In the past few years, numerous app verticals have witnessed enormous growth at a global level – mainly due to the fact that in today’s fast-paced digital world, we rely heavily on our mobile apps 24/7/365! Whether it’s a school project, a food delivery during your lunch break at work, mobile games, news, and updates all around the world – all we do is open our app and get our work done.
Statista reports that in 2016, the global mobile app downloads were 140.68 billion, and this went up to 204 billion in 2019 – almost a 50% increase within three years. However, the downside of this whole phenomenon is the fact that apps do have a high churn rate as well. Localytics reported that 71% of app users stop using the app within 90 days of an app install.
One of the major factors that contribute towards a user deleting an app is the high battery drain. Nobody wants to be using an app that makes them recharge their device repeatedly. So what can you really do to reduce your app’s battery drain? Let’s have a look.
Follow the App Store Battery Saving Standards
As a mobile app developer or a publisher, you need to be aware of all the guidelines and instructions provided by the app store in regards to battery saving and optimization in order to reduce app battery drainage. For example, Google provides a certain set of standards to Android developers, the most prominent one being the frequency that an app asks for a user device’s location and inter-app broadcasting. Google’s guidelines strongly mention limiting this frequency as much as developers possibly can in order to optimize battery drain.
Reduce the Frequency of Network Requests
One of the major reasons why your app is consuming too much battery is the frequency of requests it makes to the network. If a network request is being sent after every few seconds, it will surely have adverse impacts on battery consumption. In order to optimize network requests, you can:
- Collect and analyze network traffic data – You should know how to gather and analyze your app’s network resources in accordance with user actions.
- Optimize user-initiated, app-initiated, and server-initiated network use – You should know how to optimize various network requests sent by these origins to reduce power consumption.
- Optimize other/general network use – You should know all other sources of network usage in order to revisit and optimize them all.
Get Rid of Wake Locks
There was a time when developers used the ‘wake lock’ element quite frequently their apps – well, some developers still do. What it does is that it keeps the phone’s screen on which drains the device’s battery. This is undoubtedly one of the most important tips to optimize your app’s performance in terms of app battery drainage.
If you do aim to keep the device from going into sleep mode, there are other ways that you can achieve this. One of the common ways is to use the FLAG_KEEP_SCREEN_ON functionality. Within the Android framework, it does not require any special permissions and does the job well.
Moreover, you can also use the DownloadManager in order to continue with the download in the background rather than letting it consume additional battery. You can also make use of Android’s sync adapter framework if your mobile app is synchronizing data from a different server in order to create necessary backups.
You can also go with the PARTIAL WAKELOCK function if your app requires the wake lock element during certain steps or components. This allows the user to shut off their screen at the least.
Defer Unnecessary Processes in Your Code to Reduce App Battery Drainage
Another major reason for your mobile app consuming too much battery could be that there are certain steps and processes in your code that can be deferred or completely removed without impacting the business or functional requirement. For instance, is it possible to cache data instead of downloading it again? Or can your app hold on with the data backup a little longer?
There are numerous tools available for developers that can be used to schedule certain app actions at specific intervals or designated times. One of the commonly used is the JobScheduler, it allows you to efficiently schedule and manage various tasks to optimize battery drainage.
Never Go Live Before Testing… Again, Again and Again!
There is a reason why big software houses and organizations invest heavily in their SQA teams – no software application can be optimized unless it goes through a detailed testing cycle. As a developer, you might do everything you know or have learned over the years and bring all your skillset to the table – however, once the app goes through a vicious testing cycle, looking into each and every step such as batch operations, network usage, location service usage, code optimization, etc., only then the app can be considered to be put live on the relevant platform.
Beyond App Battery Drainage for User Engagement
It is not only about reducing app battery drainage when considering user engagement. There is a myriad of other important factors to be considered that can impact user engagement. Below are some of the most common contributors to app churn, user engagement drop-off, and poor retention rates.
- Register information – Try not to ask for too much personal information from the user before they register, sign up or download your app.
- Ads placement and frequency – Yes, a mobile app is created with the basic aim of monetization and income generation, however, too many ads or ads with poor size, position or text will make your user uninstall the app within no time.
- Make the first impression quick and easy – We often see a lot of apps with a tutorial that talk about the app’s functions. Well, in this fast-paced and competitive world, no one has the time to go through all that. So try to come up with a gamification sort of step-by-step process that makes it easy and quick for the user.
- App errors, crashes, and bugs – Nobody wants to keep an app in their device that frequently crashes or gives errors while using. Make sure your app performance is good or otherwise it won’t be staying too long in a user’s device.
Final Thoughts on Reducing App Battery Drain for Increased User Engagement
With a 71% churn rate within the first 90 days, you need to take into consideration that your app has very little room for errors or negative points, let alone the battery consumption. In order to increase your business revenue and capture a larger user base, make sure your app is not draining the device’s battery or else, you might find yourself out of the business pretty soon.
With these simple steps, your app should be on the way to reduced app battery drainage for increased user engagement.