Multitasking on/off?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Holty123, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. Holty123 macrumors 6502

    Holty123

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    Crington UK
    #1
    Multitasking was one of the big wants for the iphone, i like the way Apple has implemented it but am i on my own when i say i would like to have the option to turn it on or off? i had a Nokia N95 IN 2007 before the iphone came out here in the UK, and it had multitasking but you were forever bringing the list of running apps up and manually shutting them down to save battery etc. I have the TOM TOM sat nav app on my iPhone and when you have reached your destination you press the home button to close the app but it is still running i then have to go thru the double click hold and close scenario to shut it down. the iPhone seems to be now more complicated to use than before, i now have to explain multitasking to my dad who is in his sixties
    how about an option to turn it on/off or app dev build it into the app so you have the option to leave it running?

    just a thought
    macintime
     
  2. ianray macrumors 6502

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    Jun 22, 2010
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    #2
    An icon in the multi-tasking bar means one of these things:

    • Recently used, but not in memory. Loads from flash, just like after first power-on.
    • Recently used, but suspended in memory. No need to load from flash, so starts quickly.
    • Running.
      • Normally finishes gracefully (user presses pause / logs out, processing / uploading completes, etc).
      • In exceptional cases, force quit is possible (long press, tap red "-" icon).

    I do not have the TomTom App, but -- if coded correctly -- then it should not be running in the background after you have reached your destination (and LocationServices should not drain your battery if your screen is locked). Hope this helps :)
     
  3. thefunkymunky macrumors 65816

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    London
    #3
    Has the TomTom app been updated to support multitasking is iOS4? Sounds to me like it hasn't yet.
     
  4. Holty123 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Holty123

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    #4
    Thanks for that, i explained multitasking/app switching to my wife too she looked at me like i was from another planet, would be simpler if i could just turn it off on her phone.
     
  5. Holty123 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Holty123

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    #5
    Good question maybe not, it's not just the TomTom app just wondering if having the option to turn MT on or off would be a good idea?
     
  6. misterc macrumors member

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    Jan 23, 2008
    #6
    TomTom

    Yes the tomtom app has posted an update and it works well!
     
  7. Holty123 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Holty123

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    #7
    it works very well just using it as an example of multistasking
    :)
     
  8. androiphone macrumors 65816

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    Dec 13, 2009
    #8
    yeah multitasking is not multitasking, all it is is app suspention, the tomtom app should quit after it has reached your destination and the gps should turn off it would then suspend when you press the home button and not use system resources, I wouldnt want it to be turned off as a lot of apps would loose functionality and would become an annoying again waiting to get a GPS signal after a phone call again
     
  9. diabolic macrumors 68000

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    Jun 13, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #9
    If the apps are updated to work properly, you don't need to do any management of the multitasking at all. There are limits on what can continually run in the background and what it can do. If everything is running properly and is updated you should never have to do any task management. Nav apps should suspend once your destination is reached.

    Its still a much better way to do it than letting all apps run in the background until you kill them.
     
  10. kas23 macrumors 603

    kas23

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #10
    If an app that has none of the 7 backgrounding APIs in it is sitting in the multitasking dock, it is using any resources (RAM, processor, battery, etc.)?

    If it is, I would like the option of shutting off multitasking for individual apps. There are some apps that really do not lend themselves to running in the background (or multitasking) at all (ex. clock, converters, etc.). We really shouldn't have to go into the multitasking dock to pluck them out after use.
     
  11. kas23 macrumors 603

    kas23

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    Oct 28, 2007
    #11
    It's not total app suspension. I left my Tom Tom app in the multitasking dock well-after reaching my destination. At some point, it gave me a message saying that I should close it if I'm still not using it as leaving it there will negatively affect battery life.
     
  12. diabolic macrumors 68000

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    Jun 13, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #12
    Were you able to quit the app from the notification box or did you have to manually go close it? It would be nice if it would pop up a reminder and allow you to close it all in one step.
     
  13. Kahnyl macrumors 68000

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    Feb 2, 2009
    #13
    There's something wrong with the board. I keep seeing the same threads over and over.
     
  14. Holty123 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Holty123

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    #14
    well said it's not just me then
     
  15. Holty123 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Holty123

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    #15
    Sorry if this has been posted before.
    did you really need to waste time with your reply
     
  16. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #16
    You DON'T have to go in and pluck them out. Erasing apps like that from that list does nothing. Stop wasting your time doing it.

    I mean, clock? It's still running even after you "close" it on the filmstrip. How do you think alarms work? It's not going to just not wake you up tomorrow because you took it off the quick-switch list.
     
  17. Reluctant Adept macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    #17
    Perhaps you need a simpler explanation? The application switching tray really has nothing to do with multitasking. All it does is list applications you've used starting with the most recently used ones. Selecting an app from the home screen behaves exactly the same way.

    (The fact that you can forcibly quit applications from here is irrelevant to 99% of users who should never need to do so. The audio controls are a nice shortcut that more users might appreciate and it's worth showing her when she's comfortable with the tray's other functions.)

