Facebook, applications

The Facebook app for iOS was subject to a lot of criticism recently because of the shear amount of juice it was sucking from your iPhones/iPads. The battery drain is reported to be the result of continued running of background processes by the client even with background app refresh disabled. Facebook has today confirmed that it is working on the ‘issue’ and that it will release a fix ‘soon’.

The problem was brought forward by many people over the Internet including Circa co-founder Matt Galligan, who blogged about it a few days ago. He noted that the app was responsible for 15 percent of all battery drain over a seven day period which was, surprisingly, with background app refresh disabled.

Because the app isn’t ‘sleeping’ properly when I hit the home button, it continues to drain,

he wrote. 

That extraneous background usage, despite not providing any value to me at all, is keeping the app alive 2x longer than my actual usage.

Other people who have shared their theories on the issue and suggested fixes include MacStories’ Federico Viticci, who thinks that the problem is Facebook “hijacking audio sessions on iOS by keeping silent audio in the background whenever a video plays in the app”. The fix he suggests is:

Because, by default, videos on Facebook auto-play on both Wi-Fi and Cellular and few people ever bother to turn it off, that means there’s a high chance the Facebook app will always find a way to play a video, keep audio in the background, and consume energy to perform background tasks.

Whatever the case, the app is reportedly draining an average of 7 percent of battery power on most phones over a 24 hour period. The company is tight-lipped about the issue here, only stating that it will be out with the fix soon, so we can’t yet say if this was just a bug or an annoying background feature gone rogue.


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