Most apps still don't "multitask"

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by Mad Mac Maniac, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. Mad Mac Maniac macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

    Oct 4, 2007
    A little bit of here and a little bit of there.
    I know what of the elements of multitasking is task completion in the background even when you close the app.

    I haven't really been experiencing apps that capitalize on this... It seems like if I try to refresh/update many of my apps (like pageonce, pulse news, twitter) and then exit. Wait a minute or so and re-enter the apps the update picks up right where it left off instead of being fulled loaded as it should be if it were updating in the background.

    I'm not sure if this isn't how the API works, or maybe there's a reason many apps don't use it, or something. Whatever the reason, it goes to show that while Apple's "multitasking" solution may help battery life, there are still a lot of flaws in it's implementation.
  2. dave420 macrumors 65816

    Jun 15, 2010
    Most of the time only the state of the app is saved, so when you resume the app it starts where it left off. Some apps will continue processing in the background for a few minutes (I think there is a ten minute maximum).
    One disadvantage to apps that keep doing work in the background is the extra battery use. This can be fixed by either killing the app or stopping whatever processing it was doing in the background (i.e. if its a chatting app, exit the chatroom before hitting the home button, or else it may keep a connection to the server after it appears the app is closed).
  3. iphone1105 macrumors 68020


    Oct 8, 2009
  4. darkside flow macrumors 6502

    darkside flow

    Aug 11, 2010
    There are 7 different multitasking APIs that will allow apps to function in the background different ways. It's up to the developer to program for this.

    Here is a full rundown:

    Most apps just use fast app switching that allows the saving of the application state. It will not update in the background, which is what saves battery life.

    However, some apps are programed to continue operating, such as audio apps, VoIP apps, location services apps, etc. Other apps can utilize push notifications to notify you of messages or alerts while the app is suspended.

    If you want your apps to have free range to run in the background and are willing to take the hit on battery life, jailbreak and use backgrounder.
  5. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    It sounds like these apps don't take advantage of 'Task Completion.' (See Darkside's post.) It'd be possible to do what you're asking, they just don't do it.

    That doesn't allow them to then load new info 10 minutes from now, but the exact way you described it here is possible if they wanted to do it.

    For an example, check out the photo editor Photogene. Do some complicated stuff, save the photo and instantly close the app. Go to your photo roll and the saved photo will appear about 10 seconds later when it's done doing all the processing. So Twitter could do that. It just wasn't made to.
  6. Mad Mac Maniac thread starter macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

    Oct 4, 2007
    A little bit of here and a little bit of there.
    yes I know how Apple's multitasking is implemented. I know there is only access to those 7 API's.

    ONE of them happens to be "Task completion" which I'm not really sure how that works or what all the the limitations are. I assumed that basically if the developer decides to let you then any part of the app that was running when you closed will continue to run. (for that 10 minute span)

    I haven't really seemed to notice any apps taking advantage of task completion. That is my point. I figured by now all apps would have this implemented, so I'm wondering if it can only be used in certain ways, or it's difficult to use, or what.
  7. BergerFan macrumors 68020


    Mar 6, 2008
    Mos Eisley
    Tell me about it. The Engadget app only got around to adding a multitasking update, today.

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