Truth in Advertising: The Hidden Cost of Mobile Ads for Software Developers

Jiaping Gui, Stuart Mcilroy, Meiyappan Nagappan, William G. J. Halfond
2015 2015 IEEE/ACM 37th IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering  
The "free app" distribution model has been extremely popular with end users and developers. Developers use mobile ads to generate revenue and cover the cost of developing these free apps. Although the apps are ostensibly free, they in fact do come with hidden costs. Our study of 21 real world Android apps shows that the use of ads leads to mobile apps that consume significantly more network data, have increased energy consumption, and require repeated changes to ad related code. We also found
more » ... de. We also found that complaints about these hidden costs are significant and can impact the ratings given to an app. Our results provide actionable information and guidance to software developers in weighing the tradeoffs of incorporating ads into their mobile apps.
doi:10.1109/icse.2015.32 dblp:conf/icse/GuiMNH15 fatcat:6xfvf7ycifezdclpimxzvbllza