If your iPhone’s battery life seems abysmal, you may have someone other than Apple to blame.
In a scathing post on Medium almost two weeks ago, Matt Galligan revealed that the Facebook app was usurping a greedy 15% of his battery even after disabling background refresh. It was also staying alive two times longer than his actual usage.
“Building great products requires accounting for the whole of an entire experience – not just its features, but its flaws, and what it asks of its customer,” Mr. Galligan wrote.
In a post on his personal account Thursday, Facebook engineering manager Ari Grant acknowledged that taxing and extraneous coding has caused the app to kill your battery life – at least, faster than it should. He identified two key culprits, at least one of which is partly fixed by an update released on Friday.
First issue up: a “CPU” spin in the network code, which Mr. Grant likens to an irritating kid on a car ride soliciting unnecessary and vexing questions. That behavior causes the app to drain more battery than is needed. This has been modestly improved in the latest update.
Second: The app is still trying to play audio even after you leave. If you watch a video and then leave without closing the app, “the audio session sometimes stays open as if the app was playing audio silently.” Grant’s post did not clarify whether a fix for this was included in today’s update.
He added that location history does not seem to be a culprit, and if you haven’t consented to the optional feature then it is not running in the background.
It seems Facebook is far from completely fixing the problem, but the news is welcomed by critics who charge Facebook with neglecting to make their app as efficient as possible.
“We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. We are committed to continuing to improve the battery usage of our app and you should see improvements in the version released today,” Grant wrote.