With Multi-tasking, Are the Apps running in the background until you end them?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by wishman35, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. wishman35 macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2009
    It seems like my battery is getting drained semi quickly. I noticed when I go to the multi tasking menu that pressing and holding an app makes them shake and have a delete logo. When I delete the apps like games, and reopen them it looks like it does close out of the app.

    I am just confused as to whether I am on the right track here? It seems like simply pressing the Home button on Pandora now doesn't close out of the app competely because it auto resumes the music playing when you reopen it.

    Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I just want to help my battery a bit.

    What exactly does deleting the App icons out of the multitasking bar do?
  2. wishman35 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2009
    Anybody have an understanding about the multitasking bar and what deleting the icons from it does? Simply erase it from the bar or does it close out the apps?
  3. ItsThatKush macrumors regular

    Apr 4, 2010
    West Palm Beach, FL
    i've been doing the same thing as you to close out the apps to not run in background to preserve battery. i would think that's how it is done.

    if someone smarter than me knows... i'd love to hear a definitive answer as well.
  4. andybno1 macrumors 68040


    Nov 6, 2007
    Liverpool, UK
    I have been doing the same but leaving a couple non hoggy apps like twitter running in background.... doesn't really do anything till I come back so I was like errr ok may aswell just close it fully lol

    I will never leave games running in background I would worry too much, I haven't used my phone that much since yesterday and already had it on charge twice :confused:
  5. tehfunk macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2009
    I read this today on iLounge:

  6. Cronus macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2010
    I believe removing the app from the 'application switcher' does 'kill' the app. I've tested this in two different scenarios:

    Scenario 1) Open Mobile Safari; Open a few web pages. Switch to a different app via application switcher or going to the home screen. Open Safari back up and the web pages are still there. However, if you open the application switcher, and remove safari from the list of 'running' apps, the next time you open Safari you'll see that the web pages will need to be refreshed.

    Scenario 2) I used the NPR application for this scenario - Open application, click on one of the audio links. Click on the home button. The audio continues playing until you remove the app from the application switcher.

    Somewhere, I had read that removing the application from the list doesn't actually kill the app, and that the OS determines when that happens. However, the two scenarios above seem to indicate otherwise.

    With all of this said, I don't believe backgrounded applications should have an impact on your battery life unless they're using one of the background services. For example, if the application streaming and playing music, or using location services.

    Hope this helps!
  7. jtara macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2009
    I wish they would stop calling it a "multi-tasking bar".

    It isn't.

    It's a "most recently used" bar.

    That is the source of an awful lot of confusion on the part of users. There ISN'T a "multi-tasking bar".

    The MRU bar will allow you to choose among recently-used apps. But they aren't necessarily multi-tasking apps, nor does the bar even reveal which ones are multi-tasking and which ones are not.

    Design oops...

    I think the user isn't supposed to care if the apps are multi-tasking or not. But, then, Apple is making a big deal about "multi-tasking". They can't tout multi-tasking AND expect the user not to care.
  8. jacobsen1 macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2009
    Mt View, RI
    that's from the faq up top. Basically, if that person is right, the "tray" just lists the last apps you've used. If they run in the background they might still be running, but it's NOT A RULE. If it's a normal app, they're closed and it's there as a list of your last apps run, nothing more.

    Basically, if pandora is in that list, it may or may not be running. If roadtrip is there, it's NOT running. That's my take on it, but yes, it's very confusing...
  9. fuzion11 macrumors 65816


    Sep 24, 2008
    Hamilton, Ontario
    I love that I can pause a video in youtube use the app switcher to come back to it and see the video right where I left it.

