Facebook app drains Android battery life

Also in today’s open source roundup: What’s new in Fedora 25 Workstation, and DistroWatch reviews Endless OS 3.0.5

battery drain low power charge public domain
Credit: Pixabay

Facebook app and Android battery life

Facebook’s Android app has long had a bad reputation for draining the battery life of Android phones. A recent report indicates that deleting the app could save you up to 20 percent of your Android device’s battery life.

Rhett Jones reports for Gizmodo:

Facebook has had an ongoing problem developing on Android for a while now. Facebook’s central item officer, Chris Cox, even encouraged his staff to switch to Android in order to live with the issues and figure them out. A recent independent test by Tech World Zone found that the problems have persisted and that life could be a lot better without the Facebook app.

After reading Russell Holly’s story from January on Android Central detailing his issues with the app, TWZ’s Ashu decided to test for themselves and see if the problems were still there. Holly found that his Android’s performance and battery life improved dramatically when the Facebook app was removed from the phone.

For TWZ’s latest trial the writer tried out the Metal app for Android, which is just a wrapper for Facebook’s mobile site. Using a Huawei Nexus 6P for testing, the phone had 20% more battery life over the course of a day. This remained true every day over the course of a week.

The fact is, Facebook has a lot going on when it’s constantly running and this probably isn’t just a case of negligence on the social media giant’s part.

More at Gizmodo

The report from Gizmodo spawned a large thread in the Android subreddit, and folks there did not pull any punches in their comments:

Chronophasia: “What I don’t get about the Facebook app is that if you have both Messenger and the official app, it has the messaging task running for both applications. Why? Is it because of the quick switch if you hit the messaging icon? It never showed up in my battery usage chart, but it woke my phone up a…ton.”

Whileurup: “You don’t have to install the messenger to read FB messages btw. I only look at FB using my mobile browser and when it tries to make me install messenger to view MY MESSAGES I just use desktop view in my browser. ”

Poorly-timed_leg0las: “Yea but they purposely made the desktop view on mobile buggy as…I cant even type a word without it moving the screen so I cant see the message or it doesn’t even type in the word that I am writing.

A couple of months ago you could use that view and it brought up the proper mobile inbox but now it just opens the browser version which is horrible to use.”

AmericanHistoryXL: “http://mbasic.facebook.com works.”

Frsguy: “Wow can’t really believe that the app is still having battery issues. Been using swipe for a few months.”

Thecodingdude: “Yes you can. It’s Facebook. They want your data for money and they are willing to sacrifice your battery to get it.”

Tchrspest: “After they released intentionally flawed apps to test user loyalty, I lost completely faith in them. Been almost two years since I got rid of Facebook and Messenger apps, it’s been incredible.”

Amalgam_reynolds: “Never installed Messenger, deleted the Facebook app over a year ago. 10/10 would recommend.”

MadCapsule: “I wasn’t aware of the existence of Swipe. Just installed it and gave the FB and Messenger apps the boot. Thanks!”

Mindflayernet_v2: “Deleting the Facebook app also gives you back 20% of your life and 20% of your sanity rating.”

More at Reddit

What’s new in Fedora 25 Workstation

Fedora 25 Workstation will be available tomorrow from the Fedora site. But you can get a heads up today about what’s new in Fedora 25, thanks to a helpful list from Fedora Magazine.

Paul W. Frields reports for Fedora Magazine:

The default environment comes courtesy of the GNOME community. They’ve put a great deal of effort into the newest 3.22 release.

Wayland now replaces the old X11 display server by default. Its goal is to provide a smoother, richer experience when navigating Fedora Workstation. Like all software, there may still be some bugs. You can still choose the old X11 server if required. After selecting the login user, use the settings icon to switch. But this newer display server is designed to keep up with the modern OS and hardware.

The new Fedora Media Writer makes it easier than ever to download and install Fedora Workstation. You can also use it to download and install other Fedora editions, Spins, or Labs. This tool helps you find and download the current Fedora release and write to removable media like a USB stick. You can then “test drive” the OS live. If you like the experience, you can then install Fedora to your system. While Live USB has been around for a while, the Fedora Media Writer is a highly polished and user-friendly experience.

For developers, Fedora 25 Workstation introduces improved Flatpak support. These enhancements now make it easier to install, update and remove Flatpak software. The improvements make this application packaging standard more user friendly.

More at Fedora Magazine

DistroWatch reviews Endless OS 3.0.5

Sometimes less can actually be more when it comes to a desktop Linux distribution. Endless OS is designed to provide a simple, streamlined user experience on the desktop. DistroWatch has a full review of Endless OS 3.0.5.

Jesse Smith reports for DistroWatch:

In recent years there have been a number of attempts to bring together desktop/laptop computing with smart phone interfaces. Ubuntu has attempted to do this through convergence. Other projects, such as Android-x86 and Remix OS, are working to port the Android experience to desktop computers. Endless is taking a third approach: starting with a GNU/Linux desktop operating system and cutting away (or altering) the pieces until it has become streamlined and dumbed down like a smart phone.

This means that while Endless OS is technically a GNU/Linux operating system, it does not really feel like one. Many of the applications are the same, but the look and feel is more like a powerful smart phone operating system than a traditional desktop platform. In some ways this can be a good thing. The experience is quite simple, my printer was automatically set up (which is very rare), applications were right on the desktop and easy to find. There are not many choices to make, we sign in and can immediately start browsing the web, checking e-mail and working on documents. For people who only want to browse Facebook, look at e-mail, listen to music and write letters, Endless OS probably makes a lot of sense.

However, the things which are likely to make Endless appealing to people who like Android and Chromebook computers are the same things which make the distribution unappealing to people like me who want a general purpose operating system. There are standard GNU command line tools available, but no low-level package manager. The distribution appears to have a Debian heritage, but no working APT package repositories. We cannot simply install video codecs, they must be purchased. This blocks us from having Firefox, VLC, Chrome or other popular applications. In fact, I tried to install the Chrome browser from the web. Attempting to open the downloaded .deb file displayed an error saying applications could only be installed through App Centre. We are stuck using the applications the Endless team have placed in their App Centre and that rubs me the wrong way.

My one big concern with Endless is the experience is a bit buggy. The same people who want to only browse the web and use Microsoft Office as the default document format are probably not going to know what to do when their mouse stops working, or their computer reports it cannot find its kernel during the boot process. They are probably not going to be comfortable with the regular pop-ups reporting an application is not responding to input. The distribution runs passably well most of the time from a thumb drive, but I cannot find a supported way (despite the available documentation) to get the operating system running on my laptop’s main drive. This makes Endless OS an interesting experiment and, for people who like the Chromebook style of computing, a promising one. But, in my opinion, the distribution is not yet polished enough to be a viable solution.

More at DistroWatch

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