Something is constantly running in the background (4.2.1)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by fishmoose, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. fishmoose macrumors 68000

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    #1
    Hi,

    I noticed on my iPhone 4 (once), on my sisters iPhone 3G and my mom's iPhone 3GS that the usage time is the same as the standby time after a charge. That means that something is running in the background all the time. I do know this isn't supposed to happen on iOS but clearly it does. I fixed it on mine by rebooting it once, however on my sisters iPhone 3G and my mom's 3GS rebooting it does not help.

    Anyone has any clue what the hell this is about and how to fix it?
     
  2. Tom G. macrumors 68000

    Tom G.

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    Champaign/Urbana Illinois
    #2
    Turn what ever it is off.

    Double click on the "Home Button". This will bring up the multi-tasking bar at the bottom of the screen. All icons that you see there are running in the background.

    Touch and hold on an icon and you'll see a red circle come up on each icon in its upper left hand corner. Touch it and it will close the icon. Make sure you turn them all off.

    I do this each night when I'm done with the phone for the day.
     
  3. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #3
    I'm sorry, but this advice is incorrect.

    That is a list of recently-used apps, nothing more. Some of them MAY be running, but being on the list has nothing to do with that. There is no reason to close them all like you're doing. Force-quitting is ONLY needed if an app is frozen or somehow stuck. You are seriously wasting a lot of time every night.

    And you might say "well, at least it closes them all and it'll fix his problem" but it sounds like something is buggy on the OP's phone. If an app is buggy and not shutting down then there's no promise that closing it on that list will actually kill it. Chances are it'll just keep being buggy and run anyway.

    No...we need to identify the actual problem. (Even if it does work, it's still guesswork. Force-quitting 20 apps every day just to fix 1 bad one doesn't sound like my idea of a good time.)

    OP, since you don't know what app is being bad, we need to figure that out first. First: The obivous ones - Do you have an arrow up by the clock all the time? That means something is running the GPS. Can you try temporarily disabling your Mail accounts and see if that solves it? It's possible your mail is constantly checking the server even though it's not supposed to.

    Also, try getting one of the utility apps like 'iStat' or 'System Lite' and study their system processes lists to see what's running.

    It won't be simple, many things are supposed to be in there. It doesn't mean that app is being bad, it may just have saved some info that it'll want to pull up later. You'll have to do some tests. Restart all the phones and examine their battery meters periodically to find out when the problems start. See if you can nail down which one is causing the problem based on that.

    My wife had this problem last year and we narrowed it down to her mail app, but there was no way to "fix" the mail app without just reformatting the phone. If you find the problem isn't a 3rd party app, that's what you'll have to do as well.

    Good luck.
     
  4. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #4
    Sound advice. OP listen to him.
     
  5. fishmoose thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #5
    Yeah, that's my point of attack right now. As I said I only experienced it once on my phone, an iPhone 4. I've personally restarted the phones that is causing problems it's a no go. The same thing happens. I'm starting to think something has gone wrong with the update to 4.2.1. I did a google search and some say it's a wifi problem. I turned off Wifi and let the 3GS lay for ten minutes and the usage was still the same as standby time. I'm no novice to the iPhone and I understand how multitasking works and since the problem still is persistent after a hard reboot it almost have to be on a OS level right?

    It's also interesting to note that my sister's iPhone 3G (my old phone) multitasking isn't even supported so I can't for the life of my understand why this is happening on that phone.

    Anyhow, I'll download a system management app on their phones and report back.
     
  6. Tom G. macrumors 68000

    Tom G.

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    #6
    I did not mean to say that the advice I gave would fix his problem. But it could very easily point to it if one of them was causing the problem. I should have added that if it did fix it that then he needed to zero in on the offender by turning them off a few at a time to find the offender.

    Yes I turn off the apps in the evening before I plug it into the charger as I have found out that if a GPS app such as RunKeeper is running in the background that it eats up the battery. Now my unit will fully charge overnight if I don't turn this app off but why make the charger work harder than it is. It would be like starting up a dehumidifier in a room without first turning off the humidifier. Yes the dehumidifier may do its job but your making it work extra hard.

    Lastly unlike some people turning off a few apps at night is not the great effort to me, that it seems to be for others. it's only a matter of pushing a couple of buttons and takes about 15 seconds or less for me to do. I consider it good housekeeping.
     
  7. haulis macrumors regular

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    Mar 11, 2009
    #7
    I had this happen as well, I ended up turning off all push notifications and turning them back on, this seems to have fixed it for me. My standby and usage time are no longer the same.
     
  8. fishmoose thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #8
    Okay I figured it out, maps and the phone app launch after a reboot and there's no way to quit them. I'm guessing a restore is the only solution?
     
