Battery Draining Too Fast Lately? Facebook Apps May Be At Fault, Says Developer

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The iOS developer behind Home Remind has published a blog post about the Facebook apps for iPhone, iPad and Facebook Messenger. He says that according to his testing, the Facebook apps consume way more CPU time than is strictly necessary. Excessive CPU time can lead to battery drain.

The developer used Apple’s own Mac-based app, Instruments, to look at what was running on his iPhone, and found that his Facebook app was activating, doing something for ten seconds, then going back to sleep. It did this all day long during his test. He tested the Messenger app and the Facebook iPad app, and found the same pattern.

If that’s the case, the Facebook app is never truly going to sleep and then terminating like a good app. As a result, it’s using up CPU time, and a lot of your battery.

According to the blog post, Facebook is able to do this because it meets the criteria for two types of apps that Apple allows to run in the background: audio apps and voice over IP apps. Facebook apps are operating under these two backgrounding apps privileges, and, as such, are actively chewing up your battery time.

The developer doesn’t say that Facebook is doing this on purpose, and it hoping to make the company aware of the problem, so that they could possibly fix it in an update. Until then, he says, there are only two options.

You can delete the Facebook apps from your iPhone or iPad, and then just use the web version of Facebook, or you can force-quit the app when you’re not using it by double clicking the home button, tapping and holding the Facebook icon in the multitasking bar, and then tapping the little red minus icon. That way, he says, Facebook apps will well and truly be terminated.

Though, when I force-quit my own copy of Facebook Messenger, I still got messages on my iPhone, so that may not actually work.

  • jodamiller

    Getting notifications after killing the app is probably due to the iOS6 Facebook integration.

  • Breadfan

    Isn’t that the way notifications are supposed to work? You don’t need to have the app open or running at all to get the notification.

  • dannolan

    When you force quit a VOIP app it just silently restarts in the background, this is working the way the API is designed. All apps tagged as VoIP in their info.plist will also start up at launch. ~the more you know~

  • Breadfan

    When you force quit a VOIP app it just silently restarts in the background, this is working the way the API is designed. All apps tagged as VoIP in their info.plist will also start up at launch. ~the more you know~

    Are you saying that if I have Skype installed but not running it really is running in the background, eating up battery life?

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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