When iOS 6 first landed, we started hearing reports from some users of unexpected, wildly excessive data consumption. Since then, Apple’s released iOS 6.0.1, which seems to set things right for many users, but just what was going wrong in the first place? The guys over at PRX Labs were curious, and after a little detective work, think they may have stumbled on to the cause.
With the introduction of iOS 6, Apple seems to have made some big changes to the operation of the platform’s Audio Playback framework. Apps use this system to stream and play audio, but some inefficiencies result in it consuming far more data than is necessary.
For instance, a 30MB podcast played through iOS 5 would consume roughly that much data, while iOS 6 ends up requesting the file multiple times, pulling-down closer to 100MB.
This doesn’t speak to the problems with the platform using cellular data when it should have been on WiFi, but it could very well be a component of the larger issue. PRX says that things look like they’ve been fixed in iOS 6.0.1.