iPhone 4 app killer programs???

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by Goldielocks19, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. Goldielocks19 macrumors member


    Jan 27, 2009
    I've searched around with no answer.
    Question is there an app for iPhone 4 that will close all apps like androids advanced task killer??
    I use free memory now but even after the iPhone 4 update it's too slow. Closing programs individually all day is a tad annoying.
    Any suggestions??
  2. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    There's no way Apple would allow such an app on the App Store.

    Their approach to multitasking means that you shouldn't have any problems with memory or running applications.
  3. grahamnp macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2008
    Steve jobs implied that the requirement of a task manager means that the phone has failed so you won't see one on the app store. I don't think the iphone 4 jailbreak is out yet but when it is (only a matter of time) you can install SBSettings which will give you a simple task manager.
  4. eigentourist macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2010
    Regarding app killers

    I know this thread is aging already but...

    I still find myself wanting a one-touch app killer though and am planning to write if only for my own convenience. I don't care for leaving a growing number of apps in the background, even if most of them are suspended. Prior to my iphone 4, doing that on my 3GS caused it to slow down drastically after about 6 apps in the background.
  5. Irish Rose macrumors 65816

    May 29, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8A306 Safari/6531.22.7)

    There is no need for a program like this, as the apps don't run in the background, the way they do on an Android device.
  6. kas23 macrumors 603


    Oct 28, 2007
    Apple must have failed then. I have to close programs on a daily basis via the "multitasking bar". The reason? Some apps just become unresponsive sometimes and hang, like mail or Beejive. Before, to close them totally, all we had to do was hit the home button to reset the app. Now, we need to task manage and close the app via the "multitasking bar". I wish Apple would give us another way of force quitting.

    The thing that really drives me up the wall is when iPod app is in the taskba...I mean multitasking bar twice.
  7. eigentourist macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2010
    Yes, I'm aware that most of them are suspended. Maybe I have a touch of OCD, but it just bothers me to have an increasing number of them sitting back there.

    Besides, as I said on my 3GS, an increasing number of backgrounded/suspended apps had a perceptible effect on responsiveness.
  8. kas23 macrumors 603


    Oct 28, 2007
    You also have to have a good knowledge of exactly what your app does. For example, all those apps that ask you for your location for no good reason (like games), are they running background location services while they are "suspended"? I'm not really sure. If they are, these could be silent battery killers.
  9. stoked1 macrumors newbie

    Jun 29, 2009
    Thanks for that !!
    I've had my iPhone 4 for over a week, and I've just figured out how to kill the 30 or so apps lurking in the background: double-click the home button to see the active apps, then hold your finger on one app till they all get a minus sign beside them. Tap the minus sign of each app you want to stop.

    Relief!! One of my GPS marine chart apps wasn't able to start due to too many apps running in the background.
  10. Compile 'em all macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

    Apr 6, 2005
    Dude, how many times do we have to say this?


    Sheesh. This bar is a RECENTS APPS SWITCHER. Unless the app is explicitly written to be use one of the 7 Apple backgrounding services, any app displayed in that bar isn't running. Skype for example didn't support the VOIP background service, so even though it showed up in that bar if you exited the app, it couldn't receive calls. Only when Skype updated it to support the VOIP backgrounding service, it could run that particular service in the background.
  11. TAZZ macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2011
    Yes it is a battery killer

    Sorry to burst the bubble, but I have had my iPhone 4 since they became public availible. The battery life was great at first but it got shorter and shorter with time. Last week it would not last more than about 6 hours on standby. I was just about to send it in for repair, when I found out about the apps running in the background. I tapped my home key and WOW, ther were every app i had ever opened. I shut them all down and WOW, my phone now lasts the same amount of time as day one. I do not care what anyone says about running in the background or not it is an issue and I too want a way to either properly shut down each one as i leave them or a single button to shut them all down! I hate going in and shutting them down everytime I get done with them through the home button, waste of my time.
  12. Sedrick macrumors 68030


    Nov 10, 2010
    I'm with you on that. I had 70% battery last night before I went to bed. Got up to 20%! Tell me those apps down there aren't sucking battery. There's no easy way to know which ones are still 'active', so a one button KILL would be fantastic.
  13. psonice macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    The ONLY apps running in the background should be navigation apps (that need to keep running to provide directions etc.), VOIP apps so you can continue a call, and music players. And they should only be running in the background if they're actively doing stuff - i.e. if the music player is paused, it gets suspended.

