YouTube hammers out battery drain problem with iPhone app in latest update

Posted:
in iPhone
The iOS YouTube app update issued on Monday rectifies the dramatic battery drain that manifested not only when the app was actively being used to watch videos, but when it was idle in the background as well.




The release notes for version 12.45 of the YouTube app are very short, claiming to only fix the battery drain issue. AppleInsider has confirmed that the app update does fix the severe drain issue -- but reminds users that video watching can still be power-intensive.

YouTube declared that it would fix the problem on Nov. 13 after a bevy of user complaints. Other accounts of the problem noted devices heatingwhile using the app -- but this wasn't universal.

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

Users could side-step the issue before the update by viewing the content within Safari. Users of the YouTube Kids app seemed to be unaffected by the problem.

The iPhone and iPad YouTube app is free, requires iOS 9.0 or newer, and is a 196MB download.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,403member
    Why does YouTube need to run in the background? Since this is Google I have to wonder if they work bugs into their apps when new iPhones are released just so it looks like Apple has made a mistake so they can get high-end customers to consider Android-based devices.
    racerhomiewatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 45
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,062member
    And yet, when for example the iPhone 8/X were being reviewed, the "battery life" scores took a hit probably because of this- and of course it was all on Apple, not Google. What shitty, shoddy coding. I think Apple should surface notifications for apps that eat up so much battery life in the background, just like they do for location stuff. 
    edited November 2017 racerhomielkruppStrangeDayspscooter63watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 45
    neilmneilm Posts: 548member
    Is there any reason for a dedicated YouTube app when the site can be viewed in any browser?
    linkmanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 45
    flydogflydog Posts: 109member
    Soli said:
    Why does YouTube need to run in the background? Since this is Google I have to wonder if they work bugs into their apps when new iPhones are released just so it looks like Apple has made a mistake so they can get high-end customers to consider Android-based devices.
    Picture in picture works with the app in the background. If you don't like it, disable it in Settings.
  • Reply 5 of 45
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,403member
    flydog said:
    Soli said:
    Why does YouTube need to run in the background? Since this is Google I have to wonder if they work bugs into their apps when new iPhones are released just so it looks like Apple has made a mistake so they can get high-end customers to consider Android-based devices.
    Picture in picture works with the app in the background. If you don't like it, disable it in Settings.
    1) Having the video being over all other content but still being registered as "background" is interesting.

    2) Disabling it isn't an issue for me since I've never had the YouTube app installed except back when it was part of iOS. I would simply use the browser, as @neilm suggests.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 45
    I don't know why the use of apps like this is so pervasive. There are very few features in these that can't be done using a web browser. Do I need apps for CNN, Google search, AppleInsider, Best Buy, McDonald's, Exxon-Mobil, AT&T, Discovery Channel, etc.? No I don't.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 45
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,403member
    linkman said:
    I don't know why the use of apps like this is so pervasive. There are very few features in these that can't be done using a web browser. Do I need apps for CNN, Google search, AppleInsider, Best Buy, McDonald's, Exxon-Mobil, AT&T, Discovery Channel, etc.? No I don't.
    If you're an AT&T customer then you can see your data usage and pay your bill through the app. I do this my carrier and it's considerably more convenient than having to pull up a website and login. I'm not even sure it would be formatted or as fast as the native app.

    The McDonald's app is pretty great and you definitely can't do it through the web browser. They have deals/coupons in the app, and let you order and pay with Apple Pay before you even get to the store which can be a time saver.

    Anecdote Warning: The morning of Thanksgiving the kitchen was busy with preparing an afternoon meal for 20 people so I said I would run to McDonald's for a breakfast run. Instead of writing down about a dozen orders that I'd have to restate to a McDonald's cashier I just did he order on my iPhone one-by-one, then submitted and payed with Apple Pay. Now, it doesn't actually charge your account or show up on their displays until you get within a short geofence range (maybe 25 meters), but while in the car waiting at the traffic light it noticed I was within range which prompted me to choose Inside or Curbside. If you choose Inside it then asks you if you want to Eat In or Take Out. I choose Curbside. We parked and a couple minutes after that, without ever walking into the store. a couple of employees came out with our large order. It's really pretty slick. I'm a fan.

