YouTube promises fix for severe battery drain on iPhones & iPads

Posted:
in iPhone
Google's YouTube said it's working to solve a bug in its iOS app causing heavy battery drain on iPhones and iPads, even when running in the background.




The company made the announcement on Twitter in response to complaints. People have also reported the issue on sites like Reddit, and AppleInsider was able to confirm it on a test iPhone. In some instances devices may run unusually hot while playing videos, but this isn't universal.

Drain rates can also vary, though one person claimed that their iPhone X lost 20 percent of its battery in just 30 minutes.

Some users have linked the trouble to Apple's iOS 11.1.x update. YouTube's statement suggests that if so, it could be a matter of the the app's latest update being poorly optimized.

One stopgap solution involves viewing YouTube through its Web interface, whether on Safari or another browser. Not all features are available on the Web however, including YouTube Red perks like background audio and offline caching.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    Too late. Already deleted YouTube and will definitely not re-install. Watching them via DuckDuckGo in Safari is a better experience anyway.
    mike54dysamoriamagman1979viclauyycRobPalmer9cornchipwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 28
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,041member
    … aaaaannnnd deleted. 
    dysamoriamagman1979RobPalmer9cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 28
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,544member
    Or you could just not use YouTube...The site is getting so it sucks anyways. Even their popular people are getting fed up with them. 
    tallest skilRobPalmer9watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 28
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,297member
    First Facebook, now YouTube, but users blame Apple anyway. Par for the course.
    magman1979viclauyyctdknoxRobPalmer9cornchipwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 28
    mike54mike54 Posts: 246member
    Probably running in the background to extract as much data from you for its ad business and to sell to third parties. :)
    ben20tallest skilmagman1979MacProwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 28
    My iPhone 6+ battery has sometimes been fine and other times it drops like a rock.
    I don't use YouTube much -- at least not directly.  But most of the battery drain seems to happen with FaceBook -- especially if I watch videos on it (some of which use YouTube).

    Another drain (28%) appears to be the "My Heart" app that does research on heart health and activity.  I would like to contribute to their effort -- but 28% is just way too much battery drain.
    magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 28
    Why does Apple's review process for iOS updates not check for, and pick up such basic stuff? I know for a fact that they look through the entrails of mine every time I send in an update.

    Is it that they assume the big guys, like Google, can be trusted to do them right thing, and a light touch is sufficient?
    tallest skilmagman1979cornchipmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 8 of 28

    lkrupp said:
    First Facebook, now YouTube, but users blame Apple anyway. Par for the course.
    See above. Apple does have a review process, you know.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 28
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,609member
    Of course, there is no need to be able to quit such apps, because Craig said so. ;)

    anantksundaram said:
    Is it that they assume the big guys, like Google, can be trusted to do them right thing, and a light touch is sufficient?
    That would be my guess. I think they also get some kind of priority, as I've seen smaller apps announce an update is released but has to be approved and be a day or two (even for an important bug fix), while big apps can get released super quickly, even multiple times per day it seems sometimes.
    dysamoriamuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 10 of 28
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,609member
    macxpress said:
    Or you could just not use YouTube...The site is getting so it sucks anyways. Even their popular people are getting fed up with them. 
    I think the 'popular people' are primarily fed up with changes to the ad payout structure. Depending only on that isn't a smart way to build a business for ANY social-media or 3rd party site. Same with popular Facebook people, etc.

    But, I guess... what are the alternatives? I've seen nothing else that does what YouTube does or even gets close. I'd imagine delivering video at that scale is a super hard thing to compete with. I guess if you've got enough money and popularity, you could just directly deliver content via your own means.
    RobPalmer9muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 28

    lkrupp said:
    First Facebook, now YouTube, but users blame Apple anyway. Par for the course.
    See above. Apple does have a review process, you know.
    I’d never heard or expected that the app review process analyzes for power efficiency. It’s a difficult problem space which entails reviewing all code in all classes to see if there is sub-optimal technique, data access, looping, concatenation, etc. It would require a lot of study IMO and I’ve heard they streamlined the app review process to make devs wait less. 

    But while I’m a developer I’m a desktop and systems dev so I’m not an expert on the review process. 
    edited November 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 28

    cgWerks said:
    Of course, there is no need to be able to quit such apps, because Craig said so. ;)
    Who ever claimed there should be no way to quit broken apps? I’ve never heard anyone say that, ever. 

    But as I cited specifically in my prior posts you are referencing with the Craig comment, there are a certain subset of app categories which can benefit from force quitting when something is amiss — GPS, file transfers, and media players, which can all run background tasks. iOS app management is not the issue here, a bad app is. iOS made this clear by exposing battery usage stats which means the OS design is doing its job and raising the flag on bad apps. To see this and then suggest to people that they force quit all apps all the time is foolish and counter productive — you’ll incur the additional startup overhead on ever app’s relaunch, consuming more power needlessly. 