  9. Mosi macrumors regular

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    The Nations Capital
    #9
    This same phenomenon is happening on my iPhone 4. It started rather recently. I think it may be tied to the most recent update or an app that I installed. My phone has never been jailbroken.

    I can charge it all night and take it off the charger at 100% and by the time I arrive at work (45 minutes to an hour) it will already be down to 90% with no activity other then a few text messages.

    I restored a couple nights ago and started as a brand new phone and I am still seeing the same thing happen.

    After reading this thread I decided to do some testing, and even with the phone in Airplane mode the battery continued to drain over the course of an hour and the usage continued to run. There were a large number of apps suspended in the multi-tasking tray but nothing that I haven't really used before.

    I have killed all the apps and will continue to watch it.
     
  10. Infraggable Kru macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    #10
    If your battery life is normal then you guys are worrying too much.

    The most important thing is how long your battery life is, the battery percent display can be off due to several things. What kind of battery life (from 100% to a completely dead phone) are you guys getting ?
     
  11. Bigtree macrumors 6502

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    Aug 7, 2007
    #11
    Then why does my battery life vary? i.e same talk time, same usage, etc.
    I wish there was a blue dot under each app (like my dock) that would show what's still running.
     
  12. Infraggable Kru macrumors regular

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    Dec 23, 2010
    #12
    huh :confused:

    Its never going to be exactly the same use 100% of the time, but even if it was, usage time can vary due to a lot of things, biggest two factors that kill a battery are use and heat
     
  13. patent10021, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010

    patent10021 macrumors 68020

    patent10021

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    #13
    Funniest quote award. Congratulations.








    .
     
  14. fishmoose thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #14
    What I found was that maps was running on both phones which is odd since the 3G shouldn't even run anything in the background at all. I restored both the 3G and the 3GS and they seem to be working fine now. If I leave the phones for 10-minutes the standby goes up but not the usage which is the normal way. The owners of both phones have reported better battery life as well.

    So what I can recommend to anyone that has this issue (this is what I did) write feedback to Apple since this is clearly a bug in 4.2.1 and restore the phones as new. Not that fun to do but it seemed to fix it on both phones anyway.
     
  15. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    Washington DC
    #15
    It's not that it's hard, it's that it's pointless.

    It's easy for me to put my shoes in the freezer, but that's still a waste of time to do that because it doesn't DO anything. Most of those apps aren't running in the background. "Closing" them isn't doing anything.

    But you have one exception, I see. RunKeeper. So is it helping there? Yeah, but closing 19 apps for no reason just to get that 1 is a big waste of time.

    So if RunKeeper is running in the background you need to investigate why that is. Is there a setting in there that you've left set the wrong way? Is there a 'quit' button within it you're missing? Is it simply buggy and should be reinstalled?

    Whatever the answer is, I'm sure there is one. The people who made RunKeeper surely don't intend their app to run 24/7, you've just got to figure out how they want you to use their app.

    You've come up with this little ritual that, yes, solves the problem, but it'd better to solve the actual problem (not knowing how to turn RunKeeper off) because then you'll know how it works.

    Maybe. Maybe not. My wife had something similar happen with 3.something. Was that a bug with that version? No, I didn't hear about anyone else having it. Sometimes things just go wacky. Is it a coincidence that both these phones had the same problem? Yeah, but it's possible it's just a coincidence!

    Or maybe it is a bug. You should report it because the more they know, the better their work will be. I'm just saying, we don't know it's a bug. Could be. Or maybe not.
     
  16. fishmoose thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #16
    Sure, just I never read anything about maps having an auto-start function. Even when I turned the phones off using the home + power button (hard restart) maps launched on the reboot running in the background. I was able to determine that via System Lite on both phones.

    The strange part to me is that my iPhone 4 got the same issue (not sure if maps was running, never looked but usage was the same as standby) but a simple normal reboot fixed it. Not sure what it's about but I figured, as you say, the more info Apple has the better job they can do.

    I'm also fairly certain any re-installation of the OS (like the next version) would have fixed it but them having to charge their phones everyday (or more depending on usage) until then wasn't an alternative.
     
  17. Waffmeister macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    Location:
    Norway
    #17
    I've noticed two things on my iPhone 4 the last couple of days:

    1. Battery draining fast (fully charged at 9am = empty at 4pm with not much calling going on)
    2. Mobile data usage drastically up (receiving). In a 20 minute period while driving I checked received data when leaving (2,6 GB) and when I arrived it was 2,8GB without touching the damn thing.

    So, I'm guessing there is an app receiving a lot of stupid push messages or downloading stuff in the background. This would explain both things.

