Do You Have the Energy for This Meeting? An Empirical Study on the Energy Consumption of Android Videoconferencing Apps
Context. With “work from home” policies becoming the norm during the COVID-19 pandemic, videoconferencing apps have soared in popularity, especially on mobile devices. However, mobile devices only have limited energy capacities, and their batteries degrade slightly with each charge/discharge cycle.
Goal. With this research we aim at comparing the energy consumption of two Android videoconferencing apps, and studying the impact that different features and settings of these apps have on energy consumption.
Method. We conduct an empirical experiment by utilizing as subjects Google Meet and Zoom. We test the impact of multiple factors on the energy consumption: number of call participants, microphone and camera use, and virtual backgrounds.
Results. Zoom results to be more energy efficient than Google Meet, albeit only to a small extent. Camera use is the most energy greedy feature, while the use of virtual background only marginally impacts energy consumption. Number of participants affect differently the energy consumption of the apps. As exception, microphone use does not significantly affect energy consumption.
Conclusions. Most features of Android videoconferencing apps significantly impact their energy consumption. As implication for users, selecting which features to use can significantly prolong their mobile battery charge. For developers, our results provide empirical evidence on which features are more energy-greedy, and how features can impact differently energy consumption across apps.