back to article BYOD battery bloodbath? Facebook 'fesses up to crook code

If you've gone down the bring your own device (BYOD) route and your users are always complaining about battery life, Facebook has just explained why: its iOS app sucks … ridiculous amounts of power. The Social Network™'s engineering manager Ari Grant took to his own platform to note “reports of some people experiencing battery …

  1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    So does the most recent Android one

    The up-to-date Android f*book bundled in most manufacturer loads will run non-stop sucking 100% CPU and leaking memory if you do not have a f***book account and if you are not using it. At least on Xperia SP, M and E3 (non-operator factory load). I had to disable it on all phones in the household.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So does the most recent Android one

      You're not wrong. Battery life on my Nexus jumps from 8-10 hours to 3 days if I kill off Facebook.

  2. bazza Silver badge

    This is what happens when you don't review source code properly...

    1. getHandle

      This is what happens

      when a bunch of hackers write shite code!

      1. bazza Silver badge

        Re: This is what happens

        You could put it that way!

        This kind of thing isn't a very good advert for an organisation.

        With an outfit like Facebook their investors need to know that the comany has an A team of programmers creating their apps (which need to look good and work well) and, more importantly, their server backend software (which needs to use as little power as possible, power being one of the company's major costs).

        Putting out a shite app suggests that the A team is employed elsewhere...

        1. Richard Rae

          Re: This is what happens

          "Putting out a shite app suggests that the A team is employed elsewhere..."

          I'm guessing that the A team is the team that managed to float them at the inflated price....

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

            Re: This is what happens

            "I'm guessing that the A team is the team that managed to float them at the inflated price...."


            Although I think their P/E ratio has fallen to the point where you could double your holding in FB using their dividends in less than a century.

        2. Your alien overlord - fear me

          Re: This is what happens

          they put all their effort into shoving adverts down everyone elses throats

        3. Ilsa Loving

          Re: This is what happens

          This assumes they have an A team to begin with.

          Keep in mind that the vast majority of developers have very little experience in writing code that is very efficient... Mostly cause current economics doesn't favour them to do so. Nowadays everyone takes the attitude of 'lets just throw more hardware at it', cause that's cheaper than having a team of developers pour over code to improve efficiency.

          On regular computers, no one cares, and it's not really considered a problem, until those same attitudes are carried over to mobile development.

        4. Vic

          Re: This is what happens

          Putting out a shite app suggests that the A team is employed elsewhere...

          Well, if you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them ...


  3. BenBell

    AVG Study

    Funny, I was reading only yesterday afternoon on SlashDot that AVG has released a report showing Facebook to be the top battery slurping app for android also:

    This kind of sucks - I am a very infrequent user (only really use it because the wife, parents and extended family do and its easy to keep in touch this way) - but on days where I don't login, I still get my battery hammered for the priviledge.

    1. getHandle

      Re: AVG Study

      Switch to the website - no polling and no bl**dy annoying notifications - win/win!

      1. BenBell

        Re: AVG Study

        The App is pre-bundled, pre-starts, can't be unbundled without rooting (which kills my banking app) and sucks data even if I factory reset and ditch its memory of my credentials.. it's a real ballache.

    2. thesykes

      Re: AVG Study

      Nice to see that I don't have any of the 20 apps listed by AVG as being the biggest battery drainers.

      Assuming that the messenger app is the Facebook one, that means they have 3 out of the top 10 auto-starting battery draining apps available for Android. Impressive.

    3. Fibbles

      Re: AVG Study

      The app has always been a bloated pile of excrement, at least on Android. The mobile site at seems to work well enough.

  4. Your alien overlord - fear me

    "its iOS app sucks " - could have stopped the article there.

  5. Mage Silver badge


    The WHOLE point of the slabby screens and no keyboards is a good web experience.

    Ditch badly written apps that are alternates to a website and only use websites.

    Apps should not be alternatives to web sites. Design responsive websites not full of garbage.

    1. James 51 Silver badge

      Re: Ummm

      That would be adhering to good design principles. However it is more likely that someone will leave the site when using the browser than an app and that's all they really care about.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ummm

      Right about ditching badly written apps, and wrong about ditching apps.

      Apps should be _much_ better than websites, particularly in terms of data use.

  6. Karlis 1

    Not just the apps

    I've long been planning to fire up a VM and measure how much traffic something like verge takes to load. And MORE IMPORTANTLY - just to stay in the background tab.