    If you've got something killing battery life, you need to figure out which app it is, because it's badly broken. I run tons of apps here and don't see any such issues. The only 'downside' is some slowdown, and that happens only when the OS is closing background apps to free up memory (which takes a second or two).

    One thing I have heard of causing this kind of issue is some of the jailbreak software (which can bypass apple's task management system). I'd check that first if you've jailbroken.
  14. 33rpmLP macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2011
    Memory Allocation

    Not necessarily. Some of the apps could be huge memory hogs. I'm not entirely sure how the iPhone handles memory management, but my guess would be that all "open" apps in the task bar have memory allocated which can't be freed until the app is closed. For large apps (like games), this means that there are huge blocks of memory allocated that probably force the OS to run memory management routines more frequently. So even though the app itself may not be running, it's forcing the OS to be a lot more active. I'm sure caching could come into play as well.

    Granted, the above is just my hypothesis, but I too have noticed this problem, and my phone (3GS) is definitely not jailbroken. I've had apps hang (e.g. Facebook), I've noticed the battery drain more quickly, and I've seen a significant slowdown occur when the taskbar is filled with apps.

    I suppose you could test this by downloading a system info app and determining how much memory is in use and how active the processor is when the taskbar is full vs. empty. In fact, I think I'll do that now...
  15. immortalsoule macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2007
    Are you serious? Have you ever heard of SBSetting? It has an apps kill feature on it an TONS of stuff runs in the background until it's killed. I mean, the main reason you can drop out of a game and come back to it later is because it's running in the background.

    I love the Apple iPad but let's be serious, it's memory efficiency is horrible. iPad kicks butt on a LOT of things but Steve Jobs really doesn't know the meaning of "tweaking" when it comes to something like this.

    Honestly, i am SO thankful for Cydia and the people that are so driven to make these small programs, that make the iPad so much better, do what they do and they should be applauded for their efforts.
  16. kiljoy616 macrumors 68000


    Apr 17, 2008
    Well said. I don't Jailbreak my iphone or ipad since I have had no need for it but I can say I am glad that Cydia and the people who back it up should be applauded for their hard work. Keep it up.:D
  17. gks macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2010
    That game is NOT running in the background. The games state is saved to a file. If the game does not need to be removed from memory then that state is saved in ram. But if another app needs that memory then the app is actually shut down entirely. THen when the app is reloaded the state is opened from the file. It's basic stuff.

    Applications only ever run in the background for 4 reasons. Let me list them for you so you don't get all confused here... like most people seem to be..

    1) GPS -> An app running in the background using GPS will have an arrow in the right side of the menu bar at the top of the screen.

    2) Audio -> An app like Instacast or Pandora running in the background will have a play button in the right side of the menu bar at the top of the screen

    3) VOIP -> An app like Skype could be running in the background during a voip call and you can tell these are running by the blue menu bar at the top of the screen

    If you don't see any of those icons or menu bar items then there is only one other option for an app to run in the background.

    4) Background Completion -> An app has at most 10 minutes to complete a task that was started while the app was running. Finishing a sync, an upload, finish sending a message, etc. After 10 minutes whether the task is complete or not the app is killed. If it's complete the app is killed right after.

    So... those are the ONLY ways an app can be running in the background. three of the four show you explicitly that they are running in the background. The fourth method can only run for 10 minutes.

    You do not need to kill applications. Apps may stay in memory, but they are not running. The reason they stay in memory is to make loading them faster if you switch to them again. If the memory is needed the memory is freed and given to another app. It's just like how a computer works. In memory does not mean using processor power.
  18. immortalsoule macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2007
    Sorry, but i've gotta call you on this, you're off-topic. Did you even READ the quote that i outlined when i replied? I was generalizing to "apps in general". I said NOTHING about a "game" specifically.

