Facebook has confirmed it is investigating reports ofA�excessiveA�battery drain caused by its iOS app apparently continuing to run processes in the background a�� even with background app refresh disabled.
In a statement provided to TechCrunch a spokesperson for the company confirmed it is investigating the issue, adding that itA�hopes to be able to put out a fix a�?soona�?.
a�?We have heard reports of some people experiencing battery issues with our iOS app. Wea��re looking into this and hope to have a fix in place soon,a�? the spokesperson said.
Blogging about the issue earlier this week, Circa co-founder Matt Galligan couchedA�the Facebook appa��s use of battery asA�a�?ridiculousa�?, noting that the app had been responsible for 15 per cent of all battery drain over aA�seven-day period a�� despite having background app refreshed disabled.
a�?Because the app isna��t a�?sleepinga�� properly when I hit the home button, it continues to drain,a�? he wrote. a�?That extraneous background usage, despite not providing any value to me at all, is keeping the app alive 2x longer than my actual usage.a�?
Another user,A�Nick Heer, also blogging about the issue, dubbedA�Facebooka��s use of resources as a�?user hostilea�?, asserting that: a�?Facebook is actively creating channels to continue refreshing their app in the background when the user has explicitly stated that they do not want it to.a�?
Also chewing overA�the issue this week, MacStoriesa�� Federico Viticci positedA� that the a�?extraneous background usagea�?A�might be down to Facebook a�?hijacking audio sessions on iOS by keeping silent audio in the background whenever a video plays in the appa�?.
a�?Because, by default, videos on Facebook auto-play on both Wi-Fi and Cellular and few people ever bother to turn it off, that means therea��s a high chance the Facebook app will always find a way to play a video, keep audio in the background, and consume energy to perform background tasks,a�? he suggested.
TCa��s Romain Dillet, who also runs the Facebook app with background refresh switched off, kept tabs on the appa��sA�battery usage toA�test a theory as toA�whether Facebooka��s autoplay videos feature might be to blame.
With background app refresh and autoplay videos disabled the Facebook iOS app used 7 per cent of battery resource on his iPhone 6s over a 24 hour period. HavingA�autoplay videos enabled appeared to make little difference a�� with the same 7 per cent drainA�over another 24 hour period. So notA�conclusive on whether autoplay videos is part of theA�problem. But, as regards background battery drain, still showing the Facebook app to beA�rather tooA�thirsty vs how much ita��s actually being used.
Facebook isna��t commenting onA�any of the variousA�theories about whata��s going on here a�� whether ita��s audio hijacking and/or using VoIP to keep the app awake against usersa�� wishes. But it isA�apparently fixing something a�� bug or sly a�?featurea�� a�� thata��s responsible for the various reports of extraneous background app activity. So therea��s that.
In the meanwhile, if you want to curtailA�Facebooka��s annoying extraneous background app activity you can of course just ditch the app entirely and log into Facebook via the mobile web on your iPhone.