Facebook fixes its iPhone app, Microsoft Bing turns a profit, Spotify lands on the original Chromecast, Harmonix employees review Rock Band 4, and how Star Wars would sound if we all came from New York.
Update Your Facebook App Now
If your iPhone dies after less than a day or normal use then it’s time to update the Facebook app. Because, by Facebook’s own admission, the social network has been using more than its fair share of your battery. In some cases, a lot more than its fair share.
I deleted the Facebook mobile app from my phone. My world is now quieter, and my battery fuller because of that decision. #winning
— Justin Seeley (@JustinSeeley) October 14, 2015
Some iPhone users have suspected Facebook of sucking their battery life away for a while now. But now they have proof, thanks to the new battery menu in iOS 9. This lists apps in order of how much power they’re consuming, and Facebook has been using far more than is necessary.
Facebook engineer Ari Grant posted a mea culpa admitting this was a legitimate problem, and disclosing two of the issues Facebook has so far identified as being partly responsible:
“The first issue we found was a ‘CPU spin’ in our network code. A CPU spin is like a child in a car asking, ‘Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?’ with the question not resulting in any progress to reaching the destination. This repeated processing causes our app to use more battery than intended.”
“The second issue is with how we manage audio sessions. If you leave the Facebook app after watching a video, the audio session sometimes stays open as if the app was playing audio silently. This is similar to when you close a music app and want to keep listening to the music while you do other things, except in this case it was unintentional and nothing kept playing.”
Both of these issues have been fixed in the latest version of the Facebook app, so updating should give your iPhone a battery boost. Another solution is to delete Facebook off of your iPhone altogether, and reclaim your life as well as your battery. Or is that too extreme?
Bing Finally Turns a Profit
Bing has finally turned a profit, adding more than $1 billion to Microsoft’s coffers. We know so because, as reported by ZDNet, Microsoft announced the news during the earnings call for the first fiscal quarter of 2016. And the company is probably jumping for joy behind the scenes at this turnaround.
Microsoft’s search engine has been losing money for many years, mostly as a result of being the ugly sister to the beloved Google. But now, as a result of a higher volume of searches and higher revenues per search, Bing is in the black for the first time since it launched in 2009.
What’s driving this higher volume of searches? Windows 10. Microsoft admitted that “Nearly 20% of search revenue in the month of September was driven by Windows 10 devices”. Bing and Cortana, which is powered by Bing, are essential elements of Windows… and suddenly the reason Windows 10 is being given away for free becomes much clearer.
Stream Spotify on the Original Chromecast
Spotify es compatible con Chromecast, I wanna thank not only God but Jesus.
— Araceli (@awrod) October 13, 2015
If you own an original Chromecast you can now stream Spotify through it. Spotify support has been available on the new Chromecast for several weeks, but Google has now added it to the original device too.
To stream Spotify via a first-generation Chromecast you need to force it to install the new firmware update. This can be done by simply rebooting the device. The new Chromecast 2.0 is an awesome bit of kit, but this makes the original almost as good.
Beware Dodgy Rock Band 4 Reviews
Video games developer Harmonix has admitted that some of its employees have been caught posting positive reviews of Rock Band 4 on Amazon. Which, given the fact that Harmonix made the game, is clearly a conflict of interests.
Reddit discovered the subterfuge, noting how several positive reviews for Rock Band 4 came from people whose names match those of Harmonix employees. Harmonix responded to the minor controversy by issuing a statement to Destructoid:
“Harmonix has clarified its internal policy about posting reviews of our own products on retail sites, and we’ve asked that existing reviews be edited to identify Harmonix employees or be removed entirely. While we believe the reviews posted by a few employees were sincere and without ill intentions, as a studio we don’t believe these are appropriate actions. We appreciate the feedback from the community, and take our relationship with our fans seriously.”
This just adds to the weight of evidence suggesting you cannot always trust Amazon reviews. Between people with a direct interest in the product in question and the legion of scammers selling fake reviews for $5, we’re less inclined to believe what we read now.
Star Wars With a New York Accent
And finally, now that we’re done with Back to the Future, probably for ever, we can all focus on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. What do you mean you’re already bored of it? There are still two months to go before it even arrives in theaters! So you either like Star Wars or you’re wrong.
The final countdown began with the new trailer, released earlier this week. It’s brilliant, obviously, but perhaps it could be even better. Perhaps it needs an infusion of New York accents, with Brooklynites doing the voice-overs. Jimmy Kimmel delivers. [H/T Geeks of Doom]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Have you noticed Facebook killing your iPhone battery? Do you ever use Microsoft Bing? Do you own an original Chromecast? Do you believe customer reviews on Amazon? What accent would make Star Wars ever better than it already is?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credits: Microsiervos via Flickr