- Improved battery life, as the article mentions
- Mobile web is actually much faster than the Android app
- I spent a lot less time looking, getting notified about crap
If you've got the app installed on your phone, I'd encourage you to give uninstalling it a shot.
If you're at all curious, try uninstalling Facebook from your phone and doing your best not to visit it on your computer for a a few days, maybe a week. It started out (embarassingly, still is) harder than I thought it would be, even though I don't maintain much of a profile on there – it's made me realize exactly how addicting that behavior can be. I do keep the messenger app on my phone so that I can stay in touch with my friends, but in my mind Facebook vs. Messenger are two totally separate products and experiences.
Actually no, I don't think that's even possible. In the notification preferences, it appears you don't get a list of all notifications that you can disable, you only get a list of notifications you've already disabled, so they don't let you be proactive about disabling things.
I just tried clicking the "unsubscribe" link from one of Facebook's "So and so has updated their status. Please, come back, our algorithm misses you!" emails, and that added "Recent friend activity on Facebook" to my list of disabled notifications. Let's hope I still get emails for event invites and tagging notifications. They change stuff all the time, and I remember the last time I looked into this I was afraid I was disabling more than I wanted to, so I went with email filters instead.
So you can use messenger without getting sucked into the feed. It's fantastic.
Unfortunately, typing messages in the web interface on Android is absurdly awful. There is a bug such that the last message you sent remains in the text field invisibly and only shows up when you continue typing. So every time I sent a new message, I had to first hold backspace for ~10 seconds to delete the previous message and clean up the textarea. I got so frustrated doing this I switched back to the Messaging app a week ago.
I remember a life before the web, let alone smart phones and social networks. For me, buying my first Android phone (HTC G1 - the one with a slide out keyboard) is what changed my life. eg being able to solve an drunken pub debate in real time, or check train times, etc. It was really liberating....at the time.
It's funny because the prospect of being away from home with a flat battery is terrifying to many - and if I'm honest, not too appealing to myself either. Yet I've literally spent half my life without a mobile phone (smart or otherwise) and managed just fine.
It's funny how dependant we can become on technology.
I never installed the update that included the referenced version of messenger.
On my new phone, I have never installed the app. I use use the website and it does 90% of what I want to do without the issue of running extra processes in the background on my phone.
I'm waiting for the day that Facebook depricates and/or discontinues the mobile site to force people onto the app.
Messaging doesn't fully work in an Android browser. You might get a real-time notification badge, but my experience is 50/50. There is also an issue that if you do a manual refresh, you still might not get the new message notification. I imagine that there isn't a rush to fix these issues either.
I don't want audible notifications. I'll get my messages the next time I check Facebook.
This might not be ideal for everyone but it works for me.
Basically, I use only messenger.
Works good enough for me. I browser Facebook on the browser when needed (never) and use Messenger for chat alerts.
On desktop, I use http://messengerfordesktop.com/ to avoid going on the Facebook website.
I also use custom CSS on the Facebook website to break some of it's linearity. This make it less likely that I will browse mindlessly. Facebook UI is designed as a precise drug and simply changing it a little bit will disrupt that. (I use a red UI, a noisy background, bigger fonts, etc.)
I use this app, which is supposed to run the Facebook mobile site in a separate sandbox from my other browsing.
Also a reason I deleted cookies, history and saved credentials and just use incognito for FB nowadays. It also stops the habitual browsing that gets you hooked.
The reason why the mobile web version is less sucky on your battery life is because it doesn't get the chance to break out of the browser to monitor your position, play silent audio so that it can stay "active" and push notifications at you, and generally push to the front of the queue.
I like the spirit of this idea, but I don't believe it's correct in this context. Facebook, after all, is a service that bases its experience around togetherness and being "connected" to the people you "care" about. It encourages an all-inclusive behavior from its users, instead of a selectively-inclusive, or even exclusive, behavior.
This is a unique trait of the Facebook service, which much of the web absolutely did not copycat with success until Facebook's IPO. To compare Facebook and its particularly vicious UX which ruthlessly looks to capture the attention spans of the world's lowest-common-denominator, to the overall internet is an insult to people who had better plans for the internet than this.
The point I probably failed to elaborate upon adequately is that Facebook's model is all about sucking productivity from individual users and then streamlining this service for technological and industrial innovation. Yes, the latter half of this equation means more "productivity" caused by the output of new jobs in development, tech startups, ads, etc., but at the cost of a total reversal of the values and goals set forth by the original web.
My point being, if "the values and goals set forth by the original web" (whatever that means because "the original web" was a quarter hackers, corporations, academics, and government with very diverse goals and values), who cares?