    I don't have any of the other apps you mention, but I do have Netflix, Sling, and Hulu apps so I can understand why someone would have a Discovery Channel app if that's what they watch. I can also see why someone would have a YouTube app if they're Red subscribers that watch an ungodly amount YouTube content (which I honestly can't fathom). The same goes for the Best Buy app, I don't shop there but I do shop at Amazon so I have the app since that's much easier to use in every way.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobrarandominternetpersonjony0
  • Reply 8 of 45
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,455member
    linkman said:
    I don't know why the use of apps like this is so pervasive. There are very few features in these that can't be done using a web browser. Do I need apps for CNN, Google search, AppleInsider, Best Buy, McDonald's, Exxon-Mobil, AT&T, Discovery Channel, etc.? No I don't.
    Which is why I don’t use any of them. Just put a bookmark on your home screen. 
  • Reply 9 of 45
    Strange. I downloaded this update early Sunday night.
  • Reply 10 of 45
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,715administrator
    macseeker said:
    Strange. I downloaded this update early Sunday night.
    I wonder if there was a minor revision. It's dated on the app store as today.
  • Reply 11 of 45
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,301member
    Soli said:
    linkman said:
    I don't know why the use of apps like this is so pervasive. There are very few features in these that can't be done using a web browser. Do I need apps for CNN, Google search, AppleInsider, Best Buy, McDonald's, Exxon-Mobil, AT&T, Discovery Channel, etc.? No I don't.
    If you're an AT&T customer then you can see your data usage and pay your bill through the app. I do this my carrier and it's considerably more convenient than having to pull up a website and login. I'm not even sure it would be formatted or as fast as the native app.

    The McDonald's app is pretty great and you definitely can't do it through the web browser. They have deals/coupons in the app, and let you order and pay with Apple Pay before you even get to the store which can be a time saver.

    I don't agree.  The primary reason for these so-called "apps" is control.  By making it an app, they control what you can and can't see within the app.  A native app (as apposed to HTML5) bypasses ad-blockers installed for iOS Safari.  The explosion of apps that are nothing more than glorified news-feeds are a testament to marketing.  

    Your deals/coupons that you say can only be done in the app can easily be done via a regular web browser.  Society has dumbed-down the internet to a series of "apps" as opposed to web pages.  Many apps just wrap HTML from a (guess...) website and re-package it into an app.  

    There are definite reasons to build a native app.  A large percentage of them have zero reason to be a native app.  I for one get really tired of having to enter my username/password on an app, whereas in Safari it remembers my credentials.  I find myself having to view my credientials in the Settings app so I can enter it into the app.  Frustrating at times.

    Look at the AI app.  The main app is native, but the forums/comments is still processed in Safari.  While I have the AI app, I usually end up viewing it in Safari on my iPhone.
  • Reply 12 of 45
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,403member
    sflocal said:
    Soli said:
    linkman said:
    I don't know why the use of apps like this is so pervasive. There are very few features in these that can't be done using a web browser. Do I need apps for CNN, Google search, AppleInsider, Best Buy, McDonald's, Exxon-Mobil, AT&T, Discovery Channel, etc.? No I don't.
    If you're an AT&T customer then you can see your data usage and pay your bill through the app. I do this my carrier and it's considerably more convenient than having to pull up a website and login. I'm not even sure it would be formatted or as fast as the native app.

    The McDonald's app is pretty great and you definitely can't do it through the web browser. They have deals/coupons in the app, and let you order and pay with Apple Pay before you even get to the store which can be a time saver.

    I don't agree.  The primary reason for these so-called "apps" is control.  By making it an app, they control what you can and can't see within the app.  A native app (as apposed to HTML5) bypasses ad-blockers installed for iOS Safari.  The explosion of apps that are nothing more than glorified news-feeds are a testament to marketing.  

    Your deals/coupons that you say can only be done in the app can easily be done via a regular web browser.  Society has dumbed-down the internet to a series of "apps" as opposed to web pages.  Many apps just wrap HTML from a (guess...) website and re-package it into an app.  

    There are definite reasons to build a native app.  A large percentage of them have zero reason to be a native app.  I for one get really tired of having to enter my username/password on an app, whereas in Safari it remembers my credentials.  I find myself having to view my credientials in the Settings app so I can enter it into the app.  Frustrating at times.

    Look at the AI app.  The main app is native, but the forums/comments is still processed in Safari.  While I have the AI app, I usually end up viewing it in Safari on my iPhone.
    1) What apps are you constantly having to reenter your password?

    2) How would Touch ID/Face ID for security of 1Password, financial apps, etc. work in Safari on a per URL basis.

    3) Sure, there are apps like AI that can be done with Safari and that obviously use movbileSafari to display most content, but you don’t have to use those. I don’t think I’ve even tested the AI app. Other apps, like 1Password use mobileSafari within the app for a secure login and it’s great. I wouldn’t want that to go away.

    4) This “control” you mention still happens with websites, with and without ad blockers.

