SPS: an SMS-based Push Service for Energy Saving in Smartphone’s Idle State

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Despite of all the advances in smartphone technology in recent years, smartphones still remain limited by their battery life. Unlike other power hungry components in the smartphone, the cellular data and Wi-Fi interfaces often continue to be used even while the phone is in the idle state to accommodate unnecessary data traffic produced by some applications. In addition, bad reception has been proven to greatly increase energy consumed by the radio, which happens quite often when smartphone users are inside buildings. In this paper, we present a Short message service Push based Service (SPS) to save unnecessary power consumption when smartphones are in idle state, especially in bad reception areas. First, SPS disables a smartphone’s data interfaces whenever the phone is in idle state. Second, to preserve the real-time notification functionality required by some apps, such as new email arrivals and social media updates, when a notification is needed, a wakeup text message will be received by the phone, and then SPS enables the phone’s data interfaces to connect to the corresponding server to retrieve notification data via the normal data network. Once the notification data has been retrieved, SPS will disable the data interfaces again if the phone is still in idle state. We have developed a complete prototype for Android smartphones. Our experiments show that SPS consumes less energy than the current approach. In areas with bad reception, the SPS prototype can double the battery life of a smartphone.


The source code of the SPS server and client prototypes used throughout the evaluation is available for download here:

    1.  Client: Android app that enforces the radio frugality policy and handles SPS and GCM notifications.
    2.  Server: Java server that simulates notification traffic using SPS and GCM.
    3.  Analysis: MATLAB scripts used to analyse the notifcation traffic simulation results.

Note: These prototypes are intended for demonstration purposes only. It may have security vulnerabilities and programming bugs.

Project Staff:

UCF Data System Group Lab