Users of the Facebook mobile app have long complained that it drains smartphone battery life, even when it's not being used, and now it's been revealed just how true that is. Guardian journalist Samuel Gibbs recently conducted his own experiment and found that after deleting the Facebook app and instead using the Safari browser to access Facebook, his iPhone had, on average, 15% more battery life available at the end of each day. Gibbs made sure to use Facebook on Safari for the same activities and the same amount of time each day, and he had others repeat the experiment—they all got similar results. Bonus: Gibbs also had more storage available, since the Facebook app had been using about 500MB.
Gibbs carried out his experiment after a similar one by Android users. As the Guardian reported last week, bloggers and Reddit users found that after uninstalling the Facebook app on Android devices, other apps loaded more quickly. Gibbs himself experimented with an Android smartphone and found that deleting the Facebook app, in that case, saved 20% of the battery life on average each day. How about user experience? In the case of the iPhone, "Using Facebook in Safari was almost as good as the app," Gibbs writes, though some features aren't available. On an Android device, you can access Facebook via Chrome or, as Gibbs did, try a "wrapper" app for the Facebook mobile site, like Metal.