iPad Does closing apps improve performance?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by stanw, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. stanw macrumors 6502a

    Aug 29, 2007
    Using a new iPad air2: when going to the multitasking option, does swiping up on the app really free up ram? Does it improve battery life? Thanks.
  2. Jeff R macrumors 6502

    Jeff R

    Jan 28, 2014
    Theoretically, yes! I could be wrong though. I always close apps that I'm not using.
  3. Trahearne, Feb 17, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015

    Trahearne macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2014
    Force-closing an app in the multitasking view just further tells iOS that you don't even want it to run in the background, and IIRC iOS will shut it completely and release it from memory. Both handlers for Background App Refresh and Remote Silent Push Notification of the app would no longer be called by iOS, unless the app is manually put into active state again.

    Note that Remote Silent Push is not your generic push notifications, which would never call your app for further processing anyway. Silent Push Notifications can trigger your app's routine to update contents in background, fetching new contents ahead of your active use, though like Background App Refresh it is managed by iOS based on various factors like power cost and signal integrity.

    In other words, closing an app might improve battery life, but only for apps that have background tasks and have not been disabled in Background App Refresh. That's said even if you don't force close them, iOS already does a great job in scheduling them with regard to your phone's daily use.
  4. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    Improve performance speedwise? Not really. It seems to help decrease Safari crashes for me, though.
  5. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    Killing the Facebook app will absolutely give you better battery life. Unless they've changed it, it doesn't sleep.

    Most apps probably just sit in RAM doing nothing, I'd like to think. I tend to clear the ones I'm not using just so they aren't cluttering up the list, frees up some resources, and the apps are fresh when I open them.
  6. saltd macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2010
    I haven't noticed a difference myself. Depending on the apps you use YMMV. Theoretically, it might, but it appears that most apps just freeze when not actively used.
  7. stanw thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 29, 2007
    If they generally do not improve performance or battery life, how does Apple market the purpose of doing this then? How do they explain the benefits of using this feature?
  8. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    I don't think Apple says there is any benefit to using that "feature". What you're seeing is a list of recently used apps. If you want to "clean up" your list a bit, go for it.
  9. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    They don't market it. It's simply a way to jump back to apps you've used recently.

    Apple's developer documentation makes it crystal clear, closing background apps that are not currently running does NOTHING.
  10. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    Here is what Apple says, "Generally, there's no need to force an app to close unless it's unresponsive. When you press the Home button two times quickly, the recently used apps that appear aren't open. They're in an efficient standby mode to help you navigate and multitask." http://support.apple.com/en-us/ht5137
  11. stanw thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 29, 2007
  12. Trahearne, Feb 18, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015

    Trahearne macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2014
    For a bit more information, apps have up to 10 minutes to complete whatever they are doing (e.g. uploading a photo) when it is put into background. Upon completion or time-out, the app is in a "do-nothing" suspended state where it is just cached in memory just for quick resuming in the future. In other words, it can always be freed by iOS if necessary.

    Apps also have up to 30 seconds to handle every single remote silent push notifications or Background App Refresh slot granted. However, iOS would aggressively manage these background tasks when the device is on battery. That is, the more CPU time and data the app accumulatively costs for handling pushes, or the worse the signal is, the more likely iOS will just silently drop the next turn until you put it on charger again.

    There are also cases like VoIP and location services. This is just my guess, but why Skype or Facebook has reports of "draining battery" could be due to the VoIP background service, instead of their messaging service, which usually just pushes the message preview via APNS only without triggering background tasks.
  13. gardiboy macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2011
    Does this also explain why there are constant reloading of apps for 1GB devices?
  14. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Not really noticing my apps reloading on my 6+:rolleyes:
  15. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    FWIW, an apple genius was trying to say that my wife needs to keep doing this otherwise her phone will keep crashing - I thought that was a ludicrous statement and she went to a different apple store to get the phone replaced.

    I think it can help with resources to a small extent, but I don't believe it helps with performance and I think iOS's resource management is very good so this act of closing apps, has a negligible effect imo.

    With Windows phones, I found there was a much bigger effect and its something you want to do, but I've not needed to worry about this for my iPhone/iPad.
  16. Mivo macrumors regular


    Jan 23, 2015
    It has to do something. You can't have a list of "parked" apps, each with their last state and a screencap of the last state, without it taking up resources.
  17. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    Agreed. I do find at times that certain apps seem to lock up the system by running in the background. Things such as applications that use GPS, or even Safari at times will do this and upon opening it again will reload each website.

    Out of paranoia I will generally close unused applications a few times a day. It doesn't seem to make much difference to battery life from what I can tell. I even leave BlueTooth and WiFi on 24/7 and still seems fine.
  18. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    Sure you can. The resource we are talking about is RAM. Inactive app states are saved to flash storage.
  19. colodane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2012
    You should not need to close well-behaved apps. You will, however, occasionally find "rogue" apps that don't play by the rules and suck down your battery when you are not using them.

    No need to be paranoid about this as long as your battery life seems to be near normal. But if you have unexplained battery drain, then closing selective apps is a good trouble shooting tool for finding the culprit. I've successfully used this technique to find a couple apps that were killing my battery life. Needless to say, they are no longer installed.

    Misbehaving apps like this will almost always turn out to be newer apps from small developers. Apps with large market penetration and those from mainstream developers are less likely to exhibit any problems.
  20. Trahearne, Feb 20, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015

    Trahearne macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2014
    Yes, because when apps are in background, generally there is no guarantee that it would never be freed. Once the app is freed, the next time it is called is basically relaunching it from nothing. iOS neither has a disk-backed memory swap for inactive "anonymous" memory as on your Mac or PC, not it would preserve state for apps. Therefore, apps should implement state preservance (incl. auto-save) on their own based on their needs. Some apps actually are designed to recover the exact user state before it was put in to background, while most of the apps usually preserve only the most critical information.

    But freeing other apps from memory happens usually only when the system is desperately running out of memory for the current app in the foreground. If you use only lightweight apps, the chance of such happening is fairly low unless you have really opened really lots of apps before.
  21. miamialley macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Apps that freeze or glitch can be force-quit so they restart. My messages app and ESPN radio need to be force-closed regularly. Messages freezes and ESPN get glitchy.
  22. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    This. Safari gets quite glitchy pretty often for me. On occasion, even force quit wouldn't do the trick and the device needs to be hard reset.
  23. s2mikey macrumors 68020


    Sep 23, 2013
    Upstate, NY
    I'm not really sure but it's so easy to just "close" apps with the swipe gestus that I make a habit of doing it frequently anyways. Why not?

    There are few instances where I want an app to start where I left off. I dunno.

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