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Summary:

It seems like forever ago that Facebook promised push notification support in version 3.1 of its incredibly popular iPhone app (iTunes link). Now it has arrived, just in time to usher in 2010. 3.1 brings the promised push notifications, and also the ability to sync your […]

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It seems like forever ago that Facebook promised push notification support in version 3.1 of its incredibly popular iPhone app (iTunes link). Now it has arrived, just in time to usher in 2010. 3.1 brings the promised push notifications, and also the ability to sync your Facebook contacts with your iPhone’s Address Book for a more seamless communication experience.

Right away upon opening the app, you’ll be asked if you want to enable push notifications, and you’ll also encounter a dialog box asking you about contact syncing. Turning syncing on will automatically add links to the Facebook profiles of all the people it finds in your address book, and you can also choose to replace the photos for those contacts with their Facebook profile pictures.

As for the push notifications, they apply whenever someone sends you a new message, or whenever you receive a new wall post, friend request, friend confirmation, photo tag, event invitations and updates, and comments. If that seems like a lot, you can go ahead and selectively disable any options you don’t want to receive a push notification about. I’m actually very happy with the implementation. It means I can disable email updates for most of those things. Here’s what it looks like when you receive a message. Not too much info, but it gets the job done.

Contact syncing seems to be a little hiccupy at the moment, but that might only be because I’m also using MobileMe to sync my address book across all computers. It does appear to be working very slowly despite some error messages, though, but I find that the “fb://” format links don’t open anything on the Mac. Probably because the Facebook app developers didn’t count on people who have a desktop syncing system implemented. They automatically launch the FB app on the iPhone, though.

What do you think? Well done, or were you looking for more from Facebook push?

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  1. Very cool.

    I guess FriendSync is no longer needed.
    http://omnigensolutions.com/friendsync/

    1. The contact sync sucks. It links to people who are not in my contact list and downloads their pictures and facebook page. I want it off of my phone now. Who the hell do I get in touch with to remove this contact sync bullshit?

    2. How do i disable the push notifications once i have enabled them?

  2. I’m not sure I’d trust *any* iPhone application to sync to my contacts. MobileMe has enough sync issues, the last thing I’d want to do is toss in yet another sync routine.

    Don Montalvo, TX

    1. You are right, this created duplicate contacts that I now cannot remove and the new update didn’t even download my contacts facebook picture. This update is crap… wait it out for another version.

    2. yes, mobileme was really uncomfy 4 me and i returned it ….i do love apple n all their products, but it felt like mobileme was a ring in provider who was really lacking the great service attitude apple has…. not to mention clear instruction on how it worked, unlike apple which alwasy guides u thru the set up of systems

  3. About time! I guess I can turn off the Facebook service on Boxcar, now. Now, if only Tweetie 2 can get push notifications…

    1. Does Box car not push on Tweetie 2? I noticed it on the list of services they provide, but I assumed that ‘Tweetie’ includes any version of Tweetie.

  4. The friends list is pretty useful even without syncing. The handset icon to show you that there is a phone number in their profile is great. You could almost rely on Facebook to keep your contacts updated, but lots of people don’t put their numbers on there.

  5. On push notifications – I got a friend request and never got a push notification. So that is a bit rough. Or the friend request came in before, I am not sure.

    On contact sync – it worked flawless with me. I had no issues, update contacts and contact photos. The names have to match word for word in the address book and Facebook. So best of luck if you have nicknames and / or not last names.

    Other than that, it worked great. Synced with my MobileMe and all the contacts now have pictures in my Address Book.

    Thumbs up from me.

  6. I’m hoping a future update will allow you to link Facebook profiles to contacts with nicknames, the way MyPhone+ does now. Showing you a list, and letting you choose the appropriate match. Suggesting near-matches and the like. Very handy =]:

  7. I can’t find where you edit the settings for the new push notification feature. (whether on my iPhone’s facebook app or on the computer. Anyone know where these settings can be found??

    1. Settings : Notifications : Facebook

      1. ah ha! thank you :)

  8. The pictures that sync to your contacts seem to be extremely low quality. So low, in fact, that the people are unrecognizable when both zoomed and unzoomed.

