Apple officially confirms that closing recent apps won't improve your iPhone's battery life

Apple officially confirms that closing recent apps won't improve your iPhone's battery life
Apple has officially busted one of the most popular iPhone myths. Responding to an iPhone user's customer service email, Apple's iOS chief Craig Federighi has unambiguously dismissed that force-closing apps in the multitasking view can preserve battery life.

This clarification came to pass as an iPhone user sent an email to Apple's Tim Cook asking the CEO if he regularly quits apps in the multitasking view and if this helps to preserve battery life. Although Cook did not respond to the email himself, Federighi jumped in to bust this myth once and for all. "No and no", he responded in a short but clear reply that would have probably made Steve Jobs proud.

Unlike Android, which allows third-party apps to run in the background as a service, iOS restricts true multitasking abilities to a range of Apple's own system apps. Each time a non-system app exits from view, iOS closes it. What you see in the multitasking view are static images, shortcuts to launching your recent apps all over again. 

The goal behind the highly restrictive multitasking system that sits at the core of iOS is to ensure smoothness at all times and preserve battery life. In other words, Apple does this to ensure that iPhones and iPads can run as fluid as possible given the limited computing resources available on a mobile device.

On the other hand, we do have to note that there are disadvantages to this approach. For one, to download files through a third-party app - downloading a movie for offline viewing, for instance - you have to keep the app in view until the download finishes, otherwise the download is paused. Another disadvantage is the fact you can't have always-running apps on iOS that take advantage of contextual information.

What do you guys think? Is anyone surprised to learn that force-closing apps doesn't improve your iPhone's battery life?

source: 9to5Mac



1. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I close all my recent apps because it bugs me knowing that they're still running.

5. bucky

Posts: 3784; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

me to regardless of the device. A bit of OCD i guess.

8. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Except they aren't running. Please read with the intent to learn something you didn't. I've voice this lots of times. I have said many times that when I load a webpage on IOS and if I immediately switch to another app and come back to Safari, that the page picks up where it leaves off and fisnishes loading. This doesn't happen for me on Android. If I load a page and switch to another app and come back, the webpage is already fished. The same with downloading as the articles says. I use Showbox on both my iPhone 4 and my Note 5. On the iphone I must keep showbox open for the download to continue, its annoying. I also have to keep the screen away because if the screen sleeps it turns off the wifi until I wake it back up. I am not sure if iOS9 does this, but my iPhone is stuck on 7.x forever. All Apple nees to do is stop beign a cheap ass and increase the RAM. Making the OS hog 50% of the available RAm and leaving you the other 50% for tasks, and forcing all apps to stall just because you move away from them is lame. Stop putting small batteries in a phone where other OEM have proven that even with a smaller phone you can have a larger battery and stop skimping on hardware, the iPhone could already be a much better phone. I find it amazing a phone with only a dualcore processor, can burn more battery power than my phone which has dual quads. A car with a smaller engine, typically doesn't burn more gas than a car with a bigger engine.

12. Unordinary unregistered

You need to learn a thing or two lol. Also, cheap ass and increase the RAM? Have you seen what happens to the S6 and now the S7 lmfao? Cant even keep a damn clock open.

18. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I had the S6 Edge and Edge+ and I have the Note 5. Works just fine. Sounds like you're using it wrong.

19. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Keep the clock open for what? Why do you need to open the clock? There is a clock on the lock screen and the home screen. You dont even need to open the clock to set the alarm, so what reason do you need to open the clock. Why don't you try not to troll. Its stupid.

24. Unordinary unregistered

The fact that your wives, the Galaxy series, have hectopladroneumatic processors and 34gb of RAM and can't even multitask a clock app.

26. joeytaylor

Posts: 957; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

I'm pretty sure it can

13. nodes

Posts: 1159; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

on my iPad, the page is already finished. same for all other apps like Facebook, Path, Instagram, etc, and that is with Background App refresh turned off. there is this information how much time particular apps are running in background in Battery setting. do you even use iOS device? and i can't play Youtube in background on Android anyway.

14. joeytaylor

Posts: 957; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

I can pretty much put it in the background......i can listen or watch Youtube....and use the Internet

16. nodes

Posts: 1159; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

how? i have 6 Android smartphones here one of them is a Nexus, with different brand, Android version, OEM skin, none could play Youtube video in background.

17. joeytaylor

Posts: 957; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

Almost in the background....use split window and minimize the Youtube app to almost nothing and listen or watch vids if you want....and

30. nodes

Posts: 1159; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

that's different, i want to take full advantage of true multitasking. if it's just the same as iOS then in what case Android's true multitasking is better than iOS? several games don't allow me to download the game data in background too.

