If you happen to own an iOS device, it’s worth checking to see if there is an update for the Facebook app (if you have it installed, that is). Recently, many iOS users have noticed that the app is reporting an abnormal amount of background activity, draining more battery than necessary. Thankfully, Facebook has issued a fix.
Ari Grant, the engineering manager of Facebook, has posted an update on…Facebook, to explain what is causing the unusual battery drain on iOS devices. The first issue he highlighted is “CPU spin,” which, as Grant puts it, “like a child in a car asking, ‘are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?’ With the question not resulting in any progress to reaching the destination.” Needless to say, this unnecessarily drains the battery.
The second issue that is causing the abnormal battery drain is how Facebook handles audio playback. If a user leaves the Facebook app after watching a video, the audio session would occasionally stay open. This, in turn, kept the app awake in the background.
Grant noted that Facebook’s location services have nothing to do with the battery drain, and mentioned that iOS users should see improvements in the new version of the app. “We are committed to continuing to improve the battery usage of our app,” Grant wrote, which could mean more optimisations are on the way.