    1. I agree. Was pritty disappointed with the photo syncing compared to MyPhone+. Hope they fix this.

  9. Where is it exactly that you can selectively disable which notifications that come in. I’m with Christian, i can’t seem to find a settings tab or anything.

    1. Maximus, it’s in the settings of your iPhone itself, not the app. Go to Settings, Notification, then scroll down and you’ll see Facebook.

    2. weel, no. tap “settings” then scroll down to “facebook.” if you go under “notifications” then “facebook,” you’re setting a different kind of notifications.

    3. thx brian, I don’t know why I didn’t figure that out by myself…

  10. What exactly is pushed? I know they have listed, comments, photo tags etc but what exactly…?

    ALL comments? like status, wall post comments, tagged status comments, photo comments?

    ALL photo tags? tags of your own photos (even ones your not in), tags of only photos your in, someone tagging your photo?

    Just so I know what email notifications to turn off, because if they will get pushed I’ll end up getting loads of duplicates.

    Also is there any way to have the sound/vibrate function and just a badge – I dont really want the blue box popping up every so often.

  11. You can disable the blue popups by using the standard iPhone Settings app. Go into the Setting app, select “Notification”, then “Facebook”, and there you can disable alerts.

  12. Oh, and the specific notifications can be disable by going to Settings -> Facebook -> Push Notifications

  13. Thanks for letting my know how to display the notifications like I wanted to.

    But I think your getting confused on the specific notifications, I know how to change those settings. But I want to know which ones to do via the actual web version of facebook, if you go to facebook normally and click settings, then notifications there’s a huge choice in more detail – all of which I have turned on for email.

    That’s what I mean, sorry if I confused you.

  14. What about the re-syncing of contacts? What if you need to resync or add people that didn’t connect on the first go round of syncing but really are on facebook? Does anyone know how they link the contacts on your phone to the facebook pages? Is it the email or name??

  15. Does anyone know why these synced pictures only appear as small images in the upper right as opposed to occupying the whole screen when receiving a call? Is this possible to fix?

  16. Even with “Replace Photos” set to “off”, it replaced all my custom photos with the facebook ones. Also, the facebook ones will not appear full-screen when the person calls, just as a small pic in the top right corner when they call. What crap.

    1. i think its full screen because that person on facebook has a phone number registered in their facebook profile and its an exact match. otherwise its a small corner picture

    2. It’s based on the dimensions of the picture. If the picture is under a certain size then it’s displayed in the upper right, if it’s over a certain size then it fills the entire screen.

  17. Facebook iPhone App 3.1 Update – Sync Errors — STUDIOGLU Wednesday, January 6, 2010

    [...] gigaom’s the Apple Blog notes Contact syncing seems to be a little hiccupy at the moment, but that might only be because I’m [...]

  18. When the update first popped up, I accidentally pressed the home button. Is there any way to go back and get the entire update? …

    1. I’d try uninstalling, restart your iPhone and then reinstall. It should come up with the same options again.

  19. Does anyone have an answer for this? It is really inconvenient and if nothing else I want it reversed!

    1. As a workaround, you could turn off syncing and remove the pictures from your contacts on the iPhone.

  20. isn’t anyone uncomfortable with facebook uploading all your friends details from your addresbook?
    don’t know what to think…

  21. push notifications are great, but itd be great if it opened the actual message/comment instead of the notifications page.

    my biggest gripe is with syncing. upon syncing, all my contacts pictures were replaced, despite me not setting the slider on replace profile pictures in the app. There was an update the next day that said it had bug fixes for syncing, but it still seems to overwrite whats there regardless of what you ask.

    another useful feature would be manual syncing. some of my friends on facebook dont have the same name as in contacts “Joe ‘idiot’ blogs” for example, and are therefore not synced. would be great if i could do them myself.

    only 2 more things i want now, groups support, and wall to wall views!

    1. YES YES YES!!! I totally agree, manual sync would help so much. And the push thing would be great too!

  22. MarketingBit » Trend Alert: Facebook App Adds Contact Syncing and Push Notifications Thursday, January 7, 2010

    [...] Facebook iPhone App Update Brings Push Notifications, Contact Sync [...]

