Does Facebook’s Android app drain the phone battery?

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The website BGR, The Guardian newspaper, and a Reddit user all have reported on Facebook’s Android app supposedly being a resource hog.

According to these three sources, the social network’s app not only puts a drain on battery life, but also stresses other system resources. Said resource usage isn’t reflected in the phone’s statistics for Facebook’s app. The Reddit user used an LG G4 phone, while Samuel Gibbs of The Guardian writer used a Nexus 6P. As Gibbs wrote:

I left the Facebook Messenger app installed, but swapped the Facebook app for an app called Metal, which acts as a wrapper for Facebook’s mobile site. Over the course of a day my Huawei Nexus 6P had 20% more battery. This was true on average for every day for the week tried.

I haven’t yet tried Metal on my own phone (an aging Nexus 4), but I have tried the Facebook mobile site, the other alternative suggested by the above sites. Facebook’s mobile site isn’t quite as slick as the stand-alone app, but all of the usual functionality works. Given Facebook’s push to expand their services into countries without robust mobile networks or where feature phones are still prominent, having a functional mobile website’s vital for their future. Thus, Facebook’s mobile site won’t be going away anytime soon. Of course, it’d also be ideal if Facebook made improvements to their Android app.

Flickr photo by opopododo (CC BY)


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