After the story about “batterygate” where, as the Inquisitr reported, users with different models of the new iPhone 6s could have faced slightly different battery life, attention has now turned to the popular social app Facebook.
The Facebook app has been a significant drain on iPhone battery life recently, according to an official statement from the company. Given how popular the app is, and that many users spend a significant part of their day on the social network, excessive battery use on Facebook has been impacting iPhone users more than inefficiencies in less popular apps.
“We recently heard reports of some people experiencing battery issues with the Facebook iOS app and have been looking into the causes of these problems. We found a few key issues and have identified additional improvements, some of which are in the version of the app that was released today.”
Amusingly, well perhaps not to those whose iPhone batteries run out at crucial moments, Ari Grant went on to compare one part of the issue to a child repeatedly asking “are we there yet?”. This was as a consequence of a faulty “CPU spin,” causing constant iPhone battery drain without achieving anything. The update only promises to have made “some improvements” to the problem, so iPhone users will have to wait for a complete solution to the battery issue.
The other significant iPhone battery drain caused by the app was simply that the Facebook app would not correctly close off audio when a video had been watched, then the app left open. While nothing was being done in the background, some iPhone battery drain would still continue as a result.
Interestingly, Ari Grant, also went on to address claims such as those reported in Motherboard and Forbes that location data being shared and monitored in the background was a significant battery drain.
“The [iPhone battery] issues we have found are not caused by the optional Location History feature in the Facebook app or anything related to location. If you haven’t opted into this feature by setting Location Access to Always and enabling Location History inside the app, then we aren’t accessing your device’s location in the background. The [iPhone battery] issues described above don’t change this at all.”
Location services in Facebook have been known to cause some iPhone battery issues in the past, however, but are easily fixed through your settings.
Facebook’s official statement that the iPhone battery drain was not caused by location services is corroborated by user reports discussed by the International Business Times. They report that even with location services turned off, and background refresh turned off, many users were experiencing significant iPhone battery issues. Some users saw up to 10 hours of iPhone battery use by the app in the background. Facebook is always adding new features too, such as funky gifs, which all add up to a tiny iPhone battery usage.
It is reported that iPhone battery use by the web version of Facebook is significantly less, as it affords the social network only temporary access to your iPhone, and therefore your battery, so users who continue to experience intolerable iPhone battery life while Facebook continues to improve performance in this area will benefit from uninstalling the app.
The iPhone battery problems aren’t confined to the main Facebook app. CNN Money reports that among the biggest offenders in iPhone battery use are the Facebook Messenger app and WhatsApp. Messaging apps aren’t the only ones to drain your iPhone battery heavily, as games also feature strongly on the list. However, since messaging and social apps often need to push notifications and perform background activity, any small mistake can lead to all-day iPhone battery drain.
[Photo by Facebook Newsroom]