    Not really. The only thing it might be occupying is RAM, but if another application needs it iOS will just take it back without even notifying the suspended application. Free RAM is wasted RAM! If you're not using it, the OS will just keep suspended applications in it so that they can be opened faster.
     
  18. Holty123 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Holty123

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    #18
    ahh i see good man,
     
  19. JonB3Z macrumors 6502

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    Jun 23, 2009
    #19
    The TomTom app keeps using the background location services. One of the annoyances I've found with the TomTom app, although I haven't had a chance to test this on the iOS4 updated version yet, is that even after you reach your destination, it keeps trying to navigate you to it. So if you drive away from your destination, it will start telling you how to get back there.

    For that reason, it makes perfect sense that the backgrounded TomTom app keeps responding to location events in the background.

    It may be the case that if you clear the route the app will stop responding to location events altogether, but it may not. Even if it does still respond, I don't think it will use much battery in background mode.
     
  20. diabolic macrumors 68000

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    #20
    People need to realize they aren't losing anything when the apps are in that list. Not RAM, not CPU, since you don't need free RAM to be sitting there waiting for new apps. The apps aren't bogging down your phone.

    If they run a new app, if it needs more resources, it will get them on its own.

    The design is as close to seamless as they can get.
     
  21. ianray macrumors 6502

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    #21
    An App in the 'suspended' state consumes only RAM. The OS will kick the App out of RAM if some other App needs it.

    The multi-tasking APIs and the Fast Application Switcher (or "multi-tasking dock") are designed so that manual management is not needed.

    This is a bug in the TomTom App. If a location-based App is NOT using LocationServices when entering the background then it is suspended. For more technical details please see the iPhone Dev Center (https://developer.apple.com/iphone).
     
  22. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

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    Sep 8, 2003
    #22
    The problem here is that TomTom tries to be smart, but not smart enough.

    If you have a route set, it will try to navigate in the background. What it doesn't do is clear the route when you reach your destination, you have to do that manually. Clear the route and TomTom will happily pause in the background correctly waiting for the next time you need it.

    Removing it from the tray does kill the app. Apple apps tend to relaunch if they need to. Alarms and the like are run by a daemon, so the app need not be running. This same daemon handles local notifications.
     
  23. JonB3Z macrumors 6502

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    Jun 23, 2009
    #23
    Unless, of course, the app is using one of the background APIs, in which case the app must remain in memory, no? In the case of a GPS app, if it is using the location API to keep updating its location, it could remain in memory indefinitely until you kill it. Frankly, that's the behavior you want since iOS4 has no way of knowing when you want the app to stop collecting location data.

    For example, I'm using MotionX GPS to record tracks of my bike rides. The app is generally in the background and is getting location data continually. It will do this pretty much forever, as far as I can tell. The app even has settings you can use to control this: "Always On," keeping the GPS receiver on all of the time; "Optimized," keeping the GPS receiver on only when you have told the app to record a track; and "Always Off," turning the GPS receiver off when the app is backgrounded. (Of course, the GPS receiver could stay on if another backgrounded app is using it.)

    So while for most apps, you don't need to kill them from the background, there can be apps that stay there indefinitely, it seems to me.
     
  24. jtara macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #24
    All/most GPS navigation apps do this. It's in case you somehow missed your destination. Usually they do have a "stop navigating" button, but that doesn't generally turn off the GPS, since it can (and does) still display a map of your current location.

    A reasonable compromise, then, would be that if you switch-away from a navigation app when you are not navigating, then it should stop using Location Services, and disable background features other than fast-switching.

    I do think Apple goofed here. What is needed, at minimum, is some kind of indicator that an app on the most-recently-used list is running in background. Perhaps a little "led light" on the icon. Even better would be a two-color LED light - one color for actively operating in background, another color for fast-switching only. The "led" should appear on the icon both in the multitasking dock and on the desktop.

    There is a privacy issue here, as well. Say, you use one of those nifty "check-in" apps, and of course they are all going to be updated to use Location Services in background, and of course they are going to be updated to do automatic check-ins. Your wife likes to check-up on you to make sure you are doing you're "honey-dos". So, you drop off the kids on time, check-in at the drug store, a repair shop, and a massage par.... Oops!

    The problem here is that users are only going to be vaguely aware, if at all, of which apps are actually running in background. In many cases the only clue they would have had is a terse "supports 4.0!" in the update info on the App Store. Or maybe burried in a Privacy Statement that you didn't read.
     
  25. diabolic macrumors 68000

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    #25
    That sounds like a case where you have to explicity allow it keep running by setting it to "always". I just don't think you will have a situation where you have 10+ apps constantly running in the background draining the battery under normal conditions. I really doubt most users will ever have to manually quit an app using this system once all the apps are updated.

    I don't think it's a problem. It's the basic theory behind the design. The idea is that most people don't need to know if something is running in the background and the apps will just work while doing their best to preserve battery.
     

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