One of this biggest annoyances I have are when people spread false “tech tips” and unsuspecting users actually follow them, religiously. Somewhere, someone thought it would be a good idea to tell everyone to quit all the running apps on their iPhone and/or iPad. This comes in many varieties like quitting all apps once in a while and the most ridiculous, quitting an app immediately after using it. I’m going to tell you why it’s not only a bad idea to quit your running apps, but you could actually be damaging your device.
Apple calls iOS the most advanced mobile operating system ever and they are right. The operating system they built, based off the very reliable OS X, has become the standard for what a mobile OS should be. It’s not only reliable and secure, it’s smart too. Forget everything you know about a desktop operating system like Windows 7. There’s no need to close applications in order to save memory, or in the iPhone’s case, battery life. Apple’s iOS employs a great feature that ‘freezes’ apps you’re not using or haven’t used in a while. This frees up memory and CPU time and is no longer draining your battery. The operating system keeps track of where you were last in that app and can quickly recall that position on demand. In the ‘freeze’ state and app doesn’t run, do calculations, or use data. When an app is un-frozen, there is little effort to get your information back up on the screen.
In iOS 7 or later, you can enter the app switcher (double-click home button) and swipe up on any running application to quit it. The only time you should do this is if you are having issues with the app or you no longer want it running for various reasons. When you quit and app, then open it again later, the device has to do a whole long list of commands before it can be opened. These commands wear on your device more than leaving all your apps open. Some of these open commands include checking to make sure it’s a legit app, you acquired it from the app store, this app has access to camera or some other hardware, or any other startup scripts (such as Game Center, opening credits, and network connectivity check) the developer has thrown in there. Your iPhone or iPad does all of these things very quickly, but it also takes a toll on your hardware. This will be higher strain on your battery and processor over time. It could even lead to shorter battery life if you are a frequent app quitter.
Effectively by trying to save battery, processor power, and/or memory, you are doing just the opposite. Apple has figured out how to manage the applications for you, so you don’t have to worry about it. If you are one of the people that quit apps, please consider stopping, and spreading the correct word about running applications. BB