Netflix app is mysteriously draining people’s phone battery, researchers find

App can deplete battery – even if the phone is asleep and Netflix isn't open

Andrew Griffin
Monday 20 May 2019 10:38
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Netflix app is mysteriously draining peoples phone battery

The Netflix app could be draining away your battery without you knowing it, researchers have warned.

On some Android phones, the app pulls significant amounts of power – even if it is not open, and the phone is left asleep.

The battery draw is so powerful that it can take up to 20 per cent of battery while the phone is charging overnight, said technology firm Mobile Enerlytics, which found the details of the problem.

The issues have been going on for as much as a year, the researchers report.

But they can be fixed with a simple update of the app, because the problem appears to be with a code in one particular version of Netflix.

Researchers from Enerlytics said they downloaded the Netflix app onto a Nexus 6 phone that was running Android 6.0.1, as part of an attempt to test the problem. It found that it very quickly started draining the battery, pulling it away even when it was left charging overnight.

They then looked at reviews of the app to find out whether other people had complained about battery issues. They found reports went up significantly in May 2018 and were still continuing at least until January 2019.

By delving deeper into the way the app worked, they found that the problem appeared to be a bug in the code that meant it kept running even when it stopped being used.

The problems appear to be limited to Android 6.0.1, which is used by roughly 17 per cent of Android phones. And it has been fixed in the latest version of the app, meaning that it should go away with a update to version 7.8.

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