Smartphone battery life has taken a nose-dive recently. Long gone are the days when your mobile phone could last a weekend, or in some cases more. Today you're lucky if your phone lasts just one day. But who's to blame? Abhinav Pathak, a computer scientist at Purdue University, Indiana, suggests that adverts in free apps are the primary battery bandits. Visit How to Boost a Smartphone's Battery Life.

In an article featured on the New Scientist website - using the aforementioned Abhinav Pathak's research - free apps such as Angry Birds and the NYTimes needed only 10-30 percent of their overall app battery consumption to run their core function. The report goes on to claim that up to 75 percent of the remaining battery consumption from the app, was used by the the app collecting and transmitting information, such as GPS location, back to the app's advertisers.

Computer scientist Abhinav Pathak will present are more detailed report of his findings at the EuroSys conference in Switzerland next month.

The obvious short-term solution to prevent free apps stealing all of your phone's juice is to turn off all unnecessary GPS and data services while using free apps. However battery life is one of the main concerns with smartphone users today, and in order to tackle the problem properly, it is something that should be looked at from the top down; with both Google Android and Apple having already been challenged about the way they allow smartphone user's personal information to be collected. See Apple to Ban Apps that Harvest Personal Data