If your iPhone loses its juice quickly, it might be because of Facebook. Although you probably use the app more than any other, it’s likely not obsessive Facebook stalking, photo posting or poking that’s causing the battery drain. The Guardian reported Oct. 19 that the issue may stem from what the app is doing in the background when you’re not using it.
Facebook, like many mobile apps, has background processes running to keep information up to date for when you open up the app. One of these processes uses the built-in GPS to track your location even when you’re not using the app. According to The Guardian, this location tracking may be the cause of the battery drain.
One developer, Jonathan Zdziarski, claims the location sharing process might be to blame. Facebook uses location sharing mainly to geotag posts, check-ins, photos, messages and whatever else users send through its apps. It also uses location to show you more relevant advertisements. Zdziarski wasn’t immediately available for comment on how he came across the apparent bug. The issue has only been identified on Apple’s iOS.
According to the Guardian, Facebook is aware of the problem and hopes to have a fix in the works soon, though the company did not acknowledge that location sharing was the reason for battery drain. Facebook told Quartz that the company is still looking into the issue, adding that its app only collects background location information if users have chosen to allow the app to always track their phones, and they have enabled “Location History” in the Facebook app. If location does end up to being the issue behind the iPhone battery drain, there are two simple solutions until Facebook fixes the issue:
- Turn off location sharing on the Facebook app, or set it to only track while you’re using the app. You can do this in Settings > Facebook > Settings > Location.
- Get rid of the iOS app and just bookmark the mobile site. You can even make a nifty icon by adding the site to your home screen in the Safari share options.