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A new application from Forum Nokia allows developers, and anyone else, to see just how much power their phone is using, and compare consumption when running different applications.

The app is free to download from Forum Nokia, the Nokia developer's portal, and runs on S60 3rd-Edition handsets. Our N95 averages out at around half a watt, though we managed to get it up to around three by playing loud music through it. We wanted to see how much would be consumed when playing video, but the N95 didn't have the memory for both applications to be running at the same time.

For anyone developing mobile software, power consumption comes right up there with user's sock colour in their order of priorities. Once you've squeezed your interface onto the tiny screen, worked out how to achieve the impossible using the underpowered processor, and handled all the user interaction though only two soft keys, the last thing you want to be told is that your application is consuming too much power.

Not only does your management not care one jot about how much power your application consumes, but when was the last time an application buyer checked out the juice rating of an app before buying it?

Part of this is down to the lack of tools to enable developers, and users, to work out how much power their applications are consuming, and Nokia's application should address that. Having some idea how much power is consumed by leaving Wi-Fi switched on, or gained by dropping to a 2G connection, is useful to everyone - not to mention handy for filling a long Friday afternoon with what looks like useful analysis. ®

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