Facebook fixes battery-draining bugs in its iPhone app

23 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Facebook Won’t Drain Your iPhone Battery Anymore.

In a scathing post on Medium almost two weeks ago, Matt Galligan revealed that the Facebook app was usurping a greedy 15% of his battery even after disabling background refresh. The first update, available today, solves a “CPU spin” issue that Facebook found in its network code. “A CPU spin is like a child in a car asking, ‘Are we there yet?

It was also staying alive two times longer than his actual usage. “Building great products requires accounting for the whole of an entire experience – not just its features, but its flaws, and what it asks of its customer,” Mr. Are we there yet?’ with the question not resulting in any progress to reaching the destination,” Facebook engineering manager Ari Grant wrote. “The version released today has some improvements that should start making this better.” Facebook also identified an issue related to video playback. According to a post from the Facebook research team, “e-laughing is evolving” and the social network has been analyzing the data we use in its platform since the end of May. (Definitely hit the link for the deep dive; it’s a fascinating study.) To likely no one’s surprise, the most common expression of e-laughing is “haha” followed by emoji. Facebook goes deeper yet into the nuances of who uses what sort of online laugh: Age, gender and geographic location play a role in laughter type and length: young people and women prefer emoji, whereas men prefer longer hehes. PixelEnvy blogger Nick Heer responded by calling Facebook’s actions “user-hostile,” while Federico Viticci of MacStories said the company was being “shady” and showing “a deep lack of respect for iOS users.” Facebook’s response suggests that the battery problems were a mere oversight. “We are committed to continuing to improve the battery usage of our app and you should see improvements in the version released today,” Grant wrote.

And while “haha” and “hehe” or even “hahaha” and “hahahahahahaha” and “hahahahhhhahahahaha” (a misspelled, elongated “haha” that most of us might interpret as “this is so funny I don’t care that these letters are in the wrong order”) might seem like they belong in the same category, there are subtle inferences to make about them each. Why this matters: Facebook is the most popular mobile app in America, and the current 2nd-ranked free app in the App Store (behind only Facebook Messenger), so any battery drain issues could be affecting tens of millions of users. Basically, if you watched a video on Facebook, it continued to play the audio in the background even if you closed out of the app. “The app isn’t actually doing anything while awake in the background, but it does use more battery simply by being awake,” Grant explained. He assured that the drain hadn’t come from the app’s Location History feature or “anything related to location,” as some had speculated, and stressed that Location History was an optional feature. It seems Facebook is far from completely fixing the problem, but the news is welcomed by critics who charge Facebook with neglecting to make their app as efficient as possible. “We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.

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