Apple retail tells me apps in multitasking bar are draining my battery

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by msavwah, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. msavwah macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2010
    iPhone 4 bought at launch, dies mid day while in standby. I brought it to the store, they restored it and said the os was reading the battery wrong. Ok, I went with that.
    A week later, no dice.

    Today I'm told I need to periodically open the multitasking bar and kill every app shown. Was told that every single app shown in that list was draining my battery.

    I even talked with the manager and he told me the same thing.

    I'm not buying it and I'm pretty bummed that Apple is going with this.

    After all, if we have to task manage we are "doing it wrong" right?

    I know about the API's and suspended state and which apps should be "running" using battery and which are idle or saved.

    Or so I thought!

    I keep up with this stuff, I know how it's supposed to work.

    Now according to Apple retail, I have to remove even the settings app from the quick launch bar to save my battery life.

    I tried to explain to them that I understood the os to use certain API's for actual background use of apps...
    I didn't bother going further because they denied that's how it works.
    They say you have to regularly clear out all the app icons, including ones for settings and others like it.

    I was flummoxed.
  2. BacklitFirefly macrumors 6502

    Dec 27, 2009
    Sandhills Area, North Carolina
    I've only had my iPhone 4 for a couple of months. Shortly after updating to 4.3 and activating Personal Hotspot with AT&T, my battery began to run dead within just 3-4 hours -- with Wifi disabled, Personal Hotspot off, and bluetooth off. There is no 3G coverage around here, so that was also not an issue (and, I have it disabled.) Just on a whim, I got rid of all my multitasking bar apps and restarted my iPhone before letting it charge overnight. Today, the battery lasted as long as it used to.

    4.3 glitch?
  3. JamesMB macrumors 68000


    Jan 2, 2011
    Just out of curiosity, is your usage and standby time the same?

    I'm not buying it either...
  4. jt2ga65 macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2007
    You should not have to manually remove them. Restarting your phone should do the same trick.

    Don't count on the apple employees to tell you anything useful. Even if they try to be helpful, they are still mostly stupid. I personally find Apple's use of "genius" an insult to people that really are.

  5. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    I'll +1 the question and comment. If the battery is draining this quickly, either the battery is bad, or there is an app running in the background by default. In my experience, it is the location services apps that do it the most. There was a Speed Trap warning app that turned on multitasking right when 4.0 came out and was a battery hog because it left your GPS on all the time with no easy way to stop it.

    It's the problem you will always have when your support staff don't actually have any technical background, and are there for the paycheck. A lot of people wind up working jobs they don't want to, especially in this economy. For the most part, they aren't any better than the scripted support staff anywhere else, on average.
  6. JediMeister macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The issue is that takes less battery power to keep store the apps state then to start and stop the apps.

    The same thing goes for android. It actually makes the OS work more because you're killing an app then when its needed, the OS needs to start it back up.

    How much this type of activity actually impacts the battery is anyone's guess.
  8. Stein357 macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    Rip City
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8F190 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Doesn't sound normal to me. I'd try a different store if there's one close or call Apple customer service. Don't settle until Apple replaces your phone.
  9. VulchR macrumors 68020


    Jun 8, 2009
    Erm... ever apply for a job at an Apple store? It's not as easy as you might think. Many of the staff at the genius bars I have sought help from have experience developing apps and they have always been knowledgeable and helpful.

    @OP: Suggesting that you turn off background apps is a logical step in isolating the problem. If that restored your battery life then the next step is to run one app in the background to see what the culprit is.
  10. JamesMB macrumors 68000


    Jan 2, 2011
    What makes you think that it is a hardware problem? It's much more likely something accessing the internet or constantly using location services.
  11. amarcus macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2008
    London, UK
    My thoughts exactly. This is definitely true for navigation software!
  12. Dr Kevorkian94 macrumors 68020

    Jun 9, 2009
    SI, NY
    Well to test if it's a hardware or soft wear problem, just back up the phone then hit restore. Then before it puts all the stuff back on eject it. Then see how the power is affected. U an always restore back to your settings afterward. But I'm surprised by this I always see these threads where the apple genius is stupid, where at my apple store they are pretty good with this stuff. Lol
  13. anon.ymous macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2010
    What a douche. Way to help solve the problem, btw. You mean turning the phone on and off ends the programs, too? Brilliant contribution there.
  14. Ernest macrumors newbie


