Amid the glittering array of new smartphone applications for every possible need or desire, there’s a hidden cost: the extra energy consumed by all that added functionality. A new application developed by a team at the University of Michigan for the Android smartphone called PowerTuter aims to change all that by showing users exactly how much energy is being consumed by any (other) app they happen to be running.

In order to create the application, researchers disassembled phones and installed electrical current meters which allowed them to determine the relationship between the phone’s internal state (how bright the screen is, for example) and the actual power consumption. From there, they went on to produce a software model capable of estimating the power use of any program the phone is running with less than 5 percent error.

image via Physorg
image via Physorg

According to a statement, the researchers hope that PowerTutor will not only help Android users become more aware of their app power usage–and make sure their phone is charged in case of emergencies–but also help developers create leaner, greener future apps.

PowerTutor [via press release]

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