    I'm really liking the multitasking now.
  10. movielover76 macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2010
    Not true multitasking

    Most apps in the background with the exception of apps that do specific things like stream audio, use gps sensor etc don't use resources when not in the foreground, and apps are merely frozen in their specific state when in the tray, so I'm sure your wasting more batter power closing the apps than just leaving them there.
    I myself am getting about an hour more battery life on my 3GS since I upgraded.
  11. bhattsan macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2010
    Unless its doing one of those 7 apple-approved background tasks (offline notifications, audio, uploading files, voip, and some other ones) it is NOT taking up any cpu power and just sits in the RAM until you switch back to it. Not all apps do this, just the ones updated to iOS 4 (others just close like normal). The apps just staying in RAM AFAIK do not affect battery life but don't take my word for it.
    EDIT: been ninja'd :p
  12. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    This is it, everyone. That's all you need to know.

    If you start to say "Well, yes, but shouldn't I..." then just stop yourself. No. There is nothing else you have to do. No. There is no reason to remove apps from that list. No. You don't have to worry about anything at all.

    Use the bar to switch between apps. Beyond that, stop worrrying and let your phone do its job. It'll do it. You don't have to do anything.
  13. InsiderApps macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2010
    For the record, I am an iPhone developer - If the app supports multi-tasking, when you remove the app from the multi-tasking bar, it will kill the app's features that were running in the background, such as audio playback. If it only supports "fast-app switching", then removing it will cause the app to forget where you last was when you quit the app and will reset it back to opening the app for the first time.

    Hope I could help. :)
  14. wishman35 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2009
    In the Official User Guide it is not JUST a most recently used list, because it says if you need to force close an app, deleting it from that bar is the only way to do so on the 3GS or iPhone 4.

    So it is more than just a bar of recently used apps, they may use little amount of system resources, but the apps are still up and running
  15. Cronus macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2010
    Not exactly true. In the scenario above, where I mentioned using the NPR application, the audio could not be controlled from the audio widget(not sure if that was the intended behavior or not). I couldn't figure out a way to stop the audio from the application itself, so, other than shutting the phone down, removing the app from the application switcher/multi-tasking bar was the only way to kill the audio.
  16. ItsThatKush macrumors regular

    Apr 4, 2010
    West Palm Beach, FL
    thank you for the clarification.
  17. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    Ok, but this is like asking "How do I stop iTunes on Windows from playing a song?" and you answer "force-quit iTunes because iTunes doesn't have a stop button."

    In that situation I wouldn't say that Windows was wrong. I'd blame iTunes!

    So the question is, why doesn't the NPR app have a stop button? That's the real question in this situation and it's apparently something NPR needs to fix. iOS isn't the problem.
  18. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    They may, but probably aren't. There are 3 possible scenarios:
    - app hasn't been updated for iOS 4, so it completely closes
    - app is in save state mode, only using a little RAM and nothing else. These apps don't have any running processes.
    - app has a background process, which should be obvious (data uploading and location services are both shown in the top bar, and audio you can hear :)). This is the only scenario that would have any power drain.

    In theory, you shouldn't have to think about it at all and just switch between apps willy nilly. In practice, there could be some that misbehave (like said NPR app) that need to be closed manually.
  19. severe macrumors 6502a

    May 23, 2007
    Not entirely true. Not all are "necessarily multi-tasking apps", but some are and one could benefit from their use. And I'm sure more developers will soon be supporting this feature.

    Well said and helpful.

    This article does a good job illustrating the iPhone's multitasking feature: iPhone Multitasking. The feature's well-constructed, IMO.
  20. Cronus macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2010
    I absolutely agree with you! However, the reality is that not all applications will always function perfectly(you may think they should, and again, I would agree with you, but that's not an accurate reflection of reality). Or, it might not be obvious to the user how to quit it, and he may need to do so in a hurry.

    What iOS does do, is provides a fail-safe, a last-resort mechanism for terminating apps that may not be functioning properly. There is nothing wrong with iOS providing this feature, it's a good thing. It's something the user may need to be aware of from time to time. iOS does a great job of managing the state of backgrounded applications, but sometimes the user may need to intervene.

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