    Jan 31, 2008
    Same thing seems to be happening to me, and yes my standby time is exactly equal to my usage time. Battery is draining noticeably faster than it used to. I tried restoring my iPhone as well as doing a DFU hard reset as per genius directions. It seemed to work for three battery cycles but has since started doing this again. The apple store employee fears it may be a hardware/battery problem if this DFU reset does not fix it.
  15. indianavtx macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2009
    Wrong answer. You can restart your phone and go straight to the multitasking bar and those apps are still open. Try it sometime.
  16. Lotso macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2010
    OC, California
    When they released multitasking they speciffically said that it does not drain the battery. Except for certain apps like navigation, or those 7 API's that they talked about. One time a Genius told me I should clear out the multitasking bar on my iPhone manually because the phone doesn't do it by itself. I knew this to be incorrect but I just didnt say anything. Sometimes I think there are Genius's that have not as much training, and then there are the real ones.
  17. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    If I applied at Apple, it wouldn't be to work retail. Last time I had to work retail was back in college before Apple had any stores. ;)

    I'm not saying you won't run into good folks, or that Apple is below average. But responses like this from the genius bar tells me that they are still working from a script, or these folks were ignoring their training. This is a common customer service issue. Those who can actually figure it out for a living usually have a better paying job waiting for them elsewhere.

    it is, but if it was said the way the OP claims, then it wasn't to troubleshoot. That's a problem. Of course, the OP should probably be doing that and watching for the location services icon to see which app is the likely battery culprit.

    The bar is a most recently used list, not an open app list. Apps that don't support staying in RAM are still listed... Apps that have been kicked out of RAM by the OS are still listed. An app must be in the list to be open, but an app doesn't need to be open to be in the list. Subtle but important distinction.
  18. sim667 macrumors 65816

    Dec 7, 2010
    Yes. I twas the most pathetically painful process I have ever been through. When I went for the interview I was dragged halfway across London, to be confronted with a bunch of mongs who probably wouldnt be able to tell you the difference between the iphone 3 and the iphone 4. I was then put into a group with a particularly cretinous group leader, and ask to 'sell' a bowl of fruit. Cretinous group leader insisted the best way to do this was to borrow the 'man from del monte, he say yes' advertising strapline, and pull a horrid face and thumbs up whilst doing it, and tbh I felt like a dick, and didnt really get involved.

    So lets be clear, apply to work in an apple store if you are a. A cretin, b. wear childrens jeans, c. Know nothing about the products you're selling, d. not fat (have you ever seen a fat person working in an apple store, not because thats not selling you the nike + experience of jogging with your idevice strapped to your arm like blood pressure monitor).

    If you're not any of that, and really want to work with apple macs then apply to work in an authorised reseller, you'll get some credit for not being a moron and wont be expected to run down the queue on opening days whooping and hi fiving the crowd, when 2 days later you'll be lying to their faces about battery management on their new iphones.


    Im so chuffed with that rant, its going on my blog.
  19. HazyCloud macrumors 68030


    Jun 30, 2010
    Couldn't the same be said for your post?

    Topic: I actually believe the Genius is right. I have an app called Free Memory and if you launch the app and view the multitasking bar, you can actually watch your RAM increase as you kill apps. If apps are using memory in the background, they're also affecting the battery.
  20. nukem170 macrumors member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Try keeping skype open in the background. See how fast that kills your battery.

    Bottom line is it really depend on what app you have open. Some apps does nothing and just sit in the memory. They dont drain the battery. But some apps will use your wifi connection ones every few mins to check for online status, might power up the GPS every few mins to check location and so on. Those apps will drain your battery.
  21. xAnthony macrumors 65816


    Mar 2, 2010
    That was quite entertaining. But I have seen fat people working at an Apple store. Other than that, you do make some good points.
  22. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 46 years ago
    Sure, but it doesn't matter. All it means is: the more RAM that's not free, the more apps you have that are frozen and ready to restart instantly.

    When another app needs some of that memory, some of those frozen apps will be let go.

    Nope. They're only using battery if they're actually doing something in the background: navigation, music playing, file downloading. Otherwise, they're totally idle.
  23. HazyCloud macrumors 68030


    Jun 30, 2010
    Thanks. That totally makes sense.
  24. sim667 macrumors 65816

    Dec 7, 2010
    Duly noted

    If I ever have a interview with them again I fully intend on wearing a turtleneck and pulling my jeans up ridiculously high.
  25. anon.ymous macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2010
    You're right. You're absolutely right. I can't believe I wrote that.

    Actually, what I did was call that douche out for giving stupid advice and not furthering the conversation so he could bitch about Apple employees. The same can't be said about my post because I wasn't being pretentious and trying to give any advice before I started my attack. I just called the guy a douche because he is one. My good friend works part time at Apple and I've hung out with his coworkers several times. There are a number of people in grad school/have advanced degrees/are great people. Calling people stupid because they pay the bills working at a store to pay the bills is ridiculous and that guy is exactly the kind of customer I hated when I worked retail (and was in grad school). He's a bad person and deserves to be insulted, even if it is just on a message board.

    But yes, battery life could be wifi/Bluetooth/push/notifications/location services turned on, or your ram being full of running apps, I suppose.

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