All Devices Disable Background activity iOS 13 and maybe iOS 12 not working

Discussion in 'iOS 13' started by odoy, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. odoy macrumors regular

    odoy

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2015
    Location:
    Germany
    #1
    I have turned off Background Activity totally on my device and when I look at the quarry log of my Pihole i see a lot of requests of closed Apps. WhatApp, Shazam, Airbnb etc.

    Is this a bug or does this function never worked?

    Whats your experience?
     
  2. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #2
    Do those items in the logs relate to background refresh activities? Also, what do you mean by "closed apps"?

    Background refresh only relates on some aspects of apps being able to do things in the background, there's a much bigger piece of background functionality that is built into the OS and isn't controllable by the user. There are also things related to notifications which are connected to apps but will also work regardless of whether the app is being used, or has recently been used, or anything like that.
     
  3. odoy, Aug 6, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019

    odoy thread starter macrumors regular

    odoy

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2015
    Location:
    Germany
    #3
    I always thought if background activity is disabled, the app does really nothing. but even apps which are since months closed like airbnb are talkative and communicate to their home server. I've expected another behavior and it seems to be wrong communicated to the user.

    for me there is just pregnant or not pregnant, nothing between

    btw. is this new? SCREENSHOTS != PNG
     

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  4. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    #4
    Yeah, the problem is "Background Refresh" is a specific feature, versus other ways apps can get time while in the background. VOIP, Geofencing, Audio playback, and Push Notifications aren't really considered background refreshes. It doesn't make sense that VoIP or music playback breaks just because you turned off Background Refresh, does it? And many notifications don't even need the app to run, but some notifications can give the app CPU time (although I think these are counted as part of Background Refresh?). Location data is a little more awkward. It has its own toggle.

    Some apps abuse this to get time on the CPU. Oh you moved a bit? Lemme just send some data back home too. It's one reason Apple is trying to crack down on what resources an app has access to if it is running in the background because of VOIP. But I think the background location data still leaves a bit of a hole. Part of the issue there is that if you have a hiking app tracking your hike, it really should have access to some resources in the background as it's logging the data. But that same thing can be used to dial home. And too many apps use it as a way to wake up in the background, IMO. I tend to shut off background location access unless there's a real need for it because of that.

    Background refresh is a more general purpose way to get background time. It's more like "Oh, I had to wake up for this push notification... you, get some CPU time to go fetch your e-mails or something." It's also supposed to avoid giving CPU time to apps that you don't use very often, but instead give it to apps you use frequently like a 3rd party e-mail client, or an RSS reader.

    I'm curious. Are you using a firewall to detect the apps phoning home?
     
  5. odoy, Aug 6, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019

    odoy thread starter macrumors regular

    odoy

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2015
    Location:
    Germany
    #5
    I think we can't enlighten this here :)

    first, I make a mistake not to hint at something.
    when I talk about background activity, I mean activity of closed apps. apps, which are killed though the app switcher.
    I don't associate it with apps, which are just put in the background with the home button.

    those tasks like playback, calls or navigation run in the background and disabled background activity AND that's for me comprehensibly and okay.


    i am just astonished why there is activity on totally closed apps.

    Example:
    I know when I disable background activity my podcast app will not download new episodes, but e.g. airbnb or songkick can communicate with their home server.

    no, I use https://pi-hole.net and i can see what dns requests are sent from any device in my network

    anyway. thanks for your interest
     
  6. lemimouth macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2015
    #6
    I noticed the same thing on my Pi-hole, some apps like Spotify and WhatsApp regularely "phone home" during the night, even if they are closed...

    Maybe do they receive some hidden push notifications that wake them up ?
     
  7. Bawstun macrumors 68000

    Bawstun

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    #7
    I am way too immature to be reading things like “I noticed the same thing on my Pi-hole” what?
     
  8. odoy thread starter macrumors regular

    odoy

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2015
    Location:
    Germany
    #8
    :eek: the same applies on comment things without to push conversation forward :confused:
    much to learn you still have
     
  9. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    #9
    That’s the crux though. They are using a loophole to get background time by saying “I want CPU time to process this location data”, and then use the CPU time to phone home.

    Background Refresh being disabled doesn’t stop abuse of the background location API.

    Closing an app doesn’t prevent the OS from relaunching it to handle this background traffic either.
     
  10. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #10
    Looks like iOS 13 is adding more warnings about background usage: What's New in iOS 13 Beta 6: Dark Mode Control Center Toggle, Folder Changes and More
     
  11. tamaralig macrumors member

    tamaralig

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2014
    #11
    And neither app is using iCloud for backups?
     
  12. lemimouth macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2015
    #12
    WhatsApp uses iCloud for backup, but not the other apps.

    Location is disabled for these apps, too
     
  13. IowaLynn macrumors 65816

    IowaLynn

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    #13

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