Facebook app drains battery, slows down android phones

February 3, 2016  

The Facebook application as well as the Facebook messenger application has be shown in recent studies to eat up more than 20% of the battery life of an android phone, and to slow down other apps from opening by over 15%. While checking Facebook has been known to eat up one’s time, this new discovery may make android users want to delete the apps.  

Users of the site Reddit described their interactions with the app and various tests that were carried out by private individuals, which show that uninstalling the apps allows for a much longer battery life and faster operation of the entire device. The discovery comes after last year’s fiasco in which Facebook was similarly accused of draining iPhone users’ battery life.

The apps can be accessed via a “wrapper” app that is downloadable for android systems by the name Metal. A wrapper is a lightweight app designed to load native apps faster. Metal, for example, loads Facebook feeds much faster than the original.

The switch to a wrapper was suggested first by a columnist in The Guardian. According to the report the switch resulted in a battery boost for the android phone which he averaged to be 20% over a week of use 

A Facebook spokesman responded to the various accusations and told MailOnline in an interview that “we have heard reports of some people experiencing speed issues stemming from our Android app.” The spokesperson went on to say that Facebook will continue to look into the problems: “We are looking into this and will keep you posted. We are committed to continuing to improve these issues.”

“The first issue we found was a ‘CPU spin’ in our network code,” wrote Ari Grant, Facebook’s engineering manager, in a post on his personal page. “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.” His team also found a second issue being caused by the way the app manages audio. 

“If you leave the Facebook app after watching a video, the audio session sometimes stays open as if the app was playing audio silently,” he explained. 

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