Quitting Apps In iOS Actually Worsens Battery Life

Quitting Apps in iOS Actually Worsens Battery Life

It's long been suggested that when your iPhone's battery is running poorly you should close all the running apps to help preserve battery life (we've mentioned it before ourselves). That makes sense if you're using a computer, but as writer (and former Genius Bar technician) Scotty Loveless points out, that's simply not the case in iOS.

On a computer, the more programs you have open, the more work the computer has to do and hence the need for more battery. On iOS, things work a bit differently:

Yes, it does shut down the app, but what you don't know is that you are actually making your battery life worse if you do this on a regular basis. Let me tell you why.

By closing the app, you take the app out of the phone's RAM . While you think this may be what you want to do, it's not. When you open that same app again the next time you need it, your device has to load it back into memory all over again. All of that loading and unloading puts more stress on your device than just leaving it alone. Plus, iOS closes apps automatically as it needs more memory, so you're doing something your device is already doing for you. You are meant to be the user of your device, not the janitor.

The truth is, those apps in your multitasking menu are not running in the background at all: iOS freezes them where you last left the app so that it's ready to go if you go back. Unless you have enabled Background App Refresh, your apps are not allowed to run in the background unless they are playing music, using location services, recording audio, or the sneakiest of them all: checking for incoming VOIP calls, like Skype. All of these exceptions, besides the latter, will put an icon next to your battery icon to alert you it is running in the background.

So, not only does it not help, but your phone's going to do more work in the long run reloading those apps from scratch. If you're looking to improve your battery life, Loveless has a bunch of practical tips for doing so.

The Ultimate Guide to Solving iOS Battery Drain [Overthought via MacStories]


    "iOS closes apps automatically as it needs more memory, so you’re doing something your device is already doing for you"

    Step 1) Open an app, it crashes instantly
    Step 2) Close all running apps
    Step 3) Open app again, it runs fine

    Every god damn day.

    Typical for an apple "genius", he has a doe-eyed view of apple that doesn't translate into reality.

    Last edited 08/04/14 10:28 am

      I find step 2 is often pointless, Step 1 then Step 3 often works just fine for me. My iPhone 4 cant keep more than 1 or 2 apps open at a time so apps often crash when loading due to memory issues.

      Also if you read the post it says they are not running but they are in memory, Step 2 just frees up that memory so that the app wont crash while waiting for iOS to free ti up on demand.

      What app? All apps? Maybe you've got a faulty device or a buggy app? I've never had this happen, except when I was jailbroken... is your iphone jailbroken tom?

    That seems to be more of a problem with the apps you have installed. Most of the time, except in the examples listed above, apps on iOS do stop when they're not in the foreground. That's iOS 101: apps don't get to do things in the background unless explicitly allowed. If you have apps that are misbehaving, try getting some support from their developers.

    I'm an android user, FYI.

    "All of that loading and unloading puts more stress on your device than just leaving it alone"??? This is the greatest load of tripe about technology I have ever read. Does this so called "genius" understand computers at all? Yep. reading a few megabytes from flash memory into RAM when I reload an app really stresses my iPhone and uses at least an extra 0.001% of battery power. I have put it on Prozac and things are better now.

      Agreed. The 'stress' on the device caused by apps being closed and opened pales in comparison to things like wireless usage, bluetooth usage and even going through connectivity black spots.

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