    Let me help you get back on-topic: "There is no need for a program like this, as the apps don't run in the background, the way they do on an Android device." - was the quote i replied to.

    Because programs (whether it be game or app) DO sit in background memory. There might be "some" which are designed to actually self-terminate when backed out of. But, about 96% of them are still sitting there and taking up memory. This is why i mentioned SBSettings. Even with SBSettings, there are some apps that won't even terminate when SBSettings tries to kill them (often it's the built in MAIL or VIDEO apps).

    This 10 minute rule you're talking about, obviously it never met the game "Contract Killer" (which i play a lot and sometimes leave setting alone for over an hour) because it's still there when i come back to it and that's often after an hour of waiting.

    You can sit here and argue all you want but my iPad tends to slow down and hesitate sometimes and that's "because" it's running out of memory and i have to manually clear it out with SBSettings.

    I'm going to leave my post at this, not going to be pulled into some long and drawn out argument. It's pointless to go on when i experience what I've mentioned here, daily.

    All you other dudes, keep on keepin on.
  19. gks, Apr 20, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011

    gks macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2010
    I'm a developer. I know how this stuff works. So until you provide me any actual proof then you're talking out your ass compared to apple documentation.

    Here's what's happening. Games or ANY app will be frozen into a state that can be reloaded. This state is what is commonly referred to as "Fast App Switching." This means that any app designed to take advantage of this will appear as though it was never actually quit. That's why a game will have itself "paused" and when you come back to it even days later it will appear as though you never left it. This is by design.

    An app will NOT LEAVE MEMORY until the operating system declares it needs that memory. Free memory is wasted memory. There are several states memory can be allocated for. To make things simple let's talk about 3 of those states. Free meaning nothing is in there. Which is what you're probably seeing in SBSettings. If you leave an app, it will not "free" that memory. Why should it? If you go back to that app it may as well just load the app from RAM since it is significantly faster than loading it from flash memory. Just because the app is in memory doesn't mean it is actually running.

    So, let's summarize. An app can be in memory and not be running. Memory is simply that. Memory. It can be flagged for clearing if another app decides it needs more memory than what is free. So when an app is quit, that memory is flagged for removal. If another app needs it, it can have it. In fact, this is true of ANY app not currently in the foreground. That's why if you fire up other apps like Pandora or Instacast, start playing audio, then run several other apps in an attempt to use up memory. Eventually Pandora/Instacast will stop playing audio because some other app needed memory and was foreground.

    It's the same deal as what happens with Safari. If you load a webpage, go into another app, come back to safari and the page needs to reload. The memory was effectively marked as flagged for destruction and some other app needed it so it was reallocated to another app.

    Since you seem to be a cocky ass... let's back it up with some actual proof from the Apple Developer documentation.

    iOS Application Programming Guide

    This means that you can have Audio, GPS, or VOIP apps running in the background. The other option is Task Completion (Under the heading "Completing a Finite-Length Task in the Background") which as I stated has a maximum of 10 minutes to complete.

    No app can exist in the background and run code. You do not need a task killer app, nor do you need to kill tasks using the minus sign. The operating system will handle it all for you.

    Don't be a dick, dick.
  20. problematique macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2011

    Gks you seem well versed. All of what you are saying regarding memory makes sense. However, why do background apps take such a toll on battery life? This would be the main reason a App Killer would come in handy for me.
    I originally had an issue where the battery was down to about 33% by the end of the work day. VERY minimal use and Push turned off. Always charged fully the night before. After a few days of this I decided to go in and "kill" all of the apps. Same routine, charged all night and by the end of my work day I had 97%! This a very large margin. Your thoughts?
  21. gks macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2010
    It is likely a bug or a reception thing. I've had the same thing happen but it doesn't seem to correlate to background apps. It seems more related to push notifications. Seems push notifications draw a fair amount of power and I'm not entirely sure why.