    5) Using the cars v. trucks analogy, and there are many things that I would direct certain types of users to use a curated App Store app over a website for ease of use and security.
    edited November 2017 mike1
  • Reply 13 of 45
    macseeker said:
    Strange. I downloaded this update early Sunday night.
    I wonder if there was a minor revision. It's dated on the app store as today.
    I'll check the Sunday download for the version number.  The release note mentioned it was for the battery issue.
  • Reply 14 of 45
    neilm said:
    Is there any reason for a dedicated YouTube app when the site can be viewed in any browser?
    Yeah, the app is better than the web version. From various taps for advancing or rewinding, to the way comments are rendered, and other native window and gesture support simply not present in the web version. the web version is econo fare. 
  • Reply 15 of 45
    sflocal said:
    Soli said:
    linkman said:
    I don't know why the use of apps like this is so pervasive. There are very few features in these that can't be done using a web browser. Do I need apps for CNN, Google search, AppleInsider, Best Buy, McDonald's, Exxon-Mobil, AT&T, Discovery Channel, etc.? No I don't.
    If you're an AT&T customer then you can see your data usage and pay your bill through the app. I do this my carrier and it's considerably more convenient than having to pull up a website and login. I'm not even sure it would be formatted or as fast as the native app.

    The McDonald's app is pretty great and you definitely can't do it through the web browser. They have deals/coupons in the app, and let you order and pay with Apple Pay before you even get to the store which can be a time saver.

    I don't agree.  The primary reason for these so-called "apps" is control.  By making it an app, they control what you can and can't see within the app.  A native app (as apposed to HTML5) bypasses ad-blockers installed for iOS Safari.  The explosion of apps that are nothing more than glorified news-feeds are a testament to marketing.  

    Your deals/coupons that you say can only be done in the app can easily be done via a regular web browser.  Society has dumbed-down the internet to a series of "apps" as opposed to web pages.  Many apps just wrap HTML from a (guess...) website and re-package it into an app.  

    There are definite reasons to build a native app.  A large percentage of them have zero reason to be a native app.  I for one get really tired of having to enter my username/password on an app, whereas in Safari it remembers my credentials.  I find myself having to view my credientials in the Settings app so I can enter it into the app.  Frustrating at times.

    Look at the AI app.  The main app is native, but the forums/comments is still processed in Safari.  While I have the AI app, I usually end up viewing it in Safari on my iPhone.
    Native apps also consume less data as the underlying HTML, JS, CSS don’t have to be downloaded over and over (yes i know some JS and CSS is cached but you’d be surprised how much is not). web apps simply can’t compete with local & compiled apps when it comes to data over the wire. 

    Also, in iOS 11 app passwords are pulled from the same safari credential store. 


    jony0
  • Reply 16 of 45
    but what about all those articles stating that you don't need to force close apps? background apps don't use the battery when closed.... yeah right !!! if you still think that, then spend an hour with me and i'll prove you wrong.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 45
    seanie248 said:
    but what about all those articles stating that you don't need to force close apps? background apps don't use the battery when closed.... yeah right !!! if you still think that, then spend an hour with me and i'll prove you wrong.
    Where are the articles saying you don’t need to force close apps?  All the articles I’ve seen (along with Apple documentation) say that you don’t need to close all of your apps, all the time in order to increase battery life.  The “force close” option is there to quit apps that are misbehaving.  Clearly the YouTube app was in that category.

    If apps are “closed” then they certainly don’t use the battery.  Some apps are designed to work in the background and will then, obviously, still take power from the battery if that background task is operating.

    Back on topic: like others here, I don’t use the YouTube app and use the website when I ‘need’ to.  The thing I find interesting is one of the (supposed) pros of using the app is background audio, which you can’t get in Safari.  However, I’ve noticed that if I’ve recently had a YouTube video open in Safari and then get into my car, my iPhone will connect via Bluetooth and I will be listening to the audio from the YouTube video.  
    SoliStrangeDays
  • Reply 18 of 45
    I wonder if there was a minor revision. It's dated on the app store as today.
    I'll check the Sunday download for the version number.  The release note mentioned it was for the battery issue.

    --------------------
    An update:  The version of the YouTube app I downloaded on Sunday night is 12.45.13
  • Reply 19 of 45
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,403member
    seanie248 said:
    but what about all those articles stating that you don't need to force close apps? background apps don't use the battery when closed.... yeah right !!! if you still think that, then spend an hour with me and i'll prove you wrong.
    Adding to @ihatescreennames' comment, show me one article that says apps running in the background don't use the battery. You can't because it's a ridiculous notion. If there's a process running in the background it's using the battery. To reiterate the point @ihatescreennames made, you use more battery life and waste more time by force closing every app that happens to be sitting in your most recent app list if it can't launch from a hibernation state, which means it has to use a lot more power to launch again.
    ihatescreennamesStrangeDayspscooter63jony0
  • Reply 20 of 45
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,641member
    Soli said:
    Why does YouTube need to run in the background? Since this is Google I have to wonder if they work bugs into their apps when new iPhones are released just so it looks like Apple has made a mistake so they can get high-end customers to consider Android-based devices.
    The only real problem here is people believing this problem is unusual.     There have been probably hundreds of times ive solved problems on my iPhone simply by exiting all app.  I do all apps because determing the culprite is difficult at times plus it can purge libraries for you.  

    There is no need to damn google here as many apps have suffered similar issues in the past.   Beyond that minimizing your power profile is not a trivial programmming skill. 
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