    Yes, Craig Federighi knows what he’s talking about.
    edited November 2017 magman1979gregoriusmRayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 28
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,544member
    cgWerks said:
    macxpress said:
    Or you could just not use YouTube...The site is getting so it sucks anyways. Even their popular people are getting fed up with them. 
    I think the 'popular people' are primarily fed up with changes to the ad payout structure. Depending only on that isn't a smart way to build a business for ANY social-media or 3rd party site. Same with popular Facebook people, etc.

    But, I guess... what are the alternatives? I've seen nothing else that does what YouTube does or even gets close. I'd imagine delivering video at that scale is a super hard thing to compete with. I guess if you've got enough money and popularity, you could just directly deliver content via your own means.
    They're also fed up with the well we don't want you saying certain words, or we don't want you swearing in your videos, etc. YouTube is more concerned now with the advertisers than the people providing the content for them.

    As far as alternatives go...well I believe YouTube holds the rights to certain things so if someone were to try and develop an alternative they would be sued. 
    dysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 28
    If it's true that the fault is the YouTube app running specifically on 11.1.x, then clearly the app development team failed to test properly during the beta testing phase. I wonder if they will be revamping their testing procedures going forward? It would be worth it just to avoid the bad press.
  • Reply 15 of 28
    hagarhagar Posts: 103member
    Isn’t this normal? Every iPhone I had drains battery like crazy. Like today with very light usage: Usage Time is 1h45 (which is wrong as I definitely did not use it so long so must be background stuff) and my battery is at 45%.

    when looking at the apps I don’t see anything unusual. Must be unreported background activity.  
  • Reply 16 of 28
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,609member
    StrangeDays said:
    But as I cited specifically in my prior posts you are referencing with the Craig comment, there are a certain subset of app categories which can benefit from force quitting when something is amiss — GPS, file transfers, and media players, which can all run background tasks. iOS app management is not the issue here, a bad app is. iOS made this clear by exposing battery usage stats which means the OS design is doing its job and raising the flag on bad apps. To see this and then suggest to people that they force quit all apps all the time is foolish and counter productive — you’ll incur the additional startup overhead on ever app’s relaunch, consuming more power needlessly. 

    Yes, Craig Federighi knows what he’s talking about.
    So, now you're saying users have to be technically adept enough to understand *which* particular apps the 'you don't have to quit apps anymore' applies to or not?
    My whole point the other day was along the lines of, %$*@ happens... so while on paper, it just works, in reality, it doesn't really. Yes, on iOS you have to worry about app/memory management much *LESS* than on macOS, but it isn't bullet-proof. If that's your point (making Craig correct?), then we're in agreement.

    macxpress said:They're also fed up with the well we don't want you saying certain words, or we don't want you swearing in your videos, etc. YouTube is more concerned now with the advertisers than the people providing the content for them.
    Ahh, yea, good point. IMO, this is more a problem with the algos and activists. They are trying to use 'AI' because they can't manually censor content, but then that system gets gamed by activists. I know a few popular channel creators (1M+ subscribers) who've had their channels shut down with zero inappropriate content.

    YouTube is going to be more concerned with advertisers though, as that's how they make their income. I'd expect that.... though they have to keep content fresh as well, so they can't get too lopsided. This is a tough challenge, but I think they could do better.

    But, in regards to ads, it is kind of scary. My son watches a few Minecraft channels that have pretty family-friendly content, but sometimes that ads that come on before them would easily be rated R in TV/film, if not adult/M. IMO, ads are should be something they have a lot more ability to control.

    And, then this whole 'Russia' baloney adds another aspect into the mix, as I think the major social media outlets are chomping at the bit to actually try and make the case as it makes their lousy systems look highly competent. While real advertisers are starting to question the effectiveness of ad buys at all, suddenly the social media players are trying to claim effectiveness unheard of in the ad-world. But, the politicians they are now selling that story to are far too stupid and gullible to figure this out before dumping $billions in their coffers. (ex: according to the testimony, 'Russian hackers' spent $46k on an ad buy that reached 126M people. That's $0.36 CPM! Where do I sign up? Or, I sure want hire those 'hackers'!)

    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 17 of 28
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,776member
    I never use the app because they have a website. Same with Facebook's garbage.
  • Reply 18 of 28
    dysamoria said:
    I never use the app because they have a website. Same with Facebook's garbage.
    And if you have an adblocker and switch to display the desktop site, the horrible YouTube video UI is replaced with a QuickTime-style stream. Great stuff.
    magman1979muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 19 of 28
    lkrupp said:
    First Facebook, now YouTube, but users blame Apple anyway. Par for the course.
    I think both companies running secret tests and collecting invaluable data. All we see is battery drain, but what happens in the background with all permissions enabled that’s the interesting part. I doubt it’s en error. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 28
    Starting to wonder if it makes more sense to just turn off Background App Refresh for all apps, and selectively turn it on when you realize certain apps clearly benefit from it and don’t suck up battery life. I feel like apps should ask for permission for this and maybe add a bit of transparency as to why it’s beneficial to have on.
    watto_cobra
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