Facebook app still a battery hog, testing shows, but there is a solution

Feb 8, 2016Uncategorized0 comments

Though Facebook has been trying to address power usage concerns through software updates, its main iOS app is still a drain on the iPhone’s daily battery life, a report claimed on Monday.

During informal testing, an iPhone 6s Plus saw an average of 15 percent more life with the app uninstalled, according to The Guardian. The paper instead accessed Facebook’s website through the iPhone’s built-in Safari browser, while leaving Facebook Messenger intact. Testing spanned two weeks — one with the Facebook app installed and a second with it removed.

Similar results were recorded by other recruited iPhone owners, The Guardian noted.

For the main test, deleting the app is also said to have had the benefit of recovering some 500 megabytes of storage, including 111 megabytes from the app itself and the remainder in cache space.

Facebook’s main iOS and Android apps have repeatedly been accused of consuming too much battery life, principally by operating in the background when they’re not needed. When the issue came to a head in 2015, Facebook blamed the situation on bugs that were later corrected, but The Guardian’s results suggest that fundamental problems remain or have resurfaced.

Battery life remains a concern with iPhones. The 6 Plus and 6s Plus can last a full day or more on a single charge — owing to larger batteries — but 4- and 4.7-inch iPhones are often close to empty by nightfall, and sometimes need midday top-ups, particularly if they’re used for video, games, or GPS. Apple itself recently put out an official battery case for the iPhone 6 and 6s.

According to LifeHacks, there is a solution.  The Facebook mobile site is nearly identical, but is a little faster, doesn’t drain your battery even when you aren’t using it, and doesn’t require the extra permissions on your phone.

This tip is old as dirt, but somewhere along the line, we forgot about Facebook’s mobile site. If you’re constantly frustrated by the Facebook app, here’s what you need to do to get rid of it.

Android users:

Open the Play Store app and search for Facebook. Click the Uninstall button on its main page. (If it came pre-installed and you can’t get rid of it, go to Settings > Accounts and just remove your Facebook account. It’ll serve the same purpose).

Open your browser of choice and head to facebook.com. Log in, then press the Menu button and save Facebook’s home page to your bookmarks.

Head to your home screen and long-press on an empty space. Choose Shortcuts from the menu, select Bookmark, and choose the Facebook bookmark you just created. Now you have a Facebook shortcut on your home screen that takes you to a faster, permission-free, more battery-friendly Facebook.

iPhone users:

Press and hold on the Facebook app and click the “X” to uninstall it.

Open Safari, head to facebook.com, and log in.

Click the “Share” button in Safari’s bottom bar and choose “Add to Home Screen.” Name it whatever you want, then tap “Add.” Now you have a Facebook shortcut on your home screen that takes you to a faster, more battery-friendly Facebook.

iPhone users won’t notice as big of a change as Android users do, but it’s worth a shot if your Facebook app seems slow.

If you absolutely need notifications, ITworld recommends turning on email notifications instead, which should help a bit with the battery problems on Android.


Adapted from articles by Whitston Gordon for LifeHacker and Roger Fingus for Apple Insider