  23. Does anybody know how to turn off the sync? I saw that one page pop up and ask if I wanted to sync, I said sure cause I figured I just turned it off. My entire phone has been acting funny and I know FB is the cause of it. Can I de-update or where can I go to get that screen again? Thnx

    1. The sync feature setting is available from FB- friends, top right menu ‘sync’.

  24. Mine is not working for some reason… Every time I go to the facebook app, and then click sync in the friends option, facebook cloess? I need help, write back :)

  25. is there any facebook app that syncs contacts photos with your phone by matching phone numbers and not 1st and last names? everyone in my phone has a nick name! is there any app that finds matches cia phone number?

    1. VIA not cia lol sketchy typo.

  26. I use
    http://danauclair.com/addressbooksync/
    to sync FB with my OSX addressbook!

  27. I wrote a quick Applescript application that handles fb:// style URLs after they get synced to your Mac OS Address Book from your iPhone (to address the issue mentioned in the article) – check it out at http://blog.toonetown.com/2010/01/facebook-url-handler-fb.html

  28. I added the push notification but its driving me nuts. How do I remove it?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    1. You can do it in two places: Settings>Facebook and also Settings>Notifications

  29. Yes – it’s driving me nuts too! I disabled the push notifications in Settings>Facebook but I’m still getting them! Grrrrr!

  30. Finally, been waiting for this.

  31. How do you turn off push? It is driving me crazy and it’s using up bandwidth.

    1. This is wrong, the iPhones push notifications do not use your phones internet connection, they are delivered over the carrier signal. Hence why you can still get push notifications when don’t have any internet connectivity.

  32. Alan Nielsen:
    Generelt – > mail, calendars and adresses -> push notifications: ON

    Wow, we are really sharing all of our personal content with the big corps now….

  33. i’d like to know how to turn off push as well. anyone?

  34. nevermind i got it. its under the settings.

    1. and i’m still getting notifications. any help?

  35. Top Posts — WordPress.com Thursday, January 7, 2010

    [...] Facebook iPhone App Update Brings Push Notifications, Contact Sync It seems like forever ago that Facebook promised push notification support in version 3.1 of its incredibly popular [...] [...]

  36. There are some that I do not want to sync, and some that sync wrong. Even if the name is a nickname on my iphone with no real name info, and this contact’s fb page has no phone number info, it still manages to correctly (against my wishes) match up.

    How is this possible without looking up the phone number against a 3rd party (AT&T) to get the name info?

  37. Mine has synced about half right and half wrong. Some contacts now have photos and fb://profile links to someone I’ve never heard of who’s not a friend and whose details I can’t see! Some haven’t synced at all. Are you sure that it doens’t go by phone number? I was wondering if my friend’s phone had been nicked and put in by somebody else (for example) – is that too weird? If so it’s a bit dodgy, imo.

    Also it showed up an FB link to somebody I do know, but who I know wouldn’t want me seeing his real details – I only had screen name (not in his FB profile) and phone number (which I assume *is* in his profile).

    No photos have appeared in Address Book and the link doesn’t work (though I’ll try the script from upthread, thanks).

  38. Out of 75 contacts only 44 were correct. I fixed them all in Address Book but they haven’t updated on the iPhone, so MobileMe hasn’t synced the changes. I spent yesterday in syncing hell – don’t want to be there today too!

    Many of my wrong contacts were from other European countries. Weird.

  39. the push works well and it was about time however i am confuse with the push system.

    when i had my blackberry i received the push notification via the favebook app but on tue iphone i receive 2 notifications:
    one by email and the other by push..

    i checked the facebook website went to the notification but i cannot figure it out

    any help to have only the push notification from the app and stop te one ny email?

    thanks

  40. Do you know how to disable contact and photo sync once you’ve agreed to it? It’s messing with my WhatsApp app.
    Thank you!

  41. Sorora – I had the same problem with whatsapp application. If you go onto the facebook application and then click on the menu in the top left, then click on the ‘Friends’ menu and you should see ‘SYNC’ in the top right, from there you can change the sync options, whether you want them on or off.
    When I went on they were both set to off even though I accepted them both so I clicked both on and let it sync, now whatsapp works again and with them enabled….. good times. hope that helps.

  42. Does anyone know how to fix the pictures showing up tiny when receiving a call, mine are now in the top right corner of the screen, almost can’t see who it is. What’s the point of that.