Edit: left out "reminds" in the second sentence.
Facebook looks to use technology to trick people into allowing the collecting of huge swarms of data from every user to feed its new features and cheapen its bottom line. There are many ways to make a profit, and in fact, I have no ethical quandary with Facebook doing this (I choose not to use Facebook because I am a discerning consumer. If you want to not be discerning in your internet use, I think that's your right.)
However, my _moral_ quandary with this premise is enormous. Of all the great ways to make a profit, why choose this cynical and disturbing model? Most great products help people, but Facebook does not make life easier or more enjoyable for its users. It's really just a blogging and chat platform riddled with "features" that exploit its users at every turn. I do not wish to engage in such activities myself, but I won't tell others not to do it. Ultimately, it is the consumer who needs to individually realize that these products are bullshit, not the companies making them. The only reason Facebook is successful is because its users are foolish enough to adopt it. If people didn't agree to these travesties, Facebook would not exist in its current form.
The "old" internet made up of hackers, academics, and government types, was far too discerning to allow something like Facebook to just happen.
When there are opportunities to profit, someone will exploit it. There's no sense of morals, just a decision by the person who sees the opportunity whether to use it.
Out of curiosity though, do you (and how do you) plan on acting on your frustration? Do you see there being a need for people lobbying against Facebook like some lobby against junk food and obesity? I just wonder what's the point of having that opinion (and telling people about it) unless you wanted to do something.
Now maybe the changes that are proposed to be made against aren't actually legal (which is what you are suggesting if I understand you correctly). I can't speak to that, I really don't know enough. I've just assumed changes would be legal. But your point is that I shouldn't just assume that and maybe I shouldn't.
An argument from popularity is not an argument that something is a net positive for society. Obesity is becoming more popular.
depends on who you ask, really https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_acceptance_movement
You can argue whatever numbers you want, but the core principle is not assailed, which is that more != better than.
Between the years 1999 and 2010, sales for prescription painkillers to hospitals, doctors and pharmacies increased fourfold. By 2010, the number of pain medications prescribed was enough to keep every single American medicated for one month’s time.
War, genocide, torture, brainwashing, we could list historically popular and widely used concepts all day that turn out to be bad ideas.
Writing enables us to store, transmit, and reflect upon information in ways that surpass speech. One negative consequence is that we get less practice in exercising memory, and we encounter more information than we could commit to memory in any case.
Social media enables us to get current information on the doings of people whose lives interest us. One negative consequence is that the information users encounter is subject to manipulation by those who dictate the content of the website, with the result that most users have reduced intellectual autonomy. What's more, much of the information presented is not relevant to users, which wastes much of the finite attention they possess. Data collected about users can be and is used to advance interests contrary to their own. Some of these issues are intrinsic to social media as a concept, others specific to the platforms that currently dominate.
Either way, it cannot reasonably be presumed that those opposed to the use of social media are simply Luddites.
It's well established that remembering is to some extent a skill. You can find sources with a cursory search. If you're interested in a longer treatment of the subject, "Moonwalking with Einstein" by a journalist named Josh Foer, who managed to win the largest memory competition in the US using mnemonics, is well worth the read.
My social identity not only has value but is also extremely fragile and can open me up to liabilities if it isn't curated properly. This is just exhausting. We are willfully handing over this valuable thing to FB for free. I don't think we can just dismiss this or compare it to old media.
Personally, I think we've reached the point where most people are starting to understand this. FB, past one's teen/college years, becomes a 'vacation and baby pics' only type thing. People know this information can be used against them and don't post anything that could be used against them. There's even a name for this "Real job radio silence."
On top of that, we're starting to see research that reveals social media anxiety. That's very different than picking up a copy of the New York Times or watching TV.
On your actual comment though, I feel I have to disagree; at least based on anecdotal evidence from people I know who use Facebook. It is a news feed if you count news as being only what people you know are talking about, which to me sort of misses the point of the internet. Surely you want to know about stuff that everyone else is talking about?
This wouldn't be a huge issue if people generally made the effort to seek out other things, but I find that this isn't the case.
Anyway, yeah, anecdotal and based on feeling rather than fact so feel free to discount.
Anecdotally we had a 2-3 week period where the whole family had no TV/Internet access. I was quite disappointed when it all came back on and the board game nights and even the ad-hoc charades stopped. We do however have weekly game nights. I still consciously choose to only watch "planned" TV programmes.
If you don't already know what you'd like to watch then perhaps you'd be better off finding something else to do that you enjoy (aside from those times when you genuinely do just want to crash and not think too much).
