Facebook App May Be Destroying Your iPhone Battery. Here's How to Check

Source: AP
Source: AP

Coupling the Facebook app with an Apple iOS 9 could produce more than time-sucking activity — it could significantly drain the device's battery life.

Matt Galligan, the CEO and co-founder of Circa, a San Francisco-based startup that develops news apps, recently discovered the link between iOS 9, Facebook's app and battery depletion. Galligan monitored his device usage and battery depletion rate over a seven-day period, and penned a Medium post on Sunday to share the results.

At 15%, Facebook's app caused more battery depletion than any other app on Galligan's device during the course of a week, according to the start-up chief. Safari was the second biggest charge drainer and caused a 12% dip in the device's battery life during the same period of time.

Though that may not seem so absurd, considering Facebook's and Google's apps dominate Americans' time and attention on mobile devices. Galligan points out that his Facebook app's refresh option was set to "disabled." That means that although the device was essentially set to sleep mode, it continued to refresh the Facebook feed and drain the device. 

"That extraneous background usage, despite not providing any value to me at all, is keeping the app alive two times longer than my actual usage," Galligan wrote. "Even the resource hog Safari drained 3% less over the last week despite being on the screen for half an hour more."

It took about as long for Galligan to make his discovery as it did for Facebook to respond to the issue. On Thursday, a Facebook representative told TechCrunch that the company is aware of the problem and is working on a solution.

"We have heard reports of some people experiencing battery issues with our iOS app," Facebook's representative told TechChrunch. "We're looking into this and hope to have a fix in place soon."

It's still unclear what's causing the iOS 9 version of the Facebook app to consume a disproportionate amount of battery on the iPhone. Yet until the tech giant releases a software update or an ad hoc repair, users can opt to temporarily delete the app and access Facebook via a mobile browser instead. 

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Liz Rowley

Liz is a staff writer at Mic, covering breaking news. She is based in New York and can be reached at lrowley@mic.com.

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