After more and more reports revealed that the Facebook mobile app is consuming plenty of iPhone battery via background activities even when said activities should be off, the company said it will look into matters and issue fixes. Lo and behold, Facebook did release an app update to fix the issues – not a surprising feat per se, considering that Facebook always releases timely updates for its mobile apps – but also addressed the matter in a public post.
As Facebook’s Ari Grant explains, the battery issue is caused by bugs, two of them, which the company is trying to fix. And from the looks of it, they’re not intentional code manipulations that would let Facebook conduct background app activity at all times – at least that’s what Grant says.
The social network identified two “key” issues and included improvements in the latest Facebook app version.
“The first issue we found was a ‘CPU spin’ in our network code,” Grant said. “A CPU spin is 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. This repeated processing causes our app to use more battery than intended. The version released today has some improvements that should start making this better.”
“The second issue is with how we manage audio sessions,” the exec added. “If you leave the Facebook app after watching a video, the audio session sometimes stays open as if the app was playing audio silently. This is similar to when you close a music app and want to keep listening to the music while you do other things, except in this case it was unintentional and nothing kept playing. The app isn’t actually doing anything while awake in the background, but it does use more battery simply by being awake. Our fixes will solve this audio issue and remove background audio completely.”
He then proceeded to make it clear that the issues are not caused by the optional Location History feature in the Facebook app or anything related to location, and that Facebook isn’t accessing your location unless you have expressly told the app it can do that.