The most battery-draining apps of 2020


Google, Facebook, and WhatsApp are among the top 10 apps with the biggest drains on your smartphone battery, a new report from Uswitch reveals.

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As convenient as the bevy of apps on a smartphone are, some favorites are likely also some of the biggest battery drainers, according to a new report from Uswitch, a United Kingdom-based mobile comparison site. If you don’t want your phone to die when you don’t have access to power or want to carry around a bulky battery pack you might want to consider cutting out some apps and using your browser to access the apps’ website; this method has worked as a workaround for users tired of how Facebook drains their battery life.

The biggest battery-draining culprits? They’re likely to be among the linked icons occupying precious mobile wall space: Google, Facebook, and WhatsApp.

Facebook is still popular with older adults

While a Pew Research report indicates what most of us know: That Facebook use among Gen Z has dropped precipitously, another Pew survey shows it’s one of the mostly widely used social media sites by adults in the US (69%).
 
Only the No. 10 battery-drainer, YouTube, appears to be in very popular use among a wide demographic, which includes 18- to 29-years old. But the most popular frequently used apps in that age group aren’t included in the battery drain top 10: Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Google and Facebook dominate battery-draining apps

In fact, within the top ten most draining apps, five are Google-owned (Gmail, Google, Google Chrome, Waze, and YouTube) and three are Facebook-owned (Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp Messenger). Only two are independent from Google and Facebook (Uber and Amazon Alexa). 
 
 
The top 10 apps require access to a combined 422 permissions on mobile phones, which are owned by more than 5 billion people worldwide, with an average battery life of five to 11 hours.
 
WhatsApp is used by 1 billion people daily, but it is definitely more popular internationally than domestically. US users are considered a relatively small group (23 million), and India has the mostWhatsApp users at 200 to 300 million. In Brazil, 120 million are daily WhatsApp users. 

Top 50 worldwide reveals apps with heavy international use

Uswitch also published a list of the top 50 battery-draining apps (from the pool of 2 million available apps). No. 11, and others in the top 20, are very popular in the US, Instagram (Twitter is no. 13, TikTok is no. 14, Amazon Shopping is no. 15).

However, No. 12 is the lesser-known in the USTelegram Messenger, which was founded in Russia and is now based in Dubai. Telegram was developed in 2013 as an alternative to WhatsApp by the creators of the largest social media platform in the country, VK or VKontakte, which started in 2006 as an alternative to Facebook. 

Despite being virtually unknown in the US, it’s the most popular messaging app in Uzbekistan, Ethiopia, and Iran, where it’s actually banned. Telegram now disavows any association with and is banned in Russia but is still widely available there. Telegram founder Pavel Durov is in the US in exile from his home country, because of clashes with President Vladimir Putin and his administration.

How to make your mobile battery last longer

Uswitch isn’t just ratting out the battery-draining apps, it is also offering tips on how to make your phone battery last longer.

  1. Don’t charge it all the way up

  2. Buy a portable charger

  3. Switch off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

  4. Use 2G

  5. Use battery-saving mode

  6. Turn off GPS

  7. Lower the brightness on your screen 

  8. Turn off vibrate

  9. Kill any running background apps

  10. Don’t use voice control

  11. Avoid bright sunlight

  12. Try a battery-saving app

  13. Turn it off whenever possible

  14. Try a new battery

TechRepublic also offers battery-saving tips for Androids. If you have a Samsung Galaxy S10, there may be other reasons for the quick drain. It’s easy to just keep everything running in case you need it, but turning off roaming is a good start. 

Also see

Mobile phone on desk office charge with computer.

Image: unomat, Getty Images/iStockphoto



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