iOS 7 (battery empty 001)

It is no secret that Facebook’s mobile app has always been a battery hog, even with Background App Refresh turned off. Instead of fixing the issue, Facebook appears to employ tricks to keep the app active in the background, further accentuating the battery drainage problem.

According to TechCrunch, Mark Zuckerberg & Co. are aware of the problem and its programmers are working around the clock to put out a fix “soon”.

“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 the spokesperson.

The app’s extraneous background usage—again, even with Background App Refresh turned off—is keeping it alive two times longer than its actual usage, according to Circa co-founder Matt Galligan who blogged about the issue in a damning post on Medium.

“Make no mistake: this is user-hostile,” he wrote.

He is accusing the company of “actively creating channels to continue refreshing their app in the background when the user has explicitly stated that they do not want it to.”

MacStories editor Federico Viticci suspects the app is “hijacking audio sessions on iOS by keeping silent audio in the background whenever a video plays in the app,” a nasty trick designed to keep the app active in the background and drain battery.

Facebook battery drains iPhone screenshot 001

“Because, by default, videos on Facebook auto-play on both Wi-Fi and Cellular and few people ever bother to turn it off, that means there’s a high chance the Facebook app will always find a way to play a video, keep audio in the background, and consume energy to perform background tasks,” he wrote.

If you have been plagued with the excessive battery drainage caused by Facebook’s main mobile app, you should install their Paper app which doesn’t seem to be active in the background when Background App Refresh is turned off.

Paper is also more elegant and user-friendly than the main iOS app. Unfortunately, Paper is US-only so you’ll need a US App Store account in order to download it.

Or, you could just delete the mobile Facebook app entirely from your device and use the mobile interface until the company comes to its senses and sorts this issue out.

Both Paper and Facebook are free downloads from the App Store.

What’s your battery experience with the Facebook app?

Source: TechCrunch

  • Pokeh321

    Other words, they got found out and it got published everywhere. So they’ll fix it for a few weeks and go back.

  • G®UΣ

    Snapchat is even worse!

  • Jose Gonzalez

    I do notice that when I am browsing Facebook, leave the app and try playing music, Netflix etc. the sound is somehow low. If I remove the app from the task switcher it will bring back the audio to its true sound output.

    Not sure if that made to much sense but that’s the best I can describe it.

    I do have Background App Refresh off for all my apps but somehow Facebook continues to have a huge impact on battery usage. Check out the screenshot I just took right now.

    • xxFoxtail

      Yep! Same thing here. The Facebook app had to go when I discovered it.

      • Jose Gonzalez

        Yeah got rid of it now. Here is a pic a couple hours later:

  • AwkwardApple

    Along with Facebook I would delete the second biggest battery hog – Facebook messenger and just use the web site. In Safari you can create a web based Facebook icon.

  • [RECON1]

    Lol. It’s been like that for how long and now they want to acknowledge it and make a fix?

  • Nile Plumb

    This amongst the constant stupid notifications, memory and cache hogging and other issues is why I switched back to using the website version as a bookmark link.

  • Uninstalled official Facebook app years ago. Anyway, Facebook is for the attention deficit and socially impaired in real life.

  • Digitalfeind

    Now I know why my 5s has been dying much quicker than usual. This is only casual use of the app. No more than any other days.

    • WonkieInc

      Facebook has had this issue for years though

      • Digitalfeind

        When I jailbreak I just install appsync unified and install Facebook v.25 so I can still use the messenger. Never have any problems with that one. But I updated to 8.4.1 to fix an issue and installed the newest version.

  • Morgan Freeman

    When will people figure out the big secret… that Facebook does this crap so they can spy on you? Seriously, people are so gullible.. they will believe that this isn’t happening if Facebook bats their eyes and says “nuh uh! We wouldn’t do that! ;)”

  • Lemerio P.

    Worse app in the AppStore. This is why I haven’t installed this on my phone since iOS 7. This isn’t the first time it’s happened. I just use the mobile web version.

  • mahe

    “some” … the other have it installed and don’t use it :X
    What about the Messenger?
    And the bought WhatsApp which drains more battery since they have it?