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View Full Version : Background App Refresh


TrenttonY
Sep 19, 2013, 06:10 PM
What is it exactly?

C DM
Sep 19, 2013, 06:57 PM
You can read more about it, along other new features at http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/18/4741412/the-best-hidden-features-in-ios-7

dictoresno
Sep 19, 2013, 07:09 PM
its amazing what you can find when you actually look for it......


http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4211

kristoffer4
Sep 20, 2013, 01:27 AM
But the apps Facebook, Flipboard and Tweetbot hasn't been updated to this yet. I wonder how much of a battery hit it takes. I will try it with off and on.

dictoresno
Sep 20, 2013, 02:24 AM
But the apps Facebook, Flipboard and Tweetbot hasn't been updated to this yet. I wonder how much of a battery hit it takes. I will try it with off and on.

i dont see any need for any app to use it. its a battery hog waiting to happen. most apps take 2 seconds tops to update when i refresh them manually. i see no need for ios to do this for me all the time.

mrkgoo
Sep 26, 2013, 05:13 AM
How come some apps don't show up with the option to toggle?

I don't see Facebook, Twitter, or even apple's own reminders and photos app

hafr
Sep 26, 2013, 05:33 AM
How come some apps don't show up with the option to toggle?

I don't see Facebook, Twitter, or even apple's own reminders and photos app

Facebook and Twitter are missing because they haven't added support for iOS 7's background app refresh function yet. How would Reminders and Photos benefit from this?

mrkgoo
Sep 27, 2013, 04:01 AM
Facebook and Twitter are missing because they haven't added support for iOS 7's background app refresh function yet. How would Reminders and Photos benefit from this?

I don't know. I've just seen a screen shot from another user who had Facebook, Twitter, Photos and reminders in their background app refresh list.

Also, I at least figured out the reminders one - if I turn on location and set up a geofence reminder, then reminders will appear in the list. So it appears that some toggles won't appear until needed.

Angelo921
Sep 27, 2013, 06:10 AM
wont the auto background refresh also work while on cellular network thus eating up your data if your not on an unlimited plan?

hafr
Sep 27, 2013, 06:36 AM
wont the auto background refresh also work while on cellular network thus eating up your data if your not on an unlimited plan?

You can disable cellular data usage on an per app basis in Settings > Mobile

kas23
Sep 27, 2013, 06:47 AM
I've read what this is, but still don't understand the benefit of this. Can't you just tell particular apps to send you push notifications of updates?

For example, there is a weather app I use (Dark Sky) that sends me notifications of when it's about to rain. I also have the option of background refreshes with this app. What exactly would be the benefit of background refreshes here?

Can someone give me a specific situation when background refreshing would be better than push notifications (besides Safari, which takes 1-2 secs to refresh the page anyway)?

snappyfool
Sep 27, 2013, 06:57 AM
Can someone give me a specific situation when background refreshing would be better than push notifications (besides Safari, which takes 1-2 secs to refresh the page anyway)?

Social media feeds, news feeds, weather feeds. Things you don't want notifications for but when you go to the app it would be nice not to have to wait a few seconds to update it from when you last saw. Just makes it a smoother experience. Not life changing, obviously people have lived without this for years, but it just creates a better experience. Especially now you have previews of apps when app switching - it'd nice to see a more up to date preview.

wxman2003
Sep 27, 2013, 07:00 AM
Some apps such as mapmyrun need it toggled on to work properly. Without it on, it will keep track of time but not proper distance. It will only draw a route from when it starts in foreground, to where you bring it back into foreground when you finish. Everything in between is ignored. It will always be a straight line.

snappyfool
Sep 27, 2013, 07:06 AM
For example, there is a weather app I use (Dark Sky) that sends me notifications of when it's about to rain. I also have the option of background refreshes with this app. What exactly would be the benefit of background refreshes here?

Also don't forget background updates can be triggered by notifications.
e.g. when you get a Facebook notification of a message and click it to go to Facebook, Facebook then takes a couple of seconds to load your message. Now it's an option in iOS 7 (maybe not taken advantage of yet) for Facebook to receive push notifications silently in order to wake up the app, load the message in the background and then display the notification to the user. When following the notification through to Facebook, the message is there waiting.

Also it's possible for apps owners to publish silent notifications which trigger background updates but don't show anything to the user. Apple manages the frequency of them so devs don't have to worry about sending too many (and users don't have to worry about apps sending them too often and killing battery).

kas23
Sep 27, 2013, 09:06 AM
Social media feeds, news feeds, weather feeds. Things you don't want notifications for but when you go to the app it would be nice not to have to wait a few seconds to update it from when you last saw. Just makes it a smoother experience. Not life changing, obviously people have lived without this for years, but it just creates a better experience. Especially now you have previews of apps when app switching - it'd nice to see a more up to date preview.

But if it was so important that you wouldn't want to "wait a couple seconds", why wouldn't you just set it up for push notifications? I'm not arguing with what you're saying, but it just seems like a silly and irresponsible trade-off in terms of battery life.

