iOS 4 - serious Multitasking Implementation problem

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by robweg, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. robweg macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2008
    Hi all,

    yesterday evening i sent my iP 4 to sleepmode with 65% battery load. Today it was off, zero battery load.
    First i suspected a battery problem, but then i remembered that before i put it away yesterday, i shortly used the B.iCycle - app (a GPS tracker for bicycle tour). Obviously when i closed the app, it didnt close entirely, it was running in background and draining the battery the whole time.

    I called the apple support and they confirmed my assumptions.

    The problem is, there is no way to see wich apps are running(!) in the back because EVERY app you use goes to the task switcher.
    So, to be sure that no app is draining your battery, you have to go to the taskmanager after using an app that utilizes GPS for example (an there are a lot of apps doing that), press the icons for some time that it starts blinking and "the minus" appears and close the app again.

    Apple support agreed with that as well.
    Their "workaround" suggestion was to put the Iphone in flightmode during the night, or kill all apps from the taskswitcher every now and then.

    Really? I mean, really?
    Not very Apple like, sounds more like Microsoft to me. :)

    Thats a really poor implementation of multitasking i think. There has to be a way -when closing an app- to decide if it goes in the background or closes completely. In earlier OS versions you could just hold the main button for a longer time and you could kill frozen apps for example, but if you do that now the speech dial function comes on, so thats not an option.
    So i hope they find another easy way to do that.
    I just find it curious that nobody at Apple saw that problem.

    I think it would help if more people filed that as a problem, so they will fix it soon.

    cheers, rob

    UPDATE: And on a sidenote, if your not interested in this or dont care, thats totally fine with me. But please: its really not neccessary to waste space by posting that. Thanks
  2. rockstarjoe macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2006
    washington dc
    If an app is tracking you, it shows it in the menu bar (the arrow icon). If you see that, just close the app. I don't think it is that big of a deal personally.
  3. Macjames macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2007
    Yorkshire, England
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8A293 Safari/6531.22.7)

    To kill an app when quiting hold the power button until the off slider appears then hold the home button.
  4. Orbane macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2010
    There are several apps out there to show you running processes on your iPhone. I agree it shouldn't be necessary, but if you check them out every so often it's easy to learn which apps stay open. I have not experienced the battery draining issue, but would definitely kill suspect apps before putting the phone down for the night if I had.

    Multitasking needs an easy way to see which apps are actually 'running' and not adding every app you've opened to the list :\
  5. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC

    If the GPS is running it will show by the clock. I'm surprised Apple didn't tell you this, but now you know.

    You find it curious that noboday at Apple fixed that GPS app? That's the developer's job. If it doesn't give you good choices when using it then they should re-write their app. That's no one's fault but their own.
  6. robweg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2008
    Oh come on, even Apple wasn't so pissy about this. Im not an Apple basher, i love my phone, i'm just pointing out a problem, ok?
    Its not about GPS (if an app uses internet or push services or VOIP in the background you dont see that) and its not about the developer (every app runs through an approval process, remember?).
    The facts are:
    -Every app (every!) goes to the task switcher and you have no way of telling if its running in the back or not.
    -There is no easy (easy like all the rest of the iphone functions) way to decide if an app really closes or goes in the background and keeps running.
  7. robweg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2008
    Thanks for that hint.
    But i dont want to do that every time i use an app thats uses GPS oder Internet or Push or whatever. There has to be a better way to implement that.
  8. TruckdriverSean macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2009
    Texas, US
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    If that is what we're assuming has killed your battery overnight (and we are "assuming" to be sure), then this may be the simplest workaround for that app until Apple or the developer figure out their fix.
  9. rmwhite macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2010
    There are five API's.

    1. Fast task switching. Programs are loaded into flash memory so you can call up Angry Birds at the same place as before. This takes no battery.

    2. Background music. You'll know if this is happening because sound will be coming out of your device. If your device is making sound, stop the program making the sound.

    3. Navigation. If there is a navigation app running, there's a little notification on the clock bar, over by the battery indicator. If you see this icon, quit the navigation program.

    4. Task completion. Uploading a photo or file in dropbox will be completed after you close the program. The battery drain will continue for up to ten minutes, at which time it will revert to "fast app switching" which again takes no battery. If your task takes less than ten minutes, it will revert to fast switching mode after the task is completed.

    5. VoIP. This is a semi-passive service, allowing the phone to remain connected to a VoIP server and subsequently receive call notifications. This shouldn't take much battery, as it is not an active process.

    There is no need to kill any process besides audio and GPS apps, and both of these have clear indicators that they are running.
  10. KoukiFC3S macrumors 6502a

    Jul 4, 2010
    Only GPS and streaming music apps run in the background. GPS apps will show you the location icon on the top of the screen, and you can hear the music apps.

