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

  • rain rocket

    I think I gotten better battery usage after the update

  • tiltdown

    is this version 42.0 of facebook?

    • Kelvin Lieu

      yeah

    • lookHOWMADheis

      AHHH I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE !

  • Donovan

    wait, tracking location by playing silent audio?

  • Linton Findlay

    i think facebook needs to fix the major issue of not showing what ive actually liked, instead of shit my friends have ‘liked’ or random stuff theyve been tagged in. I would stop using facebook altogether if i didnt need it to keep in touch with friends

    • Jon20

      I think they need to show what they are actually updating during these updates. Not “Thanking us for updating” and saying they are just doing it to make our experience better and getting rid of bugs. Some times they do things that I didn’t even know they added, like the new PIP feature for videos while your in the app. I found it by accident.

      • Greg Warren

        I agree, I hate that Apple allows companies to add “patch notes” that don’t detail what actually changed. This whole, “every 2 weeks we update the app to improve your experience,” crap just isn’t cutting it.

  • Nathan

    Hey Christian, what version of Facebook is this article referencing? I didn’t receive any new updates.

  • Rares

    The audio thing is still not fixed. When I use the music app and the facebook app at the same time, the audio, even though is at max, sounds like it s at the half.

    • Fede777

      That’s not the problem that casued more battery usage, at all.

  • jolehp

    Acctually it fixes black screen when launching app.. I’m jailbroken on 9.0.2 but after update everything is fine.

  • iPhoneWINS

    battery is better

  • imvaid

    Yeah, and few weeks earlier someone on idb wrote that it’s bad idea to force close the apps 🙂

    • It is a bad idea to force close apps because iOS will do this automatically. You’ll also consume more resources having to completely reload an app than if it had already been running silently in the background. The only time to force close an app is if it’s programmed badly such as the Facebook app in this particular instance.

      • imvaid

        Yes, in ideal world iOS will do this for you, but as we can see, it is not always the case. 🙂

      • You only need to force close apps you know abuse backgrounding. Everything else will close by itself.

      • It’s not a bad idea. There’s a reason why rebooting your phone will speed up its performance. It clears the ram. This article alone is clear proof of that.

      • Rebooting your phone when it’s not necessary will force the device to load everything all over again. This is not good for your battery (plus if you’re jailbroken on iOS 9 sometimes boots can take as long as ten minutes to complete).

      • Wow you serious bout the jailbreak shit? I’m still on the cusp of whether I want to jailbreak or not (don’t like dealing with VM’s) but can be a deal breaker for me if it’s going to be a constant thing.

      • Nathan

        Don’t listen to him. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. That only happens if you force restart your phone (like it isn’t meant to be done in the first place).

      • Lol ok

    • Erik

      In general it’s still unnecessary. Just because a few apps misbehave doesn’t mean everyone needs to spend a bunch of time always closing out every single app they use.

  • leart

    I’m using Facebook version 8.0, so far everything ok

  • Gerardo Castro

    Seems as though FB doesn’t want me to have that newest update. Everytime I try and re-download, version 42 installs, and then auto-“updates” to version 41.

  • 5723alex .

    According to Facebook this is just a partial fix.

    “found a few key issues and have identified additional improvements” in the app, but only “some of which” made it into the latest update.”

  • n0ahcruz3

    how about delete the FB app and just login through the browser.. FB app is a memory hog

  • William Melendez

    I personally get good battery life. No issues here.

  • Kelvin Lieu

    literally went from 6.3 hours of background activity to 16 minutes in a whole 24 hours. both times app was running in background. im finally satisfied by the app. was gonna uninstall it

  • Felipe Queiroz Drumond

    Jailbreak seems to makes my 6s consume much more battery :-/

  • Well, it’s clearly not 100% solved, however they problem seems to be reduced. FB is no longer at the very top of my usage stats.

  • QuarterSwede

    This solved my insane background usage. It’s down to 38 minutes in the background and 7% of my battery usage over the last 7 days. Absolutely within acceptable tolerances.