Facebook addresses severe battery drain issue with updated iOS app

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 2015
Responding to recent complaints that its iOS app excessively drains iPhone battery life, Facebook on Thursday pushed out a partial fix, explaining the problem was in part caused by a background audio bug.




According to Facebook engineering manager Ari Grant, the battery drain issue stems from multiple problems in the app's code, some of which have been addressed in today's update.

Grant said Facebook discovered a "CPU spin" in its network code, meaning the app constantly performed a process without end. The updated app version does not solve the problem completely, but contains improvements that should help cut down on unnecessary computations.

The second issue was an audio management bug that kept audio sessions perpetually open even in the absence of playable media, effectively "playing" a silent audio track. Apple lets apps run audio in the background, allowing users to browse the Web while listening to Spotify, for example. Grant said that while Facebook was kept awake in the background due to this bug, the app was not performing any tasks. Background audio has been removed completely to solve the issue.

Grant also quashed speculation that Facebook's Location History feature was responsible for excessive battery drain. He added that Facebook does not access location data in the background unless users opt in to the service by switching Location Access to Always in Settings and enabling Location History in the app.

Facebook version 42.0 is available as a free download from the iOS App Store.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 55
    bocboc Posts: 72member
    AppleInsider should take a look at the processor load on Mac's when Dropbox is opened in Safari, even though no transfers are happening Dropbox open nearly maxes out all 4 cores in my MacBook Pro on 10.7.5 & temps soar even with the fans all the way up. I don't know about OSX beyond 10.7. Something is wrong though.
  • Reply 2 of 55
    Nah, it's all about location tracking.
    Facebook is known to hire hackers and jailbreakers.
    Pretty sure Facebook can even find and use backdoors Apple or Google arent even aware of.
    If they can do this on iOS, I cant even start to imagine what they can do on Android. No hating tho, I love my OP1.

    This is why I wont buy the Oculus Rift. Facebook is sneaky AF.
    I mean, c'mon, the company records posts or comments you started to type but didnt send!
  • Reply 3 of 55

    w

  • Reply 4 of 55
    How about fixing the severe crash every 5 seconds issue. Ever since the latest update the FB app has been near useless. I even deleted and reinstalled to no avail. I had also noticed my batter was dead quicker but had no idea FB was the stupid culprit. Good to know.
  • Reply 5 of 55
    "Some of which". So it's still a buggy mess.
  • Reply 6 of 55
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,233member
    boc wrote: »
    AppleInsider should take a look at the processor load on Mac's when Dropbox is opened in Safari, even though no transfers are happening Dropbox open nearly maxes out all 4 cores in my MacBook Pro on 10.7.5 & temps soar even with the fans all the way up. I don't know about OSX beyond 10.7. Something is wrong though.

    That's probably dropbox scanning folders. Is the client installed?
  • Reply 7 of 55
    bocboc Posts: 72member

    I don't know about Dropbox scanning folders as I didn't try to cause any of those operations.

  • Reply 8 of 55
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member

    People still use Facebook?<img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />

  • Reply 9 of 55
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,233member
    apple ][ wrote: »
    People still use Facebook?:lol:

    Apparently 1B do.
  • Reply 10 of 55
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by asdasd View Post



    Apparently 1B do.



    I am proud to be a part of the 6.3B that does not.

  • Reply 11 of 55
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    while (1)

    {

        invade_user_privacy(); // TODO: possible battery drain issue. 

    }

  • Reply 12 of 55
    idreyidrey Posts: 640member
    I fixed the Facebook battery draining issue over a year ago. It was very simple
    I closed my account. ???? never really liked Facebook and people actually get mad
    If you don't Answer their post. I know is a good way to stay in contact with family
    And friend, but is too full of crap now. So Fock Facebook .
  • Reply 13 of 55
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,971member
    apple ][ wrote: »

    I am proud to be a part of the 6.3B that does not.

    you'd proud to be categorized with toddlers and old people? Also, there're many in Africa Or Asia don't even know of computer.
  • Reply 14 of 55
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post





    you'd proud to be categorized with toddlers and old people? Also, there're many in Africa Or Asia don't even know of computer.



