Smartphone User Experience Hampered by Background Apps

21 March 2013
Ben Logan

Author: Ben Logan

Passionate about improving services and experiences for the people that use them.

Background processes have long been the bane of the computer user, with tasks eating up system resources often for fairly trivial ends, and a new report shows that smartphones are no longer immune to this issue.

Recently published research has shown that a shocking seven out of ten smartphone data sessions are not initiated by the user and have a potentially negative impact on user experience.

Actix, who conducted the survey, studied data from eight networks across multiple continents and discovered that many applications are making up to ten connections an hour to check for updates.

Facebook, Twitter and email applications are prime culprits – they constantly touch base with their servers for new information, and despite the despite the relatively small size of the transfer this impairs the user experience by slowing down the host device, as well as putting a strain on networks.

An estimated 80% of failed connections happen without the user being aware. Neil Coleman, Marketing Director at Actix, pointed out a tell-tale example: “A significant number of dropped data sessions right by the entrance to a tube station. This wasn’t the case of subscribers receiving poor browsing or video performance it was simply that background updates failed as subscribers entered the station.”

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