Myth: Closing Apps Saves Battery Life(?)
Fraser Speirs - Blog - Misconceptions About iOS*Multitasking
Fact Or Myth: Killing Apps In The iOS Multitasking Bar Boosts Performance -- AppAdvice
Stop me if everyone in this well-educated community already knew this, but I guarantee you that most people using iOS right now do not! When I switched to iOS from BlackBerry, I was thrilled to see how easy iOS5 made it to show the "task manager" and then close apps by getting them to "shake" and hitting the little "-" sign.
Except the articles linked above describe how that's a complete misconception, and that you're actually doing nothing to help your CPU usage or battery life. The articles describe the 5 different states that apps go into, and when you open up the task bar, what you're really looking at is more akin to an "App History" than a true task manager. This makes sense, too, because many apps that I enter back into (particularly if it's after more than a few minutes) behave as if I completely closed them down before.
Anyway, even if this revelation was redundant, I thought I'd repost here because I had gotten this advice from virtually all of my Apple-using friends, and it turns out it's just plain wrong!
- 01-08-2012, 04:16 PM #2
- 01-08-2012, 05:02 PM #3iPhone Newbie
- 17 Posts
- 01-08-2012, 05:18 PM #4
- 01-08-2012, 05:19 PM #5
- 01-08-2012, 07:43 PM #6
I admit, I'm one of the many people that thought this was something that had to be done also to "close out" apps running in the background. I'm actually in the habit of closing out every night before bed, and depending on how much stuff I do throughout the day, sometimes I'd close out mid day also.
Well, this will be interesting to try NOT having to worry about closing out the apps. But I'm sure doing this on occasion won't do any harm either
- 01-08-2012, 11:08 PM #7
- 01-08-2012, 11:16 PM #8
- 01-09-2012, 08:56 AM #9
- 01-09-2012, 10:06 AM #10
This is correct on the CPU and battery but with the memory IMO iOS 4 did a better job keeping memory free without me thinking about it than iOS 5 does. I do go through and close if I've been using a lot of apps and transition animations start to lag and hang across the OS; clearing the app history bar brings back the butter smoothness instantly.
- 01-09-2012, 10:37 AM #11
- 01-09-2012, 10:39 AM #12
- 01-09-2012, 10:44 AM #13
It has always been a habit, I don't care if it doesn't help or if it does. I do notice that it does stop lag, sometimes if there is a lot of apps open. It will take a couple of seconds to get rid of the choppiness, but at the same time. "Y U NO HARD RESTART?" It will probably give you the same results. Pretty sure people who do this (I am one of them), has always had the habit since iOS4.
- 01-09-2012, 11:40 AM #14
I've been doing this on my iPad for quite some time too, so continuing to do so i don't believe will cause any harm either
- 01-09-2012, 11:53 AM #15
I've gotten in the habit of closing apps most of the time when I am done with them due to the battery myth. I have also gotten in the the habit or it may just be an OCD to check the usage and diagnostics and have noticed that when I do happen to leave multiple apps in the dock I tend to get more low memory notifications or whatever they are called in the usage and diagnostic area. It will list all the open apps. Now I very well could be completely misunderstanding what I am looking at as I am somewhat of a tech ***** but I try. The low memory notifications could just be a coincidence I've never really tried to see if they show up regardless of how many apps I have in the dock or an empty dock
- 01-09-2012, 12:02 PM #16
I think it's good when you close your apps on a somewhat frequent basis. Does it free memory? Yes. Does it help battery life? Debatable. There could be some rogue apps causing issues, so as stated above, close things on a somewhat frequent basis.
- 01-09-2012, 11:04 PM #17
Let me wrap this up by giving you a quick summary:
If someone tells you that all the apps in the multitasking bar are running, using up memory or sucking power, they are wrong.
When you hit the home button, an app moves from Active to Background and quickly to the Suspended state where it no longer uses CPU time or drains power.
An app may request an additional 10 minutes of Background running to complete a big task before becoming Suspended.
If memory is becoming scarce, iOS will automatically move Suspended apps into the Not Running state and reclaim their memory.
Five classes of apps – audio, GPS, VOIP, Newsstand and accessory apps – and some built-in apps such as Mail may run indefinitely in the background until they complete their task.
Put simply: you do not have to manage background tasks on iOS. The system handles almost every case for you and well written audio, GPS, VOIP, Newsstand and accessory apps will handle the rest.
The point is that people assume the app switcher bar is like a task manager because we all grew up on Windows devices and that's the closest analogy. The article(s) are saying that it isn't - it's more akin to an app history list. That's why you can pile up like 40 things in there and the device still functions...those apps aren't running.
The best evidence that this are true is what happens when you click on an app from the switcher bar and it doesn't resume what you were doing, but rather starts it all over. It's no different than if you had clicked the icon from your home page.
On BlackBerry (and probably other OS's) this was a huge problem because I would open Google Maps or something and have no idea why my battery was pissing away. Then I'd discover that I left the App open in the background and it was using GPS for 3 straight hours.
On iOS, the little arrow indicator at the top appears if the GPS is active, so my assumption is that I would know.
- 01-16-2012, 09:31 PM #20
- 01-17-2012, 07:01 AM #21
I find it interesting that some people admit that they regularly, manually close all their apps & at the same time state that they know that it does nothing to effect performance. They admit that it is just a habit!? I understand the OCD driven motivation to do these things, but I think it speaks more to how many people in our culture operate from superstition, habit & blind obedience to things that they don't understand. I guess this is to be expected when such advanced technology is in the hands of everyone that can afford it. What was it Sir Arthur C. Clarke said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". I am technical enough to kinda understand how computer based devices work, but it does take effort to learn & at some level it's just magic. In the end, I guess, we have to feel comfortable with the hi tech devices that we use, so if it makes you feel better to manually close these apps, go for it. At least it gives you the feeling that you are in control, although deep inside we all know that technology is in charge
- 01-17-2012, 12:56 PM #22
I just ran into another new iPhone user who relayed the same view (that emptying the switcher bar improves battery life). I think it's worthwhile to talk about because it'd be a remarkable if the clear majority of iPhone users were under a misconception about extra work they had to do to help a problem with their phone (and were getting fed that advice by Apple reps).
- 02-28-2012, 09:28 PM #24
At that time iOS did do it's job. Apple jumped the gun with 5.0.
Disregard people who say "killing apps doesn't matter". It does matter. iOS is horrible with memory. Manage your apps and you'll be fine. Now for battery life. Apps like Motionx gps that require your location are active when exiting to your home screen. radio apps like TuneIn Radio abide by the same concept. streaming audio in the background and or enabling location for local radio. Games such as Infinity Blade suck up a lot of ram and yes will drain battery. You should limit your apps in the tray. up to 5 or 6.
- 02-29-2012, 09:51 AM #25