iOS 7 (battery empty 001)

Have you ever wondered about the top battery hogs on the App Store? We all know the mobile Facebook app is notorious for its background fetching, which in combination with location tracking consumes a lot of power, but did you know Twitter just as easily rips through your iPhone’s battery life while you’re using it?

ZDNet has performed some eyebrow-raising testing of a raft of popular apps to uncover which have the biggest impact on your iPhone’s battery life, and here’s the shame list.

The shame list

After testing some 50 of the most popular apps for the iPhone on the App Store, sans games and camera apps, author Adrian Kingsley-Hughesgaming discovered the worst offenders for killing battery life, as follows:

  • Facebook—Facebook’s mobile app is one of the battery-heaviest apps on the App Store, even when it runs in the background.
  • Google Chrome—Google’s Chrome browser does not use Safari’s optimization techniques so it ends up being a significant battery drain.
  • Twitter—The app constantly checks for new tweets in the background. The more people you follow, the more Twitter for iOS hits the battery.
  • Google Maps—Location tracking, GPS and navigation together cause the most significant battery drain of all apps and with more features than Apple Maps, small wonder that Google Maps is another significant battery hog.
  • Skype—Probably one of the worst apps ever in terms of energy consumption, Skype uses just as much juice when it’s running in the background as it does when it’s in the background, even making your device hot to touch.

Bottom line

  • Disable background fetching for Twitter and Facebook in Settings → General → Background App Refresh to reduce the battery drain.
  • Switch to Apple Maps or download one of the many third-party navigation apps in the App Store, like TomTom’s new GoMobile app.
  • If you’re a Google Chrome users, switch to Safari.
  • Use FaceTime and Messages for video calling and texting, or another app whenever you can—and avoid Skype at all costs.

“Stock apps are the better choice if you want to get the most from your battery. Also, social media apps are hard on the battery,” the author concludes.

Facebook battery draing iPhone screenshot 001

Granted, there’s nothing scientific about Adrian’s tests: he was simply using them and then measured battery consumption in Settings → Battery, so your mileage may wary. That being said, it’s certainly interesting to see how Apple’s battery-shaming section within Settings helps identify apps that eat up your iPhone’s battery

Source: ZDNet

  • Bad apps

  • ready1take1

    “If you’re a Google Chrome users, switch to Safari.”


    “Switch to Apple Maps”


    • jalexcarter

      Safari is at least usable, it’s my standard mobile browser, but Apple Maps is definitely a joke I would delete from the phone if I could

    • DOOManiac

      You’ll have a full battery to call for help when Apple Maps doesn’t take you to the right place.

      • scott71

        Bitch, please. Apple Maps has been just fine for at least 2 years.

      • Jared

        Lots of people prefer “the best” over “just fine” FYI. And its directions were not “just fine” last time I checked, or ever…

    • Leeness

      “Stock apps are the better choice if you want to get the most from your battery”
      “If you’re a Google Chrome users, switch to Safari.”

      What if my stock app is Google chrome?

  • Joshua The-Legend Wiebe

    Turn off 3G/LTE

    • Jeffrey

      LTE actually uses less battery than 3G and WiFi 🙂

      • True

      • Joshua The-Legend Wiebe

        I don’t know how that’s possible when LTE downloads 3G faster…

      • Jonathan

        It’s more efficient. I don’t know how it’s more efficient, but it is. Hence, better battery life.

      • Jeffrey

        It’s the technology, you can’t compare download speeds to energy consumption

  • ✯Mike✯

    Snapchat is by far the worst hog on the store.

    • Yes! Without Snapchat, Facebook and Messenger my device would last like… almost forever 😀

    • Jayy

      There is a new contender called Pariscope, it makes snapchats battery drain look like nothing!

  • Gabriel Anaya

    Chrome isn’t all that great to start with. Apple maps is a big no sadly.

  • Tony Trenkle Jr.

    Didn’t Chrome just get an update recently for the Safari stuff?

  • Blip dude

    “Switch to Apple maps”

    Umm, thanks but I think I’ll be willing to make a compromise with Google Maps instead.

