Oculus app update killing battery life on some Samsung phones, luckily there's a fix

An update to the Oculus app that powers Samsung's Gear VR is causing massive battery drain issues for select owners. Luckily, Oculus has released a fix.
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor on
Image: CBS Interactive/CNET

An update released Thursday for the Facebook-owned Oculus app on Samsung's Gear VR-compatible smartphones caused massive battery drain issues for select users, according to a slew of reports across the web.

The Oculus update caused the app to stay in a continuous reinstall state and drain the battery life, thanks to the CPU running at a high rate and preventing handsets from going into sleep mode.

The Oculus app powers Samsung's Gear virtual-reality hardware.

Threads on Reddit say the issue extends to the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S7, and Galaxy S7 Edge, but it didn't seem to be universal. One user claimed their Galaxy handset drained 70 percent of its battery in three hours.

Luckily, Oculus confirmed on Friday it has pushed another update to remedy the issue, hopefully fixing the battery drain and allowing Gear VR owners to power their headset once again.

"We recently pushed an update to the Oculus app that inadvertently caused some people to experience phone battery drain," Oculus told Gizmodo in a statement. "The team has issued a fix that prompts people to update the Oculus software when they open the Oculus app. If they do not see the prompt, then the phone has been automatically updated and no further action is needed."

Thursday's battery drain issue is just a drop in the bucket for Samsung's recent problems. It not only had to issue a worldwide recall of the Galaxy Note 7 for exploding batteries, but now a lawsuit claims its washers are catching on fire as well.

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