That is, people are just going to bounce through the major networks anyway.
Dubious what useful skills most people can actually get from that but you can definitely "get good at facebook", as you put it. (And before anybody jumps on me - I hate facebook and I despise the completely fake life that comes out of the gaming aspects of facebook, but I can appreciate its values as a game designer)
You can learn doing that too. The subconscious is an amazing thing.
I use an Android phone that lasts consistently more than 2 days (Sony z3 compact). Of course I don't have Facebook installed...
Absolutely the biggest form of hyperbole I've ever seen in my entire life, bar none.
Seriously though, some people use FB sparingly once or twice a day. Some people actually make money from FB or use it for marketing.
There are a lot of people that get more out of it than making snarky election posts.
I personally love Facebook. I keep in touch with family I can't see often. They get to see my daughter as if they live near us.
I've engaged with people I would have never engaged with all because we have mutual friends, and end up growing friendships out of it.
I get to share things I find interesting, my thoughts, my feelings. I get to see a deeper side of my family and friends whom also do the same.
Look if your family and friends suck and all you see is "I had a bologna sandwich today" repeatedly, or that's all you can contribute, than take a look at your life and choice of peers, because using Facebook or not doesn't make or break them.
That's a little much. There is one important usecase that I have: messenger. A lot of people (even the ones that I regularly meet) prefer to use messenger and that's the only reason I am sticking with it for now.
Otherwise the advice is sound, disabling backround app refresh is the better approach if you care about the app functionality and don't want to use the sub-par mobile browsing experience.
There's no need to lose out if you don't want to, regardless of the sensational headline.
I don't think that's being "fair" to the consumer. Sure it may get fixed in the future, but it's an issue now. And even if/when this specific issue got fixed, you can bet Facebook and others will look for other ways to get around this "limitation".
How could this be a bug?
Now it's working as expected. It's not an accident and FB never claimed that.
Last year I worked on development project with youth in Bolivia. It was common for them to use Facebook's website instead of app because it saved battery and data, both of which are extremely important to you if you are a poor teenager in a country with fairly expensive internet using a low-spec smartphone with generally poor battery life.
This way they could get a bit more out of it than they would otherwise which is a perfectly rational choice that doesn't deserve to be mocked.
Maybe if you're a poor teenager in a developing country, you should focus on saving your money rather than blowing it on a cell phone and data plan.
Computers are less widespread than phones because latter are cheaper and you can also take them where (cheaper or free) connection is. They are not just an entertainment device although they use it for that too (and why shouldn't they?).
Any research for school or otherwise will be done through phones as libraries for many are not easy to reach or well stocked. And social networks play an important information role beyond socialising that every human person needs purely for health benefits.
What standard are you trying to hold these teenagers to? I don't understand why they would need a cell phone less than any other teenager, or any other person really.
This sounds pretty crazy to me. You really have to go out of your way to run in the background on iOS, particularly for more than a few seconds/minutes after being backgrounded, and especially when background processing is turned off. Yet, still I often see "time on screen 1.5hours; time in background 4hours". Even after the admitted "bugs" were "fixed".
It's hard to believe this is an accident.
Signed APKs are available from various sites, the Google Play rollout doesn't seem to include Western countries.
Switched over to a third party app called "Tinfoil for Facebook" which essentially just puts the mobile site in a sandboxed and somewhat optimized wrapper for easy mobile browsing. Battery improved as you'd expect by getting rid of one program that does a decent amount of stuff in the background. Nothing massive but it did make a difference.
That said, I feel like disabling a lot of things would improve battery life but depending on the apps in question, battery life may not matter much if you can't use the app. It's more an overarching effort I've made to only install dedicated apps for things that I really use enough to need a dedicated app. Since I only check Facebook 2 or 3 times during a typical week it didn't seem to be very important for me to keep their app(s). I can still check it out every so often when I'm bored and want to see what people are up to but I don't have yet another background app taking up resources or battery capacity.
Step 1 : Uninstall both Facebook and Facebook Messenger.
Step 2 (Optional) : Use Metal instead of the Facebook App :
Step 3 (Optional) :Use Disa instead of Facebook Messenger :
Step 4 : Enjoy your vastly improved responsiveness and battery life.
A review-ish thing: http://www.guidingtech.com/41701/facebook-ios-app-alternativ...
48 min on screen, 13 min background, 2% of overall battery
Note: Background App Refresh for Fb was set to off!
