Updated: Facebook’s iOS app emerges as the villain-in-chief as battery woes continue

How irritating will it be if you realise that an app continues to sip on your battery life even when you've turned it off?

Our first instinct would be to delete the app in the blink of an eye. But what if the app turns out to be Facebook? Well, that's what technology sometimes does to you. I call it the pulling-out-one's-own-hair phenomenon.

Facebook's iOS app is particularly irritating. Known to consume as much as 15 per cent of battery life in iPhones in a week's time, the app refuses to obey commands that ask it to shut down or stay dormant.

Facebook has been releasing periodic app updates for some time now, but none or very few of those are based on lower battery consumption. Because of some effective media coverage on the issue, Facebook has finally responded but is yet to act.

"We have heard reports of some people experiencing battery issues with our iOS app. We’re looking into this and hope to have a fix in place soon,” said a Facebook rep to TechCrunch.

It all boils down to the app seeking to keep itself fresh when it is being kept in the background. Until Facebook comes up with a long term cure, iOS users will continue to feel the pinch. The social media giant must realise that it is surely big, but not indispensable in the long term.


Just in: Facebook acknowledges battery-draining issues with iOS app, rolls out update


Having been at the receiving end of some world wide flak for battery-drainage caused by its iOS app, Facebook has finally acknowledged te issue and has turned mere words into action.

Via a Facebook post, Facebook's Ari Grant talked up a couple of isues with the iOS app.

The first issue we found was a “CPU spin” in our network code. A CPU spin is like a child in a car asking, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”with the question not resulting in any progress to reaching the destination. This repeated processing causes our app to use more battery than intended. The version released today has some improvements that should start making this better.

The second issue is with how we manage audio sessions. If you leave the Facebook app after watching a video, the audio session sometimes stays open as if the app was playing audio silently. This is similar to when you close a music app and want to keep listening to the music while you do other things, except in this case it was unintentional and nothing kept playing. The app isn't actually doing anything while awake in the background, but it does use more battery simply by being awake. Our fixes will solve this audio issue and remove background audio completely,' he wrote.

Grant also explained Facebook's own version of the events and promised a new update to fix existing issues with battery life.

'The 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 issues described above don't change this at all.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. We are committed to continuing to improve the battery usage of our app and you should see improvements in the version released today.'


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