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Having Smartphone Battery Drain Problems? Facebook Apps May Be The Culprit

One of the most widespread complaints when it comes to smartphones is the reduced battery life. As smartphone gadgets can pretty much do everything these days, this is hardly surprising but there might be some apps that can drain your battery more than the acceptable level. If you are noticing significantly reduced battery life on your iOS device, it is possible that the culprit might just be the Facebook apps

Facebook App Battery Drain

A German developer named Sebastian Düvel with the aid of Apple's own developer tools has found out that Facebook apps, such as Messenger and Facebook are utilizing CPU time, even when it's suspended in the background. Here are his insights which is translated from German.

If you start an app, then it’s running in the foreground. Sure. If you press the home button, the app is not getting terminated but it’s suspended (the app is sleeping). If an app is sleeping it is frozen and is doing nothing (not using any CPU time), although it is using memory. But that’s a good thing: so if you return to that app it’s faster available, because the system does not have to start it, but simply unfreezes it. Apps can be terminated when frozen (either by the system when memory is running low or by the user using the multitasking switcher, which is normally not necessary).

Since iOS 4 there is multitasking. With that it’s possible for an app to keep running up to 10 minutes after being sent to the background. Unfortunately some apps are exploiting this. WhatsApp for example. When it seems like it’s terminated it’s actually running exactly those allowed 10 minutes and continues to communicate directly with its server instead of using iOS’ push notifications. That’s draining more battery, of course.

So if you are getting a message in this 10 minute timeframe and open WhatsApp, this 10 minute period starts again. That means if you are getting lots of messages it could happen that WhatsApp is running the whole day. Thankfully most of us are not that popular, so this would become a problem.

Additionally to this 10 minute background time there are four more multitasking modes. They all have something in common: they are running indefinitely. But more important they are defined by the apps themselves.

These four modes are:

  • Playing audio: for apps like Spotify/Pandora who play music when you are doing something else
  • Location based apps: this is for your navigation apps like Garmin or TomTom
  • Newsstand downloads: Newsstand apps can download new issues in the background
  • Voice over IP apps: this is for Skype and apps that allow to phone someone, they run in the background waiting for calls

Facebook for iPhone

For some strange reason, Facebook is waking up every few minutes, racks up CPU time for 10 seconds, and then it will be sent to sleep again. The issue was initially attributed to Facebook's chat but it was found out that this is not the case. The same problem has been discovered with Facebook Messenger and the iPad app as well.

According to Düvel, if you are experiencing significantly reduced battery life due to Facebook, the best way is to uninstall Facebook or terminate Facebook apps using the App Switcher. So what do you think of these findings? Are you also experiencing these battery drain issues with Facebook apps? [via Reddit]

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