The ratio of background time to screen time is high but Facebook isn't the worst offender. For example:
Instagram - 5.8 hrs on screen, 1.5 hrs background, 18%
Snapchat - 57 min on screen, 1.4 hrs background (whoa), 3%
* Facebook - 2.7 hrs screen, 4.5 hrs bg, 42%
* Tumblr - 2.8 hrs screen, 27 min bg, 19%
* Safari - 1.1 hrs screen, 11%
Facebook does seem to be a prime offender in my case, but I don't think I have background refresh disabled.
Overall, those Facebook numbers are fine (for Last 7 days). Nothing like 15%
Like parent says, make sure you turn OFF "Background App Refresh" for the FB app.
- 2.9hrs background (!!!!)
- 8% overall (not bad)
edit: fixed list, HN needs to add proper markdown
Twitter - 3.7hr screen, 32min background, 14%
Skype - 1.1hr screen, 35min background, 6%
WhatsApp - 1.5hr screen, 4.8hr background, 5%
Skype 149MB, Chrome 134MB, Sheets 122MB, Slides 115MB, Docs 101MB, Outlook 101MB, HSBC 73.97MB, Uber 60.98, Fitbit 79.77 ...
Skpye, HSBC, Uber & Fitbit all seem way larger than they should be
I've never knowingly used the Slides app.
HSBC is nothing more then a web view. 80MB? Seriously?
There is something seriously wrong with the iOS App Ecosystem bloat.
But even if they get 30% reduction promised by App Thinning, they are still HUGE!.
edit: Damn, someone already made this joke. Sorry guys. I thought I was being clever.
The article also mentions something I noticed a while ago too: mobile Safari is both faster and better on battery life than Chrome or any alternate browser. This makes sense - the alternative browsers are essentially running Safari under the hood anyway - but is still true.
However, I found this to be true on my MacBook Pro as well: Safari uses far less power and is significantly faster than Chrome. And while I think Chrome is far superior to Safari as far as features go, it's also hard to justify why my browser consumes more resources than VMWare Fusion running Windows 10.
I wouldn't rely on this study. Why not use a battery measurement tool instead?
Joking aside I've got a couple friends who don't use the app and will only use the web version and watching them use it is painful. It's not as easily to move around and do everything you can do on the mobile app. Also they normally take this stance with messenger as well which makes talking in groups with them painful as they are always slow to respond. If we were all on iOS we would probably just use iMessage but with the mix of iOS/Android FB is the best medium normally to plan/talk.
When this setting is OFF, Facebook should not be able to use CPU when it is not on screen.
Facebook have been caught using dirty tricks in the past to get around the Background App Refresh setting, but my understanding is that those were fixed.
FWIW, you can also turn off notifications with the app, which is what I've done for as long as I've had a smart phone.
Also: Speaking as an iOS developer, I can say with certainty that Facebook only gets away with this because it's Facebook. We've had a few binaries rejected for bad optimization, I can't believe Apple is kowtowing to Facebook so hard as to allow such atrocious software into the App Store.
Well, actually I can believe it. Still ticks me off though.
I think the video calling is pretty good too on the app. Of course the last time I video called someone was in the early 2000's using 320x240 webcams so I might be a little biased quality wise.
I haven't really noticed battery drain but since I normally work at home, I keep my phone on "Airplane" mode so I don't waste battery maintaining a cell connection (the phone has wifi calling which can receive calls and sms).
This is a samsung galaxy core prime. If I don't use it and let it sit there at idle, after 2 days it will have only used 20-30% battery.
Strange that the author is going through a guesstimate process when there's a built-in tool that'll tell you exactly how much juice an app uses, and if it's mostly from background activity.
Shocking to read that 3 years later (today) it's still a horrible app, vastly inferior to the mobile web version.
I use the Facebook app for maybe 5 minutes total a week on my iPhone. Under the Battery settings for the past 24 hours, it shows it's used 5% of my battery for "background tasks". I don't recall opening the Facebook app in the past 24 hours.
Makes me wonder if they are downloading an entire SQL database onto my phone. It's terrible app in terms of lightness
He claims this but I'm incredibly skeptical and it doesn't seem like any actual controls were put in place.
The app is a much more addictive experience than the mobile web version, not to mention that it packs in more functionality. Push notifications alone probably double my daily Facebook usage.
I'd be interested in seeing more rigorous numbers rather than just comparison to "... a week with the app." That doesn't tell me whether the 15% was from background computation or actual foreground usage.
> Testing reveals Facebook iOS app drains battery life, even when it isn’t being used, and that using Safari instead will make an iPhone last longer
> I accessed Facebook for the same amount of time, and for the same purposes, using the social network’s excellent mobile site within Safari, as I had done using the app.