but also to make audio and video calls.

Results

ApplicationVersionDownloadsPlaystore gradeApp weight (MB)Process data (KB)Memory (MB)Autonomy impact (mAh)
Messenger201.0.0.12.991 000 000 000+4.14525.46276.738.08
Messenger Lite51.0.1.12.216100 000 000+4.424.3841.9482.667.76

From the point of view of the weight of the application, the promise of Messenger Lite is respected. Indeed, the weight of Messenger Lite (24.38 MB) is 1.8 times lower than that of the traditional version of Messenger (45 MB).

Data consumption comparison

The amount of data exchanged on the network is less important on the traditional version of Messenger than that Lite one, a difference of almost 1.6 times lower for launch and inactivity phases. For the conversion phase, Messenger Lite has a volume of 25.62 KB against 21.79 KB for the traditional version (+ 15%).

We note that the data management isn’t good for Messenger Lite and the promise isn’t held at that level. In addition, the two applications could improve their cache management.

Memory consumption comparison

Concerning the volume of memory, here Messenger Lite stands out with its busy memory of 82.66 MB against 276.73 MB for the traditional application. The promise of lower occupied memory is therefore respected.

Energy consumption comparison

Messenger Lite’s power consumption is lower than Messenger. Regarding the launch phase, Messenger Lite (2.79 mAh) displays a consumption 13% lower than the traditional version (3.22 mAh).

The difference is more obvious during the chat phase (which here lasts 60 seconds), where Messenger Lite (10.91 mAh) consumes 10% less than Messenger (12.11 mAh).

It’s the same for the phase of inactivity in the foreground (2.73 mAh against 2.84 mAh) and the phase of inactivity in the background (1.76 mAh against 1.87 mAh).

Conclusion

The promise of the lightened version is only partially respected, indeed an effort is to be made concerning the volume of data exchanged. By using Messenger Lite you will use less battery but will consume more data on the network. The choice is difficult: prefer to consume less battery or less data? With the Lite version you will consume less storage space, less memory, if your priority is to consume less battery, download the lite version. However, if you are one of the users who have an expensive data plan or a bad network connection, prefer the traditional version which will save you in terms of data exchanged. This choice between energy and data surely comes from the fact that the designers of applications don’t take energy as an important criterion. Too bad because it would be possible for the user to consume both less data AND less energy.

Qwant vs Google: Which search engine is better for battery life?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Today we look into mobile search engines. These everyday gateways to the internet are now mostly used on our mobile devices. We chose to compare two of the most popular but very different search engines.

One is a French search engine launched in 2013 whose values are the protection of the neutrality of the results as well as your private life: Qwant. The other is the most used search engine in the world, holding nearly 90% market share, having the ability to process a very large amount of data, you guessed it, we are talking about Google.

Browser searching consumption

We performed our measurements on a Samsung Galaxy S7 running Android 8 Oreo, using a Chrome browser, the most used browser in the world. Nevertheless, we advise you to opt for a browser more respectful of your device’s battery life like Brave or Firefox Focus.

The Qwant home page consumes slightly more energy than Google‘s (+ 6%). This is easily explained by the fact that an image is displayed by Qwant, as well as a quote at the bottom of the search bar, unlike Google which displays only the search bar.

However when you run a search, Qwant is the less consuming: its search results page consumes 3.30 mAh against 3.90 mAh for Google. This is a non-negligible difference of 15%.

What about the dark theme?

We have already wondered about the effectiveness of dark themes in a previous article focusing on Twitter app’s dark mode. Let’s check the impact of Qwant’s new dark theme.

Note: Google also has a dark theme available, but it’s pretty difficult to find, and much less obvious to configure by the user. Whereas Qwant offers an immediately accessible icon, in the case of the Google page, you have to perform a manipulation way too complicated, if you don’t know about it. This is why we chose not to test this configuration that seems reserved to advanced users.

Please note that we measured on a Samsung Galaxy S7 with AMOLED screen like most recent devices. This type of screen consumes a lot less battery when it displays dark colors.

Qwant’s dark theme reduces its home page consumption by almost 27% compared to its white-background “day” theme, and 24% for search results.

Conclusion

Qwant is an interesting alternative to Google in many ways. Our measurements show that it is also interesting if you seek to spare your battery power. If your smartphone is fitted with an AMOLED display, you’ll save your battery even more by activating Qwant‘s brand new dark theme. This will make a real difference on the battery life of your smartphone, especially if you’re the kind of user who searches the web a lot.