iOS 5 battery icon (full)

After publicly acknowledging that it was aware of reports which slammed its mobile application over excessive battery drain, Facebook yesterday issued an update to its App Store app which has apparently fixed the long-standing issue.

Facebook engineering manager Ari Grant took to Facebook to detail the issue and what they’ve done to prevent the mobile app from eating up your iPhone’s battery.

“We recently heard reports of some people experiencing battery issues with the Facebook iOS app and have been looking into the causes of these problems,” he wrote.

“We found a few key issues and have identified additional improvements, some of which are in the version of the app that was released today.”

The problem was two-fold, Grant wrote.

First, Facebook’s network code was looping and causing a “CPU spin” which has contributed to the battery drain issue. The updated app has “some improvements” on that front, Grant claims.

More importantly, he acknowledged Facebook was sometimes playing audio silently in the background, which used to happen after watching a video.

“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 engineer explained.

This has kept the app awake in the background, causing it to use energy. The refreshed mobile app promises to solve this audio issue and remove background audio completely.

Grant insists that Facebook wasn’t intentionally playing silent audio in the background as a way of tracking users who have declined the app access to their location, as some pundits speculated.

If you have set location access for Facebook to Never in Settings and disabled Location History inside the app, “then we aren’t accessing your device’s location in the background.”

Have you noticed any improvements in terms of Facebook’s battery usage after updating the mobile app on your iPhone?

Download Facebook free from the App Store.

Source: Facebook