    Anecdotical evidence suggests that results would be shocking, just haven't had the time to get to it. Someone with white hat could do it (referencing me as an idea, would be appreciated).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not just the apps

      Not your personal army :p

  7. 0laf Silver badge

    I've found Facebook apps to be battery vampires on Android and even Winpho

    1. Paul Shirley

      "I've always found", you missed a word.

      I'm genuinely surprised this is news, FB has been a notorious battery killer for as long as they've had an Android app. It's why my current LG G2 is the 1st Android device I haven't rooted, it doesn't have that crap built in so doesn't need heroic effort to tame it. Had to remove 14 separate APKs from system to kill all the FB,Twitter and other crap on my last (ever) Sony phone.

      They regularly throw in a placebo 'fix' for it, only very occasionally does it improve till the next update. I suppose relatively few noticed it because so many phones ship with this shit deeply embedded, where it can't be removed and in earlier Androids couldn't be disabled - easy to spot a new install hammered battery, not so when it's always been there.

      Twitter has been pretty bad at times but they seem to have got better at making it behave itself, concentrating on breaking the apps functions instead ;)

  8. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Disclaimer - I'm down with a nasty cold and NOT my usual cheery self, so here goes:

    On the list of First World Problems™ that one makes the top five hands down.

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      An issue which slashes battery life to a third of what it should be has knock-on effects for everyone.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Well, not everyone...

        There are those social outcasts who won't have anything to do with the Church of St Zuck and have removed any trace of the prayer book (app) from their devices.

        1. ZSn

          Re: Well, not everyone...

          'Society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world there are only individuals'

          Speaking as an aforementioned social outcast - I am happy to be so. Looking at what passes for insight on social media like Facebook makes me despair of humanity. If I want to contact someone I pick up the phone or even Skype. Looking at the social droppings on Facebook leaves me unimpressed.

    2. Vic

      On the list of First World Problems™ that one makes the top five hands down.

      Given the number of phones in the world, I sometimes wonder how much energy such problems waste globally...


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Given the number of phones in the world, I sometimes wonder how much energy such problems waste globally..."

        When I was a lad (1970s), we used to drive around for hours every evening as entertainment. 3.7L engine slurping cheap fuel. Burning up tires and breaking rear axles.

        Things *are* getting better.

  9. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "a child in a car asking, 'Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?'"

    This seems a fair description of the whole of their users' activity.

  10. DropBear Silver badge

    "...upgrading your BYOD-wielders..."

    For maximum lulz (seeing as how it is Friday and all) do like I did and misread that part as "BYOD-welders". Maybe it's just me but I find the idea of a bunch of corporate suits toting around their own heavy MIG/TIG welders on caster wheels remarkably amusing...

    1. PrivateBaldrick

      It's just you...

  11. Trigonoceps occipitalis

    Good that he came clean but

    has he denied the power drain previously?

    Just asking if anyone knows.

  12. zen1

    facebook responsible for wasting resources? pashaw

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Facebook software considered harmful

    We need regulatory oversight around software companies after they reach a certain scale, simply because computational errors like these impose a significant cost on society. If millions of people are getting significantly shorter battery life on their phones because of this bug, we can say with confidence that at least thousands of people will be inconvenienced and possibly even endangered because they lose communications at a critical time.

    Lost in a bad neighborhood after dark with no phone or GPS? Or car break down on a sparsely traveled road? These are situations that can go from annoyance to disaster in the wake of battery failure.

    Another issue is the externalized cost of all this excess consumption - millions of batteries will reach end-of-life and end up in a landfill sooner than planned, and more coal will have been burned to charge these devices more often. We can assume the same level of amateur software is running on the datacenter, where the shareholders are paying for wasted electricity because of sloppy programming practices.

    We simply can't afford to have poorly written software deployed at this scale without some kind of competent oversight, because its obvious companies like Facebook are not producing quality products, since they live in a make-believe world of unlimited energy and cash, unlike the rest of us.

  14. JeffyPoooh Silver badge

    Facebook coders are dweebs

    Pretty poor coding skills.

    I could fill out dozens of bug reports, but they'd better put me on payroll first.

    Did they hire ex-Symantec software vandals?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Facebook coders are dweebs

      Nope they went straight to the mother f**g s!^t load, Adobe }:P

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