October 22, 2015

Facebook iOS Battery Drain

iOS 9 added the ability for users to see battery usage by individual app for the last 24 hours and 7 days. This is the first time I know of that you have been able to see how much battery each app is using. I was looking around in the settings a couple of weeks ago and noticed that the Facebook app was always on the top of my list. That made no sense to me. I open the app several times a day, but I don’t spend much time in it. I check out what is new and then close it. It was #1 on the battery usage with “Background Audio” listed as the reason. That makes no sense. I don’t listen to anything in Facebook, and I’ve never had the notifications turned ont.

I found this post on Macstories talking about the very issue I was experiencing. I immediately went into the Facebook settings and turned off the auto-play video, which I didn’t even realize you could do[1]. I have also started killing the app when I am not using it.

Facebook quickly dropped down the list of most battery usage. I doubt fore-qutting the app every time had much of an impact. I feel like turning off auto-play video solved the background audio issue. This was validated by a Techcruch article.

Facebook has confirmed it is investigating reports of excessive battery drain caused by its iOS app apparently continuing to run processes in the background — even with background app refresh disabled.

Facebook was one of the first apps I installed on my very first iPhone. It has been there from the beginning, presumably draining my battery the entire time. I was late jumping on the smartphone bandwagon. One of my largest reasons for holding out was the massive drop in battery life I was sure to experience[2]. It is frustrating to learn that an extraneous app has been siphoning off precious battery all of these years.

  1. Or else I would have turned it off a long time ago.  ↩

  2. I still miss the good ol’ days of charging my phone once or twice a week.  ↩

October 21, 2015

You're The Worst - Not Terrible

You’re The Worst is a comedy on FXX[1]. The first season aired last year. The second season is currently about halfway finished. This show completely flew under my radar until a few months ago when, seemingly in unison, the Internet started sigging its praises. Season one is available on Hulu[2], so I started watching it.

I had no clue what to expect with this show, but a lot of people I respected seemed to like it. I watched the first 2 episodes on my own, then I watched them again with my wife. I liked it right away. It seemed different somehow, and it legitimately made me laugh.

The first season is only 10 episodes long, and each episode only has a 20 minute run time. It is a quick and easy watch. We finished it in a few evenings of watching 2–3 episodes at a time. Overall I enjoyed the first season. It is way less consequencial than I thought it would be. I was expecting You’re The Worst to (at least attempt to) say something profound, but ultimately it is fairly mindless fun.

As we moved into the second season the stupid got worse. I went from laughing at most of the jokes to cringing and trying to figure out why this show even exists. You’re The Worst started out with the premise of two horrible people getting together and finding out they were a match. We got to watch their apprehensive love blossom. Once that initial bit was worked out the show seemed to unsure of where to go next.

In season two we spend a lot more time with secondary characters. By the third episode of season two I found myself hating the show. Specifically I cannot stand Gretchen’s best friend Lindsey. She is the worst. To its detriment, the show has decided to focus more on her plot line.

As I watch I still search for meaning… themes… anything. This season has focused on Gretchen’s fear of getting “old”. She is unhappy. Her friends are maturing while she is clinging to the irrisponsiblity of her youth. I am not sure were Jimmy fits into that equation, but he surely wants no part of her internal struggles.

Episode 7 airs tonight. Season two appears to have 13 episodes, so we are at the halfway point. S2 has been much less funny and engaging. Maybe it is a sophomore slump, but it has quickly fallen off of the list of shows I’m excited to watch. I am nowhere near giving up on the show. It is still worth watching and offers a good laugh from time to time.

  1. I’m not sure what the extra “X” means. I guess it is supposed to be edgier than the standard FX.  ↩

  2. Where I no longer have to watch the annoying repetitive commercials. The extra $4 to Hulu every month is totally worth it. At least for now.  ↩

October 20, 2015

Writing is nature's way of letting you know how sloppy your thinking is.
- Leslie Lamport

October 17, 2015

iOS 9 Niceties

We’ve had iOS 9 on our iPhones and iPads for a few weeks now. Overall it was a good update. I still haven’t taken advantage of all the additions, but here are my thoughts. If you have the time and energy go ahead and read Viticci’s mega review.


I use an iPhone 6. iOS 9 has been nice, but it honestly doensn’t feel like a lot has changed. I enjoy the new San Fransico system font. Helvetica felt bland. If an app offers San Francisco I use it. We will see how long it takes me to switch back to Avenir.

The predictive features of iOS 9 have not impressed me yet. It is nice that I can swipe right from my home screen and have access to my fantasy football app right away. If iOS 9 were really “smart” it would only show the app on Thursdays, Sundays, & Mondays. It shows it in my top app list all of the time. Maybe it will get better at “learning” as the season goes on.

I have found the text selection on the iPhone to be improved. Resting my finger on the screen near a word now makes the assumption that I want to select that word. However, I have noticed that the cut/copy box fails to appear a lot of the time. I end up having to select it multiple times. So, while it is much easier to select a word in iOS 9, I don’t think it has actually saved me any time.

When a notification takes you out of an app into another app iOS 9 gives you a nice little link in the upper left corner to take you back to the original app. I use it all the time. It is way better than double-tapping the home button to switch back. That feature is a big plus for me.


Most of the iPad-centric features for iOS 9 are for the fancy new iPads. I am still on an iPad 3… that is the first iPad with a retina screen… the one that was only “new” for 6 months before they released the faster iPad 4 in the fall with a lightning port. The iPad 3 handled the transition from iOS 6 to 7 quite well. Last year the switch to iOS 8 was not so great. Everything seemed to run slower. It felt “bogged down”. I did not hesitate to upgrade to iOS 9. I didn’t think it would make things any worse. So far so good. iOS 9 runs well on my old hardware. It still feels a little slow, but it is able to accomplish everything I need. I do wish I could run the new multi-tasking and picture-in-picture, but I think I am going to wait for new iPads next fall to upgrade. Hopefully they will get the 3D Touch functions as well.

iOS 9 brought 2 updates to my old iPad that may seem small, but have proven to be huge for me. I use my iPad with a keyboard connected most of the time while I am sitting at my desk. iOS 9 added the ability to command+tab to switch through apps. It is amazing! No more double-tapping the home button. I can easy toggle through the 3 or 4 apps I use throughout the day. It makes the experience so much better. It was always cumbersome to have to reach up to the screen to 4-finger swipe or double tap the home button.

Another minor, but awesome, update changed the messages app so when you hit enter on a physical keyboard it sends the message instead of entering down to a new line. Before iOS 9 I had to tap the send button on the screen. Hitting “enter” to send messages is a game-changer.

Other Improvements

We got a new Notes app with the iOS update. I didn’t use the Notes app before, and the update would have to be pretty good to convert me from using Drafts for all of my quick notes. I dig it out of the folder it was buried in last week and have it on my 2nd screen. I’m using it to organize a few small projects at home. It is very easy to save a link to an existing note. So far I am me joint it. I think it was a great update.

I’ve heard a lot about the Siri improvements. From her introduction I have loved the idea of Siri, but in practice I have never found it compelling. I don’t have a ton of scenarios where I want to talk outloud to my phone. I doubt I will start using Siri much more now.

Ultimately iOS 9 makes my year old phone feel a little fresher and adds some nice improvements. The keyboard shortcuts on the iPad is my favorite change. Apple didn’t make a lot of visual changes but the ones they did make felt natural just a couple weeks in. The case switching on the software keyboard even feels “normal” now.