Background Refresh Apps?

Discussion in 'iOS 7' started by djtech42, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. djtech42 macrumors 65816


    Jun 23, 2012
    West Chester, OH
    What are some apps that support background refresh so far?

    The only apps I have that support it are:
    -Stocks (default)
    -Weather (default)

    (I don't have too many apps on my device right now)
  2. phositadc macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
  3. Zerozal macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2009
    OmniFocus 2 for iPhone supports background refresh, and it works well.
  4. Sital macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2012
    New England
  5. jabingla2810 macrumors 68020

    Oct 15, 2008
    Alien Blue
    Google Maps

    I wish apps were a bit more transparent as to what they are doing in the background.

    For example, why does Google Maps want to refresh in the background?

    Also how often do apps refresh? When they get push notifications? Every hour? Every night?

    It would help me decide if I wanted that functionality. But instead I have turned all apps off. No websites or developers have been transparent either as to what's going on either.

    Seems a bit off to me.

    Anybody got all apps turned on and noticed any battery life effects?
  6. bp1000 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2011
    Google maps is really useful for background refresh.

    I can easily navigate round London now with voice guided walking directions with my phone locked and in my pocket playing music.

    Previously I has to have the screen on so it could keep a lock on GPS and maintain correct directions.

    At the most basic level eg weather, this refreshes periodically, supposedly it learns when you are most likely to open the app and refreshes before this time daily.

    Background app refresh would also be good for triggering, eg currently gmail is so slow because it doesn't store messages locally. You receive a notification and you swipe to access, it has to connect through the app which is a glorified web wrapper to the email services to retrieve email. So slow. It can't push the data but the push notification could trigger background app refresh when google finally make use of it. That would be useful.
  7. bozzykid macrumors 68020

    Aug 11, 2009
    Actually it does store data locally. It just doesn't fetch the data until the app is opened (not when you get the notification). It certainly needs to be updated to support background downloading of the data when the notification is received.
  8. MrXiro macrumors 68040


    Nov 2, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Runkeeper is supported... and it murders the battery too!
  9. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    Facebook sure works in the background, although it has for a while. It takes advantage of an iOS feature that allows it to keep running in the background, even with background refresh disabled.

    Hence, it kills the battery if not force killed.
  10. FreeState macrumors 68000


    Jun 24, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    Its actually working better for me. I ran for an hour and forty five minutes yesterday. I left with 90% charge and returned to 77%. I was playing music (music app) and use a Bluetooth (HR) heart rate monitor.

    13% use for over an hour and a half is fantastic if you ask me.
  11. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    What feature does it take advantage of exactly?
  12. jabingla2810 macrumors 68020

    Oct 15, 2008
    That makes sense for Gmail. I like that idea.

    Google Maps has always updated directions in the background though, at least when driving. I never tried it with walking directions though :)

    I'm confused about things like Alien Blue, the reddit app. Does that update all my favourite sub reddits? The ones I visit most? Everyone I look at? Or does it just refresh my notifications? How often? Does it use more battery or save it because the information is already loaded for me?

    This information doesn't appear to be anywhere, for any apps I use that use background refresh. It's slightly worrying to me.


    Facebook doesn't take advantage of background refresh.

    And it doesn't run in the background, and doesn't effect battery life even leaving it in the recently used apps list. Seems to be a common myth that.

    Try leaving it in the recently used apps list and don't force close it, it might even save you battery life since the app isn't always being fully closed and opened :)
  13. Max(IT) Suspended


    Dec 8, 2009
  14. MrXiro macrumors 68040


    Nov 2, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I just happened to leave Runkeeper and Background App Refresh on throughout the day last week and my phone never went to standby. The screen went off but when I checked the usage it had gone for 9 hours straight and the I had to shut everything off for the rest of the day. I had barely used the phone... just a few iMessage/texts...

    After I killed the app and Background App Refresh my battery life was ok but I was already down to my last 10% for the last hour of my day at work. Runkeeper really murders your battery if you forget to close out of it.
  15. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    Note what the settings App says about this feature:

    "Allow apps to refresh their content when on Wi-Fi or a mobile network, or use Location Services, in the background."

    That means that many Apps which do nothing more than getting your location in the background will appear in the list - even those that were designed for iOS 6 and earlier.

    Google Maps uses the background location feature to keep navigation working when you've left the app.

    IMO Apple needs to separate out these lists, as these two features serve different purposes.
  16. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    Are you serious? I know when I forget to force close it because my battery will drop rapidly without even using the phone.

    Even with background refresh disabled, iOS allows a window (I believe around 10 minutes) for an app to close itself properly when you exit (not force kill). Things like saving data, etc... overhead.

    Facebook triggers an event that restarts this window, allowing it to stay alive in the background.

    I have background refresh disabled. Normally, I lose about 4% battery overnight. If I don't force close Facebook, I'll lose around 25-35%.
  17. jabingla2810 macrumors 68020

    Oct 15, 2008
    Good spot!

    Thanks, that makes me feel better about the location services stuff in the background.

    I think Apple should make it clearer, or maybe app developers should be more transparent.

    EG. Alien Blue uses Background App Refresh API, if turned on Alien Blue will learn when you most often use the app, and will make sure your most frequent Sub Reddits are up to date for you.

    Or. Alien Blue uses Background App Refresh API, if turned on will refresh your 5 most frequent Sub Reddits twice a day.

    Otherwise, I fear this Background App Refresh feature will get turned off by a large number of users unnecessarily.
  18. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    Facebook keeps on triggering an event in the background to essentially fool the system to keep in giving it up to 10 minutes to stay active in the background each time? That would be a fairly decent violation of Apple's design terms. Is there some documentation somewhere to support that, beyond anecdotal battery usage of some people that could potentially be the result of various different things in general?
  19. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    I'm not going to go any further about it. That's just what I've been told by more than one source in the field. If I'm wrong, then I apologize.

    However, I encourage you to experiment with it. For me, I always close my apps when I'm done with them... I guess it's OCD ;) if I don't close Facebook, my battery continues to decline quickly, despite having background refresh disabled.
  20. cmichaelb macrumors 68020


    Aug 6, 2008
    Here's the apps I currently have on my phone that support it-

    Attached Files:

  21. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    I have on my part as I kill all apps (including Facebook) every once in a while. At least for my phone, and another one that belongs to a family member, battery life doesn't appear to be much different whether Facebook exists in the list of recently used apps or if it's actually completely cleared out of that list.
  22. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013

    This is an article that explains more or less what I was explaining before.

    Just to add to this thread for anyone who digs it up as a fossil one day.. :D
  23. bbfc macrumors 68040

    Oct 22, 2011
    Newcastle, England.
  24. r9800pro macrumors newbie


    Sep 13, 2011
    I also think Facebook app is killing my battery. I've disabled background app refresh and indeed all other apps do no refresh except Facebook. I've realized that when I see count badge on Facebook icon.

    Any way to fix that ?
  25. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    App notifications (badges) come through the Apple push service which is unrelated to a particular app running or anything like that.

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