Facebook investigates claims Android app cuts battery life by 20%

1 Feb, 2016

Reports claim that uninstalling the app boosts battery and performance

Facebook is looking into claims that its Android app hogs up to 20 per cent of users' battery power.

Even when running in the background, Facebook’s Android software could be significantly impacting battery life and performance, according to a Guardian writer.

Samuel Gibbs claimed that after uninstalling the app, his Nexus 6P saved an extra 20 per cent of battery life on average each day, measured over a week.

The experiment was prompted by findings from Android specialist Russel Holly, as well as Reddit users such as pbrandes_eth and cloudbasejunkie, all of whom reported improved performance after removing the software.

The reason Facebook’s app affects performance and battery life so much is apparently to do with the way it interacts with Android’s core systems.

Gibbs stated that while the app itself was not drawing an excessive amount of power, once uninstalled, the Android System and Android OS processes both showed significant decreases in battery demand.

This indicates that the problem stems from Facebook’s deep integrations with Android itself, which it uses for exchanging various bits of data and pulling notification information.

A Facebook spokeswoman told IT Pro: "We have heard reports of some people experiencing speed issues stemming from our Android app.

"We are looking into this and will keep [users] posted. We are committed to continuing to improve these issues."

Facebook’s various mobile applications have been a frequent target of criticism in the past, and it is unknown how long the current reported problem will take to be resolved.

In the meantime, however, users can access the site from a browser or by using an alternative Facebook client if they wish to avoid any risk of battery drain.