    For example. If I'm on my computer using Adium and send let's say several hundred messages to various friends, they reply let's say an equal number of times my phone gets every push notification for all of those messages. Battery life takes a real hit even though I'm not actually using the phone, over the course of an hour or so of talking to people my battery life ticks downward 25% just due to push notifications.

    My hunch is that there may be a push notification bug that is causing some serious battery drain.

    I try to turn my phone off at night too, which really seems to help overall battery longevity. I realize not everyone is willing to do this, but it really helped a lot I think with my original iPhone which at the end of it's two years of use had the same battery life going out as it did coming in. I was getting around 4h30m of usage time even after two years. So I've been doing the same thing with my 3GS and now my iPhone 4. This has another benefit and that would be resetting any background tasks that may be doing something stupid.

    I'm not above admitting that there may be a bug in the multi-tasking system that is causing your symptoms either. But the thing to realize here is that it would be a bug, not normal behavior, and as such, a task killer shouldn't be needed. If you're seeing this type of behavior I strongly suggest you write down which apps you killed from the tray and report it to the author of the app. If you can kill one app at a time and see which app is truly causing the issue you're well on your way to helping a lot of people I suspect. I think some developers have found ways to work the multi-tasking system a bit and those are not approved ways of using it, how they get through the review process I don't know, but if it's causing problems report it to the developer and maybe they'll pull their heads out of their asses.

    The reason i say talk to the developer of the app is that they typically know how to contact apple and report bugs (via Radar) so that they can be resolved. Plus they'd be interested in following up with Apple if the problem continues.
  22. stillnotsold macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2011
    2cents worth from newbie

    Great information in this long running thread!

    FWIW...I've had a 3Gen 64G Touch since Sept 2010. Started noticing horrible battery life this past January. Called Apple Tech Support and they suggested I setup appointment with local Apple Store Support Desk. Took it in and the Support rep tested battery (checked out OK) and then IMMEDIATELY showed me how to run task manager and close apps (I was unaware of this "feature" so every app I'd opened since Sept 2010 was still open). He said that would fix the problem and it has.

    Not providing an appkiller-type program for IPhones/iPods/iPads just seems idiotic to me if Apple support acknowledges that leaving apps "open" effects battery life.

    The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if the cell phone companies don't want any easy method for closing apps when they switch to tiered pricing for data access in the near future. :eek:
  23. Goodz macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2011
    I do tech support for an independent company that bought 4,000 iPhone 4's last year. One of the major problems with the phone is the iOS4. The multitasking "feature" is terrible. It doesn't work as intended for every app, especially ours, and is a pain to deal with. We have to tell the people we gave phones to every day how to kill all the apps and power cycle the phone so it works 'normal' again. The process of killing all the apps is tedious and not easy to do if you are not tech savvy, which most of our clients are not. I have also noticed the difference in battery life between killing all apps vs not killing any apps and the phone DOES die much quicker when you don't kill the apps on a daily, or at the very least weekly basis. I have also noticed, and have confirmed with clients, that the phone 'heats up' and 'gets very hot' from time to time. Killing all the apps and power cycling the phone seems to fix that as well. So for all you experts on here who say that there isn't a problem with the iOS4 multitasking feature, you obviously don't do tech support for a living with these devices.
  24. immortalsoule macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2007
    I tried to tell 'em, but some just won't listen. I was waiting for someone like you to come around and set the record straight. :p
  25. gzlm4t macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2011
    I am so happy to find this! I noticed my battery getting worse and worse on my iPod Touch 4 that I bought 2 months ago. I thought it was the iOS 4.3.3 update. I just killed all the apps in that taskbar and am hoping my battery life returns. After finding this thread, I did find in the manual this:

    View your recently used apps (iPod touch 3rd generation or later): Double-click the
    Home button.
    Remove an app from the recents list: Touch and hold the app icon until it begins to jiggle, then tap . Removing an app from the recents list also forces it to quit.

    Thanks to all the practical users out there!

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