Guardian reporter Samuel Gibbs has a helpful hint for longer battery life on your iPhone 6s Plus: Delete the Facebook app, and access the social network through Safari. He says he did this, and gained 15% more battery life at the end of the day.
Using an iPhone 6S Plus for a week without the main Facebook app installed, I recorded the battery life at 10.30pm each day for a week comparing it to a daily average taken from a week with the app. I charged the phone overnight, taking it off the charger at 7.30am, and used it normally. 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. I also left the Facebook Messenger app installed.
Gibbs reports that on average, he had 15% more battery life left by 10:30PM each day. He also notes he saved a bit of space on his device, and the Facebook app was taking up around 500MB of storage space when he deleted it. (The app caches data on your device for faster access.)
In the interest of accuracy, Gibbs also recruited several other Facebook-using iPhone owners to do the same thing he did. They all showed increased battery life after deleting the FB app and using the network via the Safari browser.
There were only a few drawbacks to using the network via Safari:
Using Facebook in Safari was almost as good as the app. You can even place a shortcut to Facebook in Safari on the home screen that looks almost identical to the app’s icon (the white is a little less bright but you need eagle eyes to see). The only restriction was the Share-to function, which does not exist for websites, meaning that to share photos I had to manually hit the “post photos” button on the mobile site.
Features of the app, such as Instant Articles, are also not available. Tapping a link on the Facebook mobile site opens a new Safari tab.
Individual results will vary, depending on the model of iPhone you use, but Gibbs expects most users will indeed see extended battery life by deleting the FB app and going the Safari route.
Facebook-using iPhone owners who don’t want to go to the extreme of deleting the Facebook app from their device can cut down on some of Facebook’s battery draining ways by doing the following:
- Disable the Location Tracking feature: Go to “Settings” -> “Privacy” -> “Location Services” -> “Facebook” -> Tap the “Never” menu option.
Last year saw Facebook take some heat for using excessive battery power while it sat in the background. Facebook eventually admitted to the issue, and eventually posted an update to the app that was intended to fix the issue.