  43. well what do we have here…… as i read through the post all i can see is people complaining about Push notifications and not wanting to receive them anymore. First everyone gripes we don’t have push and now people gripe we have them…its just Facebook..get over it

  44. I updated my Facebook App and the Push Notifications worked well for a day but now they have stopped.working, I have tried uninstailing and re instailing and i have checked and ALL the Push settings are set to On but nothing, I am confused.

    Please Help

    1. I am having the same problem. Notifications were working great and now all the sudden – nothing. Been not working for at least a day now. Seem to have happened shortly after v3.1.1, but I’m not totally certain about that.

  45. My Pushes worked the first day and now I don’t get any!
    I noticed there are 2 places to edit the push settings:
    Settings: Notifications: Facebook
    and
    Settings: Facebook: Push Notifications

    1. Turned them both on and still nothing

  46. thebullsguy112 Saturday, January 9, 2010

    I was wondering if there was any way to make the profile pictures stretch across the whole screen when somebody calls you. Each picture synced from the facebook app is only in the upper right corner when somebody calls, whereas my other pictures spread across the screen when that person calls. Is there any way to fix this?

  47. My contacts aren’t syncing properly at all since I turned FB syncing on.

  48. Same problem here–push notifications almost never worked. I got one, even though since I’ve downloaded the update I’ve received multiple comments and whatnot, but have seen hide nor hair of them before nor since. I tried uninstalling and reinstalling three times. I’ve checked to make sure they’re turned on to push several times (both via notifications and via settings > Facebook). Then I reset all of my network settings, and then I reset all of my settings. I want push notifications for Facebook so badly that I actually wiped my phone, set it up as new, and then restored all my apps. And they STILL don’t work. I don’t understand what I could be doing wrong here, and I got one, which is bizarre, because I feel like I should be getting all of them or none of them. Not just one. I don’t know. I’m displeased I guess because Facebook is the app I use the most and I was overjoyed to see that it had push, only apparently it doesn’t.

    1. I am in the same boat, Since updating the App The Push Worked for a Day but now nothing. I have just recieved a Push to say i have recieved a inbox message but nothing for status’

  49. For all those saying that their Facebook app’s push notifications aren’t working, they’re not getting them or stopped working on the iPhone go to the site and send them a message. (link below)

    If we all send them a message they should get the point.

    http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=iphone_app_not_working

    1. I have sent them a message using your link.

      Thankyou and hopefully it will get fixed

  50. Same issue here. The notifications popped up for one day, but stopped working after that.

    Tried uninstall&reinstall, phone restart and now I have ver 3.1.1, but still dont get push notifications.

    Left a note in the above Facebook link. Thanks Marcus.

  51. My Push setting have never worked!!! I dont understand why…. I have removed, re-installed re-booted, reset networks, all of the goodies, jailbroken, reset, name it…. This is really shitty! It would be so much better for Push than to wait for the stupid e-mail to come in!!!!

    1. I did the same thing. Facebook broke all of my push notifications. My phone was jailbroken, and I actually un-jailbroke it. I thought it might have been the jailbreak, but when I posted about it at Macrumors someone said that Facebook notifications weren’t turning up for him or his wife, and in fact were blocking the push notifications for all of his applications. So I tried just uninstalling and rebooting, and my push worked fine. Then when I re-install Facebook, back to not working.

      Sending FB a message…here’s hoping.

  52. I figured it out!

    The notifications come to my phone and I receive a desktop message but it doesn’t make a sound or vibrate. So, if you don’t see the msg right when it comes, it doesn’t reappear the next time you unlock your phone. It also doesn’t leave a badge even you have that function selected.

    I tested this method by seeing an Alert come in as it should work. But, I didn’t unlock until after the screen went black again then unlocked to find not msg or badge, but when I entered the FB app I did have the same alert waiting in my notifications.

    Seems like w weird bug that needs patching.

    Try it yourself and see if its a uniform problem.

  53. Felix Widjaja Sunday, January 10, 2010

    Push not working too!

  54. While we wait for Facebook to fix this, I discovered there is an app called Boxcar which does a decent job of Facebook notifications. They charge one dollar but I think it’s worth it. I installed it y’day and have been getting notifications.