  • Samuel

    Snapchat is the worst battery hog there is.

  • IlIl

    Have you tested battery usage between Apple Maps versus Google Maps? More feature doesn’t necessarily mean more battery usage.

  • Ashy Larry

    Thankfully, I don’t use any of these apps.

  • mahe

    Skype doesn’t drain my battery …
    WhatsApp and some other apps are worse than it … (In the background)

    • Captain Henry Morgan

      Skype doesn’t really drain battery in the background but whatsapp this i agree!

    • JohnMiller2013

      Same here. It’s been years since I had any problem with Skype draining battery in the background.

      Of course group video calls drain battery, mostly because they keep the screen on.

  • Apple’s apps are garbage. I just disable Siri and Facebook entirely. 67 percent battery on my iPhone 5S since 7AM (nearly 3:30PM now). There’s no need to suffer with Apple’s substandard apps if you disable the two worst battery hogs (Siri and Facebook).

    • Jeffrey

      I go from 8 AM to 6 PM without charging and using Snapchat, Facebook, Spotify, Whatsapp and a few games and end up with 65-95% at 6PM. Most of the time around 85%. Today even 96% 🙂

      • So in a 10 hour span of using the mentioned apps, you’re trying to tell us your battery sometimes only goes down 4%?? Well I call bs on that one!

      • I think it’s bait, and he has one of the battery sipping Android phones. My Z1 Compact could go 3-4 days sometimes.

      • JoJo

        Its not that unrealistic, I’m a bit anal about my battery life and I’ve tuned my iPhone to the point that only the apps I really need are running in the background and absolutely nothing else. If i give my phone a full charge in the evening and wake up the next morning it is often still 99% of even 100% charged. He just does not use his phone very much if his claims are true.

      • Jeffrey

        It’s true though, guess I just use energy efficient settings 😉

      • Captain Henry Morgan

        He probably didn’t you that he charged his phone 2 mins ago that was why he still got 96% battery. Lol

  • Rakesh Jain

    Facebook is by far the worst iOS app as far as battery drainage is concerned. Too much bloated with unwanted features. Yet an essential feature of chat is available via a separate app (Messenger). WhatsApp itself covers major portion of battery consumption in background ..even though WhatsApp web is not used (foreground is actual usage and may vary person to person).

  • Jim Hart

    Forgotten in the solutions is deleting the Facebook app and using the web interface for Facebook instead.

  • Jimm Freedman

    Directv. Awful

  • M_Hawke

    Sorry to point these out, Christian, but typos:

    “Skype uses just as much juice when it’s running in the background as it does when it’s in the background”

    I think you meant “foreground.”

    And “Chrome user” singular.

  • Pretty funny that this article is telling us to get rid of Chrome, as a “Chrome Handoff” article review is on the the right side of the page

  • Lizmay

    Dumped all google apps long ago. Apple maps work just fine and if you use an iPhone use Safari not chrome. Google crap is all spyware. Might have to cut down on tweeting though.

  • I suspect ZDNet being paid by Apple to promote default apps. Apple Maps, seriously?

  • Richard Häggblom

    “Skype uses just as much juice when it’s running in the background as it does when it’s in the background, even making your device hot to touch.”

    Hmm well if it uses only in background it’s good??? 😀

  • iByron

    Facebook is the easiest to ditch. If you don’t want to constantly use the mobile web site (in Chrome, heh) pick up a dedicated “wrapper” app like Social Square or Friendly.

  • ClaudieX X

    Using the web based Facebook for weeks and I give it an 8 of 10

  • JohnMiller2013

    Switch to Apple Maps? That must be a joke.

    I’ll don’t use Twitter or Facebook, but I rely on Chrome, Google Maps and Skype every day.

  • Chris Mosher

    i would like to nominate “Mydilink lite app” for this list. i installed in on my iPad for the first time yesterday. It was at 52% last night. i woke up and it went down to 10%. Keep in mind this is the same ipad2 that i can run an entire month on a single charge. i don’t use it as often.