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Some apps such as mapmyrun need it toggled on to work properly. Without it on, it will keep track of time but not proper distance. It will only draw a route from when it starts in foreground, to where you bring it back into foreground when you finish. Everything in between is ignored. It will always be a straight line.

This seems like a legit reason to have it on. I guess I can see it important for apps that need to record a chronological set of data between spatial openings of the app. Not just point A and point B, but what happens in between.

hafr
Sep 27, 2013, 09:17 AM
But if it was so important that you wouldn't want to "wait a couple seconds", why wouldn't you just set it up for push notifications? I'm not arguing with what you're saying, but it just seems like a silly and irresponsible trade-off in terms of battery life.

If it works like it's supposed to, there will be no trade off since it should only download content before you tell the phone to, and only the content you want to download.

Abazigal
Sep 27, 2013, 09:28 AM
I've read what this is, but still don't understand the benefit of this. Can't you just tell particular apps to send you push notifications of updates?

For example, there is a weather app I use (Dark Sky) that sends me notifications of when it's about to rain. I also have the option of background refreshes with this app. What exactly would be the benefit of background refreshes here?

Can someone give me a specific situation when background refreshing would be better than push notifications (besides Safari, which takes 1-2 secs to refresh the page anyway)?

I use the mailbox app, and it can sometimes take 4-5 seconds to bring in new emails after I open the app (it only sends me push notifications, but did not pre-download the emails in ios6). I know the time taken sounds trivial, but I find it is nice to have my email already there waiting for me when I open the app.

I don't mind it active in my ipad, where I often have excess battery life to burn. I suppose you have a point in that we have to be more mindful of its effects on the iphone. I have been noticing faster battery life drain in my 4s after upgrading, and after reading this thread, I have gone in and turned off said feature for most apps.

Will see if this helps save battery life some.

snappyfool
Sep 27, 2013, 10:11 AM
But if it was so important that you wouldn't want to "wait a couple seconds", why wouldn't you just set it up for push notifications? I'm not arguing with what you're saying, but it just seems like a silly and irresponsible trade-off in terms of battery life.

Think you missed the second part of my post... It's not "so important" that you wouldn't want to wait a couple of seconds. It's just nice not having to, right? I'm not sure the battery is a huge concern. If for example it learns you check twitter every morning at 8am when you wake up, then refreshing at 7.55am instead of a manual refresh at 8am would be no less drain, but marginally more enjoyable!

Btw I doubt anyone would want to set it up so there were notifications every time there was a new story in their news app. But they might enjoy switching to the app and seeing the latest news there already.

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Another thing is if the updated content is large. e.g. say you have a podcast-like subscription. Rather than get a notification that there's a new one, then having to go to the app to download and wait minutes, wouldn't it be nice, if you opted for it, for it to download it automatically- and then perhaps notify you when it's done? That's a good use for backgrounding...

Angelo921
Sep 29, 2013, 07:53 AM
You can disable cellular data usage on an per app basis in Settings > Mobile


If you go ahead and disable cellular usage for apps then those apps wont work unless your on Wifi, not just for auto update, right?

hafr
Sep 29, 2013, 08:22 AM
If you go ahead and disable cellular usage for apps then those apps wont work unless your on Wifi, not just for auto update, right?

Right. There is no setting where you can disable BAR on cellular... So either deactivate BAR for an app, or deactivate cellular for it, if you're afraid of BAR using too much data on cellular.

Angelo921
Sep 29, 2013, 08:23 AM
hopefully that option will come with IOS 8 lol

chrf097
Sep 29, 2013, 08:27 AM
i dont see any need for any app to use it. its a battery hog waiting to happen. most apps take 2 seconds tops to update when i refresh them manually. i see no need for ios to do this for me all the time.

I just wish you had more control. I'm fine with not having my apps constantly update in the background, but I *REALLY* like the Push notification triggers system, so the app refreshes itself instantly after getting a push notification. I wish I could just have that service enabled and not the others, but meh. I get amazing battery life anyways.

Max(IT)
Sep 29, 2013, 08:29 AM
From what I've see, background app refresh is a battery hog at this time.
I leave it off until further updates will improve it (if any)

silver8ack
Sep 29, 2013, 09:15 AM
Some apps such as mapmyrun need it toggled on to work properly. Without it on, it will keep track of time but not proper distance. It will only draw a route from when it starts in foreground, to where you bring it back into foreground when you finish. Everything in between is ignored. It will always be a straight line.
What? It has worked fine on my iPhones while being closed/locked forever. Before background refresh existed.

wxman2003
Sep 29, 2013, 10:58 AM
What? It has worked fine on my iPhones while being closed/locked forever. Before background refresh existed.

Thats because on old ios 6 background refresh was always on when apps were in background. Now you can select which apps you will be allowed

Max(IT)
Sep 29, 2013, 03:04 PM
Thats because on old ios 6 background refresh was always on when apps were in background. Now you can select which apps you will be allowed

Actually I don't think is the same kind of background refresh as iOS 6 .... From what I understand, iOS 7 introduces a different kind of multitasking.

hafr
Sep 29, 2013, 03:30 PM
Actually I don't think is the same kind of background refresh as iOS 6 .... From what I understand, iOS 7 introduces a different kind of multitasking.