  55. I can’t get any notifications to show on my phone now. They did to start but now I get no push notification but when I open the app, it says I have new notifications.

    1. I have the same problem. It was totally working fine on Friday, but push hasn’t worked since then. I’ve tried turning notifications off/on, toggling the settings back/forth with no luck. Actually, I had to restore my iPhone yesterday for the first time due to some unknown error. I though this might reset some obscure bug, but it didn’t.

      I’ve installed Boxcar in the meantime.

  56. Reading Links for January 11th | Stuart Henshall Monday, January 11, 2010

    [...] Facebook iPhone App Update Brings Push Notifications, Contact Sync | Comments say mostly a user hell – When I updated my Facebook iPhone app I didn't turn on the new notifications feature or the sync contacts feature. I'm glad I didn't. Like many I live in a sync contact sort of hell and never really take the time to sort out one good list and makes sure it goes back to all my accounts. I use Boxcar and Notifications to provide the push updates I need. Facebook…. let me know when you get it right. While no-on mentions it…. I also didn't want to send the 1500 contacts not in my facebook account to facebook. They don't need them. I'd like the sync to be one way. Eg Facebook recommend updates to me locally. I can then approve even one by one. I don't need to send anything back. Thus help me make my address book better. In other words I will "flag" the contacts that I want to be kept in sync with Facebook [...]

  57. To remove Facebook photos from Contacts on iPhone:

    1) Using Facebook app on iPhone
    2) Go to Friends
    3) Sync (upper right corner)
    4) Turn off Syncing and Replace Photos
    5) There’s also a red tab at bottom (forget what it actually says) that will remove Facebook photos from Contacts

  58. This made my phone unable to receive phone calls or text messages. I am restoring my phone and hoping that will do the trick.

  59. I am getting push notification in a different language and its not from my profile. I am getting this random ones no idea where its getting it from . This is so messed up. When i go to to facebook notifications its not there. And push notifications for my account does not work but it works for some random account. This is a huge buggg… anyone getting the same problem ?

    1. My gf logged in once through the app, then logged out again. Ever sine that I keep getting HER push notifications!! Criminally low respect for integrity to release such crap. I uninstalled FB, rebooted the phone and re-installed. STILL THE SAME!!! How is this even possible?

    2. I am getting all kinds of different notifications… some are in English, some in who knows what language. WTH??? If I dont want it to push my own account, why the hell am i getting someone else’s notifications??? Does this mean someone else is getting mine??

    3. I have disabled push notifications and I still keep getting random ones for someone else’s account!! This is so annoying…I even get them if I’m logged out of the facebook app..how is this happening?

    4. I have the same problem occurring, random notifications from and to people I don’t know. I’ve turned off all facebook push notifications from Settings/Facebook, but still they come through.

    5. I am getting the same thing! my friend logged on through my phone and ever since , i been getting her notifications. this is so annoying..
      if you find a way to fix pls let me know!

    6. haya man im getting the same problem did you fix it !

    7. yes i have the same issue. Very annoying!! I have no idea how to stop this.

    8. I have this problem too. I let a friend log on to her facebook, and ever since I’ve been getting notifications for her account. She’s looked in her facebook settings and my number is not listed in the mobile section, and I have even tried to delete my facebook app and reinstall it. I’m at a loss.

  60. isnt there supposed to be a picture beside each persons name in my contact list? i only see the picture when i click on the persons name. Is there any way to change a setting to show the pics in the contact list or is this not part of the update?

  61. My daughter logged into Facebook on my phone via the Facebook app. Now I am getting notifications for her account and mine. I can’t figure out how to disconnect her account from my device.

    Anyone else run into this?

    1. Yes, see my reply above. I reported this bug with no response. :(

    2. aahhhh same, but it’s with my ex boyfriend so I’m getting ones from loads of girls, it’s really frustrating! I thought I was the only one! I would love to know what the hell is with this? I originally thought he’d done a setting to make me get them to make me jelous but obviously not. anyway, mines working perfect apart from that (: although I think of rather it go all crap in other ways than this to be honest

  62. I keep getting notifications for someone else’s account. No one else has ever logged into a facebook account on my phone before so I’m very confused on how this could happen. I deleted the app 3 times and reinstalled but it is still happening.