22. vincelongman

Posts: 5693; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

There's third party apps which allow that But you have to get them of XDA since Google doesn't allow them on the Play Store

25. AlikMalix unregistered

But you can do that fine on iOS without side loading apps.

32. nodes

Posts: 1159; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

really, need to tinker to enjoy Android's native feature? i bet, device needs to be rooted or even worse, xposed.

33. belovedson

Posts: 1061; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

Node I used both android and iOS. iOS is such a pain in the ass to use when multitasking for example if I want to download off a webpage I have to sit on the application or webpage and wait for it completely download before moving on to another task. I don't have to do that with the android You speak as if you have some experience with android. Then you should know how customizable it is and how interactive the device is based on user input and user customization. That's the point is to tinker. I have my nexus six to double tap to wake and sleep and double tap power button to get to the camera app. I use viper along with my different headphones when listening to flac and there is a noticeable difference. I use different music apps depending on what I want to do. I use Amazon prime for specific genres and google music for the same purpose I use other music apps to listen to audiobooks from where I left off. I use different and customized browsers that are both feature rich light and better than chrome or safari that's available on the App Store. I do so many things seamlessly and with control that if I were to attempt to do similar things with Apple would not be possible or much slower or would require root or whatever it's called and by then the battery life would go to crap. I still get four hour plus on screen time with plus fifty percent brightness with my two year old plus nexus. I am lucky to get three hours with my tiny screened iPhone six Also I blacked out my nexus apps and it performs better for night use and just looks nicer. I can't even change the damn layout for the iPhone keyboard let along color or font. This is so damn lame. I can and do listen to YouTube while doing other tasks on android.

27. DnB925Art

Posts: 1168; Member since: May 23, 2013

YouTube Red allows me to play videos in the background.

31. nodes

Posts: 1159; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

oh yeah Google turned into Apple the couple last year, need to pay to enjoy feature from native Android. why are they so greedy. smh.

2. tyrionTheWise unregistered

Didn't we all know this for what, like 3 years now. And I guess android should also give us the option to pause rogue apps in background. Apps like Facebook abuse the freedom given to them by Android.

3. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

You made a second account? Why?

4. tyrionTheWise unregistered

Long story. But main reason is that I can't retrieve my old account. Sent a mail to PA a week back, no reply yet.

23. vincelongman

Posts: 5693; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

You can sort of do that using dev settings, but it apllies to all apps, you can't pick specific apps Just use Facebook though your browser, most popular browser allow notifications, e.g. Chrome

29. tyrionTheWise unregistered

That setting says: don't run apps in background, and correct me in this, but it closes apps in background too. I want apps paused in background like IOS.

6. mrochester

Posts: 997; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Errrr, didn't we always know this?

7. realjjj

Posts: 375; Member since: Jan 28, 2014

And that's a lie, as long as it is in RAM it will use extra power. They can argue that it's not meanigfull and that Apple discards it fast from the memory but not that there are no power savings.

10. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

False. An app can reside in memory as a placeholder. That doesn't mean its actually running. You obviously don't know how multi-tasking works. So let me help you. Windows has 2 types of memory, you have your hardware and you have the dreaded Windows swapfile. When a processor is processing data and its data that is happening over and over being the same, the CPUu will either use its own cache or will set aside hardware RAM to hold data it retrieves constantly. But when you close an app, it doesn't leave the memory right away. That is why when you close many apps, if you open right back, it opens even faster before because its still sitting in RAM. iOS does similar. Memory resident apps, doesn't aways means the memory resident app is running. It can be sitting in a paused state in RAM, which will cause it to load faster in case you go back to the app. This si why many apps on the iPhone dont restart when you go back to them. Many apps on Android doesn't restart either. I do notice many highend games on Android do. My guess is that, many games use a bunch or resources and are placed in a a deeper sleep so when you move away from them, they arent running in the background hogging up resources. Example, my favor game is NFS Most Wanted, if I leave the screen paused and come back, the app reloads but it does still go back to the pause screen I left. But thr app reloads first as if I actually relaunched it. But I noticed that when I put my CPU info on the screen and I pause the pause and leave, the ram clears up and the CPU peaks false nearly flat. This is why I think Android puts the game in a deeper sleep so it doesnt tax the resources and when I open the game, my CPU shots back up to 100% until the game loads its original state. It almost looks exactly like Windows when it hibernates.

11. tyrionTheWise unregistered

Sitting in a paused state in RAM uses power. Since the RAM we use are DRAM and not SRAM, the capacitors need to be refreshed periodically. The power needed is extremely small though. But the guy is correct from a technical standpoint.

20. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Its not goign to use any more power than RAM already is using. Remember this. When things liek CPU/GPU and RAM are dorment, they still pull a certain amount of voltage from the power source. Yes the busier they are, the more than pull. But on a mobile