It's both. And at the same time it isn't.

For instance, my MetaWatch requires an app to run in the background. Turning off BAR for that app changes nothing. But tracking apps only seem to half-work with BAR disabled.

But the real news about BAR is that the phone learns when you use for instance Facebook and updates the content shortly before you open the app so you don't have to wait for those few seconds it takes to update. A smoother experience :)

On the other hand, it seems like people who have news paper subscriptions and in iOS 6 had the content download automatically even when the app was killed (not in the multitask thingy), now have to actually go into the app despite having BAR activated and the app closed (not killed)...

Max(IT)
Sep 29, 2013, 03:32 PM
It's both. And at the same time it isn't.

For instance, my MetaWatch requires an app to run in the background. Turning off BAR for that app changes nothing. But tracking apps only seem to half-work with BAR disabled.

But the real news about BAR is that the phone learns when you use for instance Facebook and updates the content shortly before you open the app so you don't have to wait for those few seconds it takes to update. A smoother experience :)

On the other hand, it seems like people who have news paper subscriptions and in iOS 6 had the content download automatically even when the app was killed (not in the multitask thingy), now have to actually go into the app despite having BAR activated and the app closed (not killed)...

What do you mean with "tracking apps" ?

hafr
Sep 29, 2013, 05:49 PM
What do you mean with "tracking apps" ?

RunKeeper for instance.

ATC
Sep 29, 2013, 06:58 PM
Facebook and Twitter are missing because they haven't added support for iOS 7's background app refresh function yet. How would Reminders and Photos benefit from this?

Reminders need Background App Refresh enabled for location-based (Geofenced) reminders; i.e. Reminders for when you arrive at work, leave home etc...

FWIW, just from my own experience so far with my iP5/iOS7, I haven't seen a huge difference in battery drain between having App Refresh On or Off.

Max(IT)
Sep 29, 2013, 11:47 PM
RunKeeper for instance.

Ok, I use run keeper pro on a daily base (at least 4 times a week) and it's working just fine with background app refresh switched off !
Am I missing something ??? :confused:

kristoffer4
Sep 30, 2013, 12:11 AM
It's both. And at the same time it isn't.

For instance, my MetaWatch requires an app to run in the background. Turning off BAR for that app changes nothing. But tracking apps only seem to half-work with BAR disabled.

But the real news about BAR is that the phone learns when you use for instance Facebook and updates the content shortly before you open the app so you don't have to wait for those few seconds it takes to update. A smoother experience :)

On the other hand, it seems like people who have news paper subscriptions and in iOS 6 had the content download automatically even when the app was killed (not in the multitask thingy), now have to actually go into the app despite having BAR activated and the app closed (not killed)...

Except FB doesn't support BR yet. ;)

hafr
Sep 30, 2013, 01:26 AM
Reminders need Background App Refresh enabled for location-based (Geofenced) reminders; i.e. Reminders for when you arrive at work, leave home etc...

FWIW, just from my own experience so far with my iP5/iOS7, I haven't seen a huge difference in battery drain between having App Refresh On or Off.

Wow, that is a pretty big deal... How can Apple kill such a function for those who forget to make sure the app is running at the right time? Talk about a useless Reminder app...

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Ok, I use run keeper pro on a daily base (at least 4 times a week) and it's working just fine with background app refresh switched off !
Am I missing something ??? :confused:

Is the app active when you lock the phone?

stooovie
Sep 30, 2013, 02:00 AM
Wow, that is a pretty big deal... How can Apple kill such a function for those who forget to make sure the app is running at the right time? Talk about a useless Reminder app...[COLOR="#808080"]

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They're not killing anything. BAR is ON by default. It's you who kill your preferred functionality when turning BAR off. You can't disable a feature and than complain about it being disabled, right? :)

hafr
Sep 30, 2013, 02:25 AM
They're not killing anything. BAR is ON by default. It's you who kill your preferred functionality when turning BAR off. You can't disable a feature and than complain about it being disabled, right? :)

Oh, I misread or completely misunderstood. I thought he said the Reminders app needed to be running in the background as well (as in, not removed from the multitask bar).

In case it's only a matter of keeping BAR turned on for Reminders then I've got no issues with it :)

stooovie
Sep 30, 2013, 02:33 AM
Yeah, that's the way it works.

But beware, if you manually quit an app (by swiping it up in the multitasking UI), the BAR won't work. App doesn't have to be running in the background per se, but if you manually terminate it outright, BAR won't work.

hafr
Sep 30, 2013, 02:42 AM
Yeah, that's the way it works.

But beware, if you manually quit an app (by swiping it up in the multitasking UI), the BAR won't work. App doesn't have to be running in the background per se, but if you manually terminate it outright, BAR won't work.

So wait, are you saying my initial misinterpretation was actually correct? That geofences in Reminders won't work if the app is removed from the multitasking bar?