Mobile Security

These top 10 most performance-draining Android apps might surprise you

Sandro Villinger, 21 December 2016

We take a look at which apps kill your smartphone's battery, fill up its storage to the brim, and hit your monthly data plan hard.

Our Q3 2016 report looks at this summer’s most power-draining apps and the hottest app and smartphone trends. 

If your phone’s battery doesn’t make it till the end of the day, don’t blame the hardware – it's your apps.

In a global study, we gathered anonymous data from more than three million random Avast smartphone users to find out which apps really hit your phones hard. These may include some of your favorite apps, but you wouldn’t want them to run for hours on end if you don’t have a power outlet nearby. Others you might not even use, but if they come pre-installed on your phone, they might still strain your battery, silently in the background.

CHECK OUT THE FULL REPORT & THE TOP 10 LISTS (PDF)

Watch out if you use these 10 apps

The following list shows you which apps drained the most battery life, mobile data, and storage at the same time. The results are clear: apps like Spotify, Snapchat or Tinder shouldn’t surprise anyone, as they make heavy use of mobile 3G/4G data usage, require lots of your phone’s power, and store data locally. But apps like Wattpad, a simple reading app, or Google Sheets, shouldn’t be up there and probably consume more than they should. 

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Top 10 apps draining your phone’s battery that you might not know about

Next up, all apps that in one way or another continue to run in the background (e.g. via notifications, background updates, etc.). Familiar faces in this category are Facebook, Instagram, BBM, or Facebook Messenger. What’s new, however, is the super hip app, musical.ly, and Skype competitor WhatsCall. If you use these apps, and many will, make sure to disable their notifications or limit their background activities. 

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Most-installed apps

All the doom and gloom of resource-drainers aside, we also looked at the most-installed apps on Android. In Q3 we saw a trend where WhatsApp gained more installs than Facebook and Dropbox, with Skype and Chrome continuing their rise to the top. However, the star of this summer won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has been even mildly exposed to the news: Pokémon GO. The worldwide phenomenon ranked #13 of the most-installed Android apps.

But the Pokémon GO craze slowed down, significantly: While we saw more than 300,000 installs (or updates) per day in those hot and crazy weeks in August, in November only 5,000 users installed the app.

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Older and budget Samsung phones still dominate

In hardware trends, we found that of millions of anonymously sampled users worldwide, the most common phone model was the Samsung Galaxy S3 Neo, an almost three-year-old phone. It held the top spot among our user base in Q3 2016, but its market share dropped by almost 25% during this timeframe as consumers replaced their devices with newer smartphones.

We saw similar trends with the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Sony Xperia Z2, which steadily declined by 10%.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 has seen a steady increase during the same period, climbing into the top 10 most used devices globally during Q3. In terms of operating system, the only two devices in the top 10 delivering Google Android 5.0 are the Samsung S6 and the Sony Xperia M4 with all other phones still running on the three year old Android 4.4 (KitKat).

Check out the entire report here to see all the top battery-draining, storage-hogging, and mobile-data-eating apps, as well as the most resource-hungry games.

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