Background App Refresh on or off?

bobright

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jun 29, 2010
4,755
17
Do you guys leave them on by default? Do you notice battery improvement if off?
 

Hal~9000

macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2014
2,019
1,762
I always turn it off for battery life.

It's one of those things that I've never seen a point for it.
 
Comment

Reminisce32

macrumors regular
Mar 13, 2009
221
1
I just have it off because I've seen it recommended for better battery life. Never been a moment when I felt I needed it. Just turn it off and see if you ever feel like you need it.
 
Comment

April Knight

Suspended
Jul 24, 2011
345
138
Olympia, WA
I personally have it turned off to save battery life as well. I don't see much of a point to having things update while I'm not using my iPhone (given how I use my iPhone-- I can see how it makes sense for others). I still get all of my push notifications from all of my apps.
 
Comment

Romf

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2011
258
69
Paris, France
I let it ON except for some apps like GPS.
No problems so far, just did 2 days on my iphone 6 with normal usage
 
Comment

wxman2003

Suspended
Apr 12, 2011
2,580
294
I keep some on. Mainly sports apps when running in the background, so that the scores keep updating. However, once you close the app down, background doesnt run. Fitness apps that you want to run in the background may also need to have that feature turned on. When you listen to music and run, if you have an app keeping track of your pace, it will be in the background and you will need it on.
 
Comment

bobright

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jun 29, 2010
4,755
17
Does anybody know if 1password and Dropbox would sync if I turned everything to off? I probably don't need constant syncing anyway but was just wondering.
 
Comment

mtneer

macrumors 68030
Sep 15, 2012
2,857
1,987
I have turned off background app refresh. That way I can read reviews about the update before upgrading. Many times app developers add advertisements or do something I don't like to the apps. I don't want to be blindly upgrading to suffer later.
 
Comment

Zxxv

macrumors 68040
Nov 13, 2011
3,558
1,102
UK
I have turned off background app refresh. That way I can read reviews about the update before upgrading. Many times app developers add advertisements or do something I don't like to the apps. I don't want to be blindly upgrading to suffer later.
not the same thing :)

backgroud app refresh updates the app info in the background, it allows them to run.

auto app update is what your thinking of. Different things :)
 
Comment

mtneer

macrumors 68030
Sep 15, 2012
2,857
1,987
not the same thing :)

backgroud app refresh updates the app info in the background, it allows them to run.

auto app update is what your thinking of. Different things :)
Ughhh.. They are all starting to meld together!! Thanks for the correction. :p
 
Comment

Zxxv

macrumors 68040
Nov 13, 2011
3,558
1,102
UK
Ughhh.. They are all starting to meld together!! Thanks for the correction. :p
tell me about it. Its like theres no one to say STOP! wtf ! no STOP!!! make it simpler, take that out, **** that we don't need it, stop with the adding this cause you like it and he likes it and she likes it and no one can just say STOP :mad::D
 
Comment

KALLT

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2008
5,053
3,076
I think this is one of those features that Apple should have explained a lot better, because it is very confusing in its current state. I have to admit that I still don't know whether I should turn it off or not and which benefits it gives to me on a per-app basis. As I understood it, this feature allows apps to do certain tasks in the background (e.g. fetching content) when the OS thinks that I might be needing the app soon (it supposedly records usage patterns and predicts when you an update will be required). It's not actually opening the app or letting it run in the background, so no realtime multitasking, it just allows it to do a certain kind of task at a specific time.

This makes perfect sense for apps that need to fetch new data whenever you open them, like news or social-media apps, but less with other apps, in my opinion. 1Password barely benefits from this unless you are changing your entries very often. It will almost always be sufficient to let the app update its database once you actually use the app again, you won't really notice it.

I recently discovered that this feature is also tied to push triggers which are incredibly useful for messaging apps. When you receive a push notification on, say, WhatsApp, the push trigger will update WhatsApp in the background at the same time, saving you that little delay when you open the app and have to wait till the message is loaded.
 
Comment

sunking101

macrumors 604
Sep 19, 2013
6,688
1,864
I have the main background refresh toggled on, but then every individual app save for my TomTom sat nav is toggled off. That way the only app that will work in the background is my sat nav, and then only when the app is open & running. If I didn't have/use a sat nav then I would toggle the whole feature off.
 
Comment

IHelpId10t5

macrumors 6502
Nov 28, 2014
477
336
OFF. I have never seen a need for this feature other that to appease those fools that keep asking less strict background processes in iOS. Personally, I wish they had never added it in the first place. I only want an app connecting to the network when I open it and ask it to!
 
Comment

bushido

Suspended
Mar 26, 2008
8,070
2,754
Germany
off. I had it on for a while but I never even noticed what it actually does and didn't notice a difference so far
 
Comment

jabingla2810

macrumors 68020
Oct 15, 2008
2,271
937
All on.

With iOS8 you can see what is using your battery in settings.

And background activity has almost no impact.

I keep it on because it makes things much quicker when I want to use the phone. Podcasts get downloaded automatically in the background, Instapaper has my articles saved as soon as I open the app, and Tweetbot has already downloaded tweets and updated my position.

Apple should do a better job of explaing what background refresh actually does, because if people understood it, they wouldn't be as quick to turn it off.

It's quite liberating to stop worrying about battery life, and just trust the phone. It's amazing how well it's optimised. I have all location services on, all background refresh on, Bluetooth always on, WiFi always on, LTE always on, and I get fantastic battery life.

Of course each to his own, and Apple gives us the power to decide for ourselves, but I do feel that sometimes some people are missing out on some cool stuff to save <1% of battery life over a day.
 
Comment

KUguardgrl13

macrumors 68020
May 16, 2013
2,488
119
Kansas, USA
All off. No need to let Facebook and freemium games run rampant. I'm less worried about battery and more worried about data usage since I have 6gb to share with the rest of my family.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.