    But in order to find out which app is doing this I would love if there was someway to see the network usage for each app. Do you guys have any suggestions?
     
  18. RandomKamikaze macrumors 6502a

    RandomKamikaze

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    UK
    #18
    I recently had this problem as well, but it must've been something when it was jailbroken though as it would the timelines match up.

    I can't think what though as whatever it was was carried across through a Restore and restore of a backup. Restarting the device didn't help either.

    I had to setup as new and that has sorted the issue, although it is a little annoying. Have also re-jailbroken and the problem hasn't returned and I did much of the same modifications.

    Fishmoose, the Phone app is meant to run in the background straight away, although I have not heard of maps starting and running in the background.

    Hats off to Small White Car for some sound advice as well.
     
  19. fishmoose thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #19
    Did not know that, I only thought the phone app was a GUI for the daemons. Glad I got it sorted anyway, hopefully Apple get's news of this issue since people have reported it on other forums as well Google do yield a few results I'm sure it will be fixed in the next OS update.
     
  20. Tom G. macrumors 68000

    Tom G.

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    #20
    Fishmoose,

    I'm glad that you got your issue straightened out.

    Small white car,

    My problem isn't that I gave bad info or didn't know what was going on, what I did do upon reflection and re-reading of my posts was to give incorrect and incomplete info. This is wrong, but not the same as bad info which to me is something done purposely to cause harm.

    What is going on with the Runkeeper app is that when you finish a run and hit stop the app asks if you want to save the data that it has collected. At the top of the screen is an area where you can enter notes about the run before you save it. If you hit the stop button but do not save the data then the app thinks that you are still using it and keeps updating the GPS data that it is collecting. This is what causes the the battery to run down and data to be run up. If you hit the Save Data button then the app saves the data and stops collecting and updating data and shuts down or goes to the same state as other apps in the "multi-tasking window".

    I knew this at the time I wrote the first post that I made and didn't put it all in as I was rushed. I assumed that he may have had some app like this that was updating info because it hadn't been closed properly. That is what I was trying to refer to in both posts.

    There are thousands of apps in the store and I certainly don't know how each one of them works. Reseting his phone or shutting it down could certainly have fixed the problem, but it may not have shown if the problem was app related and if it was which app was the culprit. In that case it would simply appear again when the app was not shut down properly again. This could especially be the case if the user has a hundred or more apps on his phone and the one which may cause the problem is one which is rarely used.

    Again the lesson I learned is if I can't take the time to give full info, then possibly not to give any at all.

    One last thing, when I made my first post this thread had gone more than half way down the page with no response from anyone. I tried to at least give some help.
     
  21. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

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    #21
    You were both right, in a way. The Phone app is intended to run in the background and has always done so on all versions of iPhone OS and iOS. But it is also true that it is just a GUI which serves no function running in the background. All incoming calls, messages, etc. are handled by CommCenter. The only reason Phone is run in the background is to speed launch. If you're jailbroken you can disable it using Backgrounder with no negative effects.
     
  22. Infraggable Kru macrumors regular

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    Dec 23, 2010
    #22
    none of this really comes as surprise , aren't you guys Jailbroken ?

    Processes in SB settings always shows maps and phone even after a reboot/respring/closing all background apps

    none of this really matters though, since its probably just loaded in memory.

    WHAT ACTUALLY MATTERS is whether you battery life is lower than it should be, this is really the only way to tell if there is a background app that is actually "running" vs an app that is loaded in the memory

    if your battery is normal then relax, but from the "rituals" people are doing, it sounds like some of you here have OCD
     
  23. RandomKamikaze macrumors 6502a

    RandomKamikaze

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    #23
    I didn't know that, thanks for the info.

    Is it the same with the Mail app when using Push accounts, or if you kill the Mail process you kill any account which use Push as well?


    Mine doesn't show Maps, only Phone and Mail.

    My phone died after 6 hours with the device reporting 6 hrs constant usage.

    I restored as new and have just got 1 day 20 hours standby with nearly 5 hours of usage with 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth (on although not connected), and 50% brightness. My usage was browsing, texts, mails, phone calls and some app usage/updating but no games. This is a lot more like it and was pretty much what I was getting before.
     
  24. saxman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    #24
    I've noticed some application showing the GPS arrow on my iPhone 4 (4.2.1 jailbroken) on reboot too. I just went into settings and turned off location services and then turned it back on. The arrow disappeared.

    I haven't tracked battery life since it's been happening, so I can't comment there. I don't actually know if GPS was active, but I don't know why the arrow would be there if it wasn't in use somehow
     
  25. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

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    #25
    E-mail accounts (whether Push or POP) are handled by the Mail app. Sadly, killing Mail will stop E-mail polling.
     

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