Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Is the Facebook app eating your iPhone’s battery?

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Screenshot of the Facebook app on iPhoneHave you noticed that your iPhone’s battery life has got considerably worse of late? I have. And if this blog post on hagga_blog is to be believed, the blame lies with the Facebook app.

It would seem that, at regular intervals, the Facebook app ‘wakes up’ and does something for 10 seconds, which uses some of your phone’s processor power, and, in turn, wears the battery down a bit.

It probably has something to do with the chat feature, however, as the author of the article says, signing out of chat doesn’t make any difference. The problem also afflicts the separate Facebook Messenger app, so if you use both (like me) then the effect is even more pronounced. I also thought it might have something to do with the background photo uploader but disabling this doesn’t appear to have had much of an effect.

Whilst there may be some other factors here, I’m estimating that these two apps drain an additional 20-25% of my battery each day. Previously, by the end of the day my iPhone would have around 60-70% charge remaining – now it’s usually well below 50%.

iOS app drawer

The article does suggest a couple of workarounds. Firstly, when you’ve finished using the Facebook app, you need to kill the process. To do this, double-tap the home button, find the Facebook icon (you may need to swipe from right to left to find it), then do a long tap on the icon until the icon wiggles and a red ‘no entry’ icon appears (as shown in the screenshot above). Tap the red icon, and the Facebook process will stop – this will also stop it running in the background and will hopefully prevent the battery drain. However, you may be signed out of Facebook chat, and the process will start up again as soon as you re-open the app, so you’ll need to kill the process each time you close it again.

The other workaround is to get rid of the Facebook app from your phone, which is hardly optimal.

Hopefully Facebook will look into this and make improvements. I can’t see why it needs to use so much power whilst idle, especially if all its doing is maintaining a logged-in presence on Facebook chat. And there’s no way that an app in the top 100 free apps should be doing this, especially one that partners with Apple through its integration with iOS 6 and above.

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