Category Archives: iOS4

The iOS multitasking bar does not display all running apps? Say what?

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So I will be the first to admit when I make a mistake. It seems I was wrong when it comes to the multitasking apps bar on your iOS device. To be fair I am not the only one that has been wrong about this subject.

What I have always heard and have taught other people is that the apps on the multitasking bar are all running and slowing it down. They are using the device’s memory and killing the battery life just like Android. You should turn them all off.

This is 100% Wrong. While it may make you feel better to turn these off it does not however save or hurt battery life. The iOS multitasking bar does not display all running apps. It is not like the task manager you see on the PC. Instead it is a list of recently used apps. So you don’t have to worry about managing background tasks on iOS. When you press the home button, iOS will tell the app to quit. When it quits, it stops using CPU time and the battery. The memory the app was using is recovered. The Mail and Phone apps run at all times.

iOS apps 5 states of execution:

  1. Not running – the app has been terminated or has not been launched.
  2. Inactive – the app is open but not doing anything, receiving any data or sending any
  3. Active – the app is in use
  4. Background – the app is no longer on-screen but still running. Background Apps go the Suspended state in a few seconds. Unless it is coded to ask for a background task which will extend the time before it goes to a Suspended state. Navigation apps are one such app that is coded to do this. Some apps stay in the background forever until you kill it. There are five of these. They are:
  • Apps that play audio, TuneInRadio
  • Apps that track your location in the Background, such as GSP apps
  • Apps that listen for incoming VOIP calls, such as Talkatone & Skype
  • Newsstand apps
  • Apps that receive continuous updates from an external accessory in the Background such as docks with matching apps.

5. Suspended – the app is paused. This is when you switch from app to app. The app is still resident in memory but that is so it can resume more quickly when you go back to it. This state does not kill battery life and will be completely removed from memory over time or if the memory is needed

The multitasking bar always shows what apps were recently used apps regardless of what state the app is in and currently Active App (the one you are using) does not show up on the multitasking bar.

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