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Smartphone Application Sheds Light on Power Consumption

PowerTutor, a new application developed by researchers at the University of Michigan for the Android smartphone, shows users how much power their applications are consuming. PowerTutor shows in real time how four different phone components use power: the screen, the network interface, the processor, and the GPS receiver.

"Today, we expect our phones to realize more and more functions, and we also expect their batteries to last," said Lide Zhang, a doctoral student in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and one of the application's developers. "PowerTutor will help make that possible."

PowerTutor will enable software developers to build more efficient products, said Birjodh Tiwana, a doctoral student in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and another of the program's developers. Tiwana said PowerTutor will allow users to compare the power consumption of different applications and select the leanest version that performs the desired task. Users can also watch how their actions affect the phone's battery life.