Facebook fixes iOS battery drain issue, tells everyone it’s sorry

Facebook is publicly apologizing to users of its iOS app after it was discovered that it drained people’s batteries.

The issue was identified last week by Circa co-founder Matt Gilligan, writing on Medium that even with the background refresh turned off and the app shut down, it accounted for 15 percent of all battery drain in one charge.

“Whether we’re talking about battery life, data usage, or load times, they’re all valuable resources to mobile customers,” he said, demanding that Facebook make a “priority” in fixing the annoyance.

More than a week after Gilligan’s post exposing the problem affecting the iPhone’s most downloaded app ever, Facebook’s engineering manager Ari Grant said the problem has been fixed in a public post on the social network.

Turns out, the issue centers around “CPU spin,” said Grant explaining “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.” In this case the app was repeatedly asking the phone to carry out an unnecessary task. That repeating process caused the battery to bleed energy.

That, combined with a faulty audio issue that wasn’t powered off after watching a video, resulting in the unintended and the very annoying battery drainage. “We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused,” Grant wrote.

An update being released today is supposed to fix the issues.

Images via Shutterstock. 


More in Media

YouTube is under fire again, this time over child protection

Adalytics Research asks, ‘Are YouTube advertisers inadvertently harvesting data from millions of children?’

Illustration of a puzzle that spells out the word 'media.'

Media Briefing: Publishers pump up per-subscriber revenue amid ad revenue declines

Publishers’ Q2 earnings reveal digital advertising is still in a tight spot, but digital subscriptions are picking up steam.

Lessons for AI from the ad-tech era: ‘We’re living in a memory-less world’

Experts reflect how the failures of social media and online advertising can help the industry improve the next era of innovation.