Apple Reiterates: Force Quitting iOS Apps Doesn’t Help Battery Life

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    It's been a long-standing belief in some circles that using the multitasking feature of iOS to force quit apps can help save an iPhone's battery life, or improve the speediness of the software when the smartphone becomes slow. Earlier in the week, an iPhone user decided to email Apple CEO Tim Cook to put the issue to bed once and for all, and instead got a reply from Craig Federighi, Apple's senior VP of Software Engineering (via 9to5Mac).

    Asked specifically whether Cook quits apps to save battery and if it's truly "necessary for battery life," Federighi jumped in with a concise "no and no." Although far from an official condemnation of the force quit belief by Apple, it is the most the company has directly said about the myth in the six years since multitasking became available in iOS 4.

    Image via 9to5Mac

    The simplistic nature of swiping apps off of the multitasking landing pad, and subsequently "quitting" them, helped create a widespread belief that an iPhone's battery could be preserved for a little longer. But as many have pointed out over the years, doing so could in fact do the complete opposite: you could be shortening the battery life of your iPhone.

    A few exceptions can be made to certain processes, but for the most part when an app is pushed into the background it becomes completely frozen and ceases to use any of an iPhone's battery power. As relayed by a former Genius Bar technician, Scotty Loveless, force quitting an app purges all of its code from the RAM of the iPhone, requiring it to be re-loaded upon the next time you visit the app.

    If it's an app you're going to often -- a weather or traffic experience, for example -- all of the forced closing and re-opening actually can worsen the life of an iPhone. Exceptions can be made by toggling off a feature called "Background App Refresh," which the Facebook app was found to be suspiciously circumventing in recent months, but in all other occurrences the process of force quitting each app to prolong battery life is erroneous.
    In the case of the Facebook app, the company's mobile app was discovered to be the cause behind cases of dramatic battery drain, even when Background App Refresh was turned completely off. The social network site eventually implemented a fix for the problem, citing the major culprits as "CPU spin" in the app's code and silent background audio continuing to emanate from the service's auto-play videos after the app was closed.

    That was a rare case, however, and users should stick closer to Federighi's succinct advice today instead of continuing to put long-term strain on the smartphone. If you're ever really concerned about daily battery usage, Apple offers a simple but useful tool to keep on top of things. Go to Settings > Battery > and scroll down to Battery Usage. "Last 24 Hours" and "Last 7 Days" can give you a full picture at where the heaviest-hitting battery life apps are coming from.

    You can also restrict specific app access to Background App Refresh -- or turn it off altogether, although that can drastically hinder certain apps' key features -- in Settings > General > Background App Refresh.

    Article Link: Apple Reiterates: Force Quitting iOS Apps Doesn't Help Battery Life
  2. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2005
    When I was in retail, this was something that they parroted to us regularly.
  3. LordQ Suspended


    Sep 22, 2012
    Oh, Craig <3

    I emailed Tim about iMessage for Android but did not get a reply.
  4. Avatarshark macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2012
    The Digital Frontier
    Man Craig is going to get spammed now...

    In other news, I find often with the app killed, location is still being used...and I find that I could save battery by turning off the location to kill it and then turn it back on to reenable location
  5. mpe macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010
    Better answer would be: No and no, unless the app you are closing is Facebook.

    Killing facebook is the only known way how to avoid it sucking battery in the background. (turning off background refresh won't help)
  6. GQB macrumors 65816

    Sep 26, 2007
    "or the sneakiest of them all: checking for incoming VOIP calls , like Skype. All of these exceptions, besides the latter, will put an icon next to your battery icon "

    Why the exception for Skype?
  7. xero9 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 7, 2006
    If this is true, then why is everyone complaining about Facebook draining their battery while mine seems to be unaffected?

    I think 9/10 times it won't have any effect, but to say it does nothing I think is untrue.
  8. StudyFlo macrumors member


    Sep 13, 2014
    Hamburg, Germany
  9. Skika macrumors 68030

    Mar 11, 2009
    Were you expecting one? Lol
  10. yaxomoxay macrumors 68030


    Mar 3, 2010
    I emailed Tim about iCloud and 10 hours later I received like ten calls from Apple.
  11. arggg14 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 30, 2014
    In my experience quitting apps that are running in the backdrop absolutely improves battery life...
  12. Klae17 macrumors 65816


    Jul 15, 2011
    Location-based dating apps constantly drain battery…. or so a friend told me...
  13. xero9 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 7, 2006
    What is this icon you speak of? I've tried with Fongo and Bria and neither put any indication on the bar at the top.
  14. PhiLLoW macrumors 6502

    May 31, 2014
    The person asked if it's necessary. Ofc the answer they give is no.
  15. LordQ Suspended


    Sep 22, 2012
    At least a "No lol" ha!
  16. Tannerjr macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2008
    Maybe Federighi ought to let his genius bar peeps in on this. every. SINGLE. time I've asked about battery life in the apple store, the genius bar apt. nets me the usual battery graph showing that mine is fine and they recommend closing apps I'm not using...
  17. bladerunner2000 macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2015
    Apple doesn't believe in choice. iMessage for Android will never happen.
  18. jdillings macrumors 68000

    Jun 21, 2015
    I'm going to email him and ask him what hair product he recommends.
  19. jmcrutch macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2010
    Same thing here - i've argued with Apple Store employees about this before.
  20. chriscrowlee macrumors 65816


    Aug 10, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    The questions asked was "Is it necessary?" and "Do you do it?" and both answers were no.

    The question should have been "Is it beneficial in any way?" which the answer would be yes.

    Not sure why the site is picking this up as evidence there's no benefit, because neither reply indicates that. However small, there most certainly is benefit. Killing an app ends the process that second. By leaving it open, there is a fraction of a second where it continues to use the processor, and some apps are known to sneak in the background (ie Facebook).
  21. Hustler1337 macrumors 68000


    Dec 23, 2010
    London, UK
    Jeeze, Craig capitalizes some words but forgets to do his own name? :eek:
  22. Gudi macrumors 68030


    May 3, 2013
    Berlin, Berlin
    Except for when an app plays silent audio to keep running in the background. :mad:
  23. 'Dorian macrumors member


    Aug 30, 2014
    Where it's warm
    It never seemed to give me any extra battery life. I still do it when it fills up with 30 or 40 apps and wish there were just a close all button. With Craig answering however, I don't think there is anyone more qualified to give a statement on it. Sometimes I think their short answers are just them being smug, but then I realize they probably do it because it's harder to misinterpret.

    Now everyone stop bugging them so they can concentrate on designing my mac mini quad core with hdmi 2.0!
  24. Mascots macrumors 68000


    Sep 5, 2009
    I'm not too familiar with how VoIP backgrounding works, but I believe the actual process of checking for incoming calls is handed off to iOS which then suspends your app and reawakens it when data is pushed through the channel it is expected. I think...

    Edit: Yep:
  25. DaveWil macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2012
    Why put the word "necessary" in the question? How else could they respond.

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