    Yes, I know that I'm probably in the same boat as many third worlders and other sorts of people who don't even own a computer, but that's ok, I have never once signed up for Facebook and I never will.

     

    I communicate with people that I know in other ways, and that's how I like it. I value my privacy and my security.

  • Reply 15 of 55



    Best fix I have found was to dump their crap service and uninstall anything FB related, iPhone and my life is much better and more efficient.

  • Reply 16 of 55
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,706member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BoC View Post



    AppleInsider should take a look at the processor load on Mac's when Dropbox is opened in Safari, even though no transfers are happening Dropbox open nearly maxes out all 4 cores in my MacBook Pro on 10.7.5 & temps soar even with the fans all the way up. I don't know about OSX beyond 10.7. Something is wrong though.



    Not seeing that at all on my iMac running 10.10.5. And since you are running a version of OS X that is now four generations obsolete I don’t think anyone cares.

  • Reply 17 of 55
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Facebook must have read the comments section.
  • Reply 18 of 55
    I truly wish Apple would hold the Facebooks of the world -- not to mention the many Chinese apps that have been harvesting user data -- to the same curation standards that they do to (small, trying to be useful to a small slice of the world that I happen to think is relevant) apps like mine.

    Also, the App Store is long overdue for an even more radical overhaul than iTunes. It's basically near-impossible to find anything that is good and new, and it's a system of discovery that has not changed much, if at all, since it was first introduced. Moreover, I have simply no interest in the increasingly fragmented Apple ecosystem such as WatchOS, tvOS, and whatever-elseOS. Life was far far simpler when my couple of developers had to deal with just the iPhone (various form factors) and iPad.
  • Reply 19 of 55
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post



    I truly wish Apple would hold the Facebooks of the world -- not to mention the many Chinese apps that have been harvesting user data -- to the same curation standards that they do to (small, trying to be useful to a small slice of the world that I happen to think is relevant) apps like mine.



    Also, the App Store is long overdue for an even more radical overhaul than iTunes. It's basically near-impossible to find anything that is good and new, and it's a system of discovery that has not changed much, if at all, since it was first introduced. Moreover, I have simply no interest in the increasingly fragmented Apple ecosystem such as WatchOS, tvOS, and whatever-elseOS. Life was far far simpler when my couple of developers had to deal with just the iPhone (various form factors) and iPad.



    It'd be nice if Google was held to the HIG; the YouTube app is an abomination.

     

    They've been trying to do a little better with the special sections, but there's no denying the App Store also needs a serious purge; there are so many useless apps that have been allowed in. Especially the ones that violate their rules; you're not supposed to do knockoffs but there are some 50 Flappy Bird clones in the store.

  • Reply 20 of 55
    I know for a FACT that "CPU spin" and "playing silent audio" are both BS. There are tools in XCode that show processes and their usage, so they can't say that nobody noticed those "stray" processes on there. I'm almost certain Facebook has enough resources to buy a few iPhones to test on *sarcasm*. As for the "silent audio", give me a break!! I know without a doubt they're listening. Some time ago I was watching a movie and I was gonna do a check in, so I tap through and got to the point where you select what you're watching or search. Before I could type anything in to search, the movie I was watching was the first choice! I thought maybe it was a fluke, but I was watching a BluRay, and it was about three weeks it had come out on video, so it couldn't have been that EVERYBODY was watching at the same time, but still I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I plop in the next movie, watch for a while and then do the check in again, select Watching, get to the list of options with search, and again, before I type anything, THAT movie was the first choice! So I go to Settings and turn off the microphone access for the Facebook app and any of their apps, plop in the first movie again, let it run for about 30 minutes, try the check in, and the list is now completely random. My mic has been off limits for them since. That was over a year ago. I like control of my privacy and am not paranoid because we've consciously allowed our lives to be opened to others, but Facebook takes it too far. If they say it's been "partially fixed", it probably means they turned it off while they find another way of doing the same thing without it being noticeable, OR they already have another way implemented to do the same thing. ????
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