    VOIP and internet apps cannot run in the background. Task completions apps have 10 minutes to finish what they were doing, and then are frozen.
  11. rmwhite macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2010
    Beat you :)
  12. ntrigue macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    Thanks robweg!

    I love how Apple's review process spends more time handicapping Apps for private APIs while missing critical bugs like this one.
  13. shakenmartini macrumors 6502

    Apr 29, 2008
    As mentioned above, the phone tells you when gps is used in the background.

    Otherwise, how do you propose that the iPhone is supposed to know when you want an app to log gps in the background versus not?

    Most other gps apps have a start and stop button for logging and gps logging is a battery hog. So either the app dev needs to fix their app, or you need to wait for apple to update the iPhone with mind reading capabilities.
  14. robweg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2008
    No mind reading neccessary. You Desktop-OS doesn't have mind reading capability neither or has it? Its decided by what buttons you press. So:

    Just a simple 1x homebutton = close down the app / 2x homebutton = opens taskswitcher and there would be a button "keep in background) would do the trick.
    Or an "X" and an "_" button (provided by the OS) in the top right corner of every app . Or whatever... i'm sure apple can come up with something easy.
  15. aerodoc macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2009
    I do not care for the way the multi-tasking has been implemented. Seems like we should have better control of killing an app or defining if it should even go to the background in the first place.
  16. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    But why should this be Apple's job? That's the part you haven't answered.

    How annoyed would every media player app be if Apple told them exactly how their 'play/pause' button worked? How annoyed would every game be if Apple told them how their 'save game' button had to work?

    Doesn't Apple have enough control over these developers? Why should we be begging for even more?

    So why should Apple force their way into all the apps and tell them how to do backgrounding/save states? It should be a choice the developer has, not something that they're forced to do a particular way.
  17. aelalfy macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2010
    Berlin, Germany

    I'm guessing, just my own opinion, that they might release a software update to address this issue. I mean the signal issue is known and they have the formula to fix it, but yet they said they will release an update in a "couple of weeks" if I recall correctly. My guess is that they will address many other software related bugs.


  18. mackmgg macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2007
    If you are on a jailbroken iPhone, install Remove Recents. Its a great free utility that removes recents, and only shows apps that are actually running when you double tap the home button.
  19. gloss macrumors 601


    May 9, 2006
    Easier way is just to bring up the multitasking menu, hold the GPS app icon until the minus badge comes up, and close it. It'll get rid of the GPS use.

    And you can tell when your GPS is being used in the background by the little compass arrow icon that'll pop up next to the battery percentage. It's really not that complex.
  20. robweg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2008
    I'm sorry, do you have an iphone?
    That is exactly what Apple does anyway. They control EVERY app, they have EXTENSIVE guidelines about what an app is allowed to do and what not.
    A lot of apps get rejected every day because of minor rule violations.

    If the iphone was an open platform, i would agree, its not their job. But they made it their job. They make a lot of money (really, a lot) by having total control over the apps on your phone, so i expect them to take care that apps give you a choice about the way they close or implement something in the OS.
  21. futbalguy macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2007
    Im sorry but I dont understand how anything ive read so far in this thread presents a problem that apple needs to fix. As has already been stated, GPS and background audio are the only two processes that could run all night to run down your battery. There are clear indicators in the menubar for these apps when they are running. I dont think that it is asking too much for you to remember to check these 2 very obvious indicators before you turn off your phone. Apple cant hold your hand through everything considering their implementation of backgrounding is already about as simplified as it gets. If there are other processes that could run down the battery then I could understand your concern.
  22. robweg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2008
    yeah, maybe its just me. I just find it anoying after using an app that uses GPS (and i have about 12 of them) to:
    - press the home button to close
    - check the top bar, if there is the GPS icon still active
    - double click the homebutton to open the taskswitcher
    - hold an icon for 5 seconds fro the minus to apear
    - press the minus
    - and press to the homebutton again to close the switcher
    every time(!) i use one of these apps. Because its extremely seldom that i want one of these apps to stay active in the back.

    But hey, maybe thats just me.
    It just dont find this process very iphony. :)
  23. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    So every Twitter app is exactly the same?
    And every race car game is identical?
    And each notepad app has the same features as all the others?

    No, of course not. So when I say "every GPS app doesn't need to be the same" I have lots of proof right there in the app store to back me up.

    What "extensive guidlines" exist that say an app has to be exactly like its competitors? It's nice that you can explain the approval process to me, but it really does nothing to prove your point.
  24. mrblack927 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 19, 2008
    Go to settings > general > location services. There you can set which apps are allowed to use passive GPS. That should at least help.
  25. robweg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2008
    thanks, but i tried that. If you deactivate location services for an app there, the app is not allowed location services AT ALL.

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