    Help!?!?

  63. I was able to upload 3 images from my iTouch and now only get an Alert stating: “your photo could not be uploaded at this time.” What gives? It’s been frustrating the hell out of me. I even deleted the app from my device and reinstalled, but nothing changed. Any ideas?

  64. Yeah Apple, now I officially hate you. The older Facebook App isnt working anymore unless I upgrade my Ipod OS to 3.X, seriously someone should file an anti-trust lawsuit on you guys and split Itunes and Apple into 2 companies…maybe the europeans could do that.

    You are forcing people with your monopoly to pay for an OS upgrade which you said last year you didnt want us to pay for, excuses and basically making all our apps stop working until we pay up. I paid for an Ipod, sure I accept that to get the latest apps I should have to pay for an OS upgrade, but I shouldnt be forced to upgrade by Apple and Facebook unecessarily stopping my older apps working thats going to far.

  65. @Des: I think that’s probably Facebook’s fault, not Apple’s fault.

  66. I am wondering if the push notifications are charged as incoming texts. I use AT&T with my iPhone. Does anyone know?

    1. I’d assume they are, but you can find out by checking your at&t bill under usage to see if it has charged additional texts from a strange number. It’s more likely a data charge though.

  67. I deleted this app and tried to reinstall it hoping to fix some bugs…. Now I can’t actuall reinstall it. When I go into apps store- the facebook app says it’s already installed and won’t let me do it:-/ Any ideas? I’ve tried shutting my iPhone off and restarting it, waiting a couple days & checking back with Apps store…. I want the app back but don’t know what to do?!?!

  68. i cannot receive any notifications anymore. what went wrong?

  69. if i turn off email notifications for facebook, will i still get push notifications through the facebook app? at the moment it’s annoying because i get notified both through email and facebook app…

  70. http://iphone.appspatrol.com/ Tuesday, April 27, 2010

    While this is clearly not an option for many apps, it does present a viable option to some. It can actually be an incredible benefit for the company because they get to not only save an incredible amount of money, but they get their app to the appstore in a time period that could probably never be replicated if it were developed from scratch.

  71. I am having problems uploading photos to facebook. It is not letting me do it for some reason. Is anyone else having these problems?

  72. Laurel Dearing Saturday, May 1, 2010

    its started buzzing and waking me up in the middle of the night, and turning the phone off disables my alarm clock. how do i turn pushing off?

  73. I’m slightly jealous of all you guys that are getting push notifications even if you don’t want them cause I have never been able to get this to work. As far as I can tell they are all turned on. Can anyone help?

  74. Craig Nelson Thursday, June 3, 2010

    how do I turn off notifications? The update turned on ALL of them and they are driving me crazy.

  75. Emma Chapman Monday, June 7, 2010

    Does anybody else find this app a complete load of sh!te? I’ve had to remove and reinstall it at least 5 times, due to numerous things – it stopped letting me view my mailbox, stopped letting me update my staus, and now it’s decided that if I view a notification and click ‘back’, it’s just going to freeze and send me back to my iphone menu. So, back to square 1. Very annoying.

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  77. I just got the iPhone a few weeks ago. I used to have the blackberry storm. I have the Facebook App and I never receive any messages, requests, nothing.. I have all the Push notifications on and still nothing.. Never had this problem with the blackberry. Anything that went on in my Facebook I was sent a message about it.. Does anyone know how to fix this? It is very aggravating..

  78. I turned off all of the push notifications & every other possible option for it to contact me, even signed out…and I still constantly get notifications to my iphone.
    (Yes, even at 2am!)

    I can’t seem to find help on this topic either.

    Terrrribly annoying!!!!

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  80. I had to delete the Facebook app from my G3 because I was getting push notifications even though I changed all the setting to “off” and was logged out… I couldn’t find ANY way to stop them short of deleting the app.

  81. how do you disable these push notifications?
    all of them?
    they cover up the charging screen so I can’t tell when my battery is charging. Its not that I mind the push notifications while on the home screen, its just that I DO NOT LIKE THEM ON MY BATTERY CHARGING SCREEN!! It prevents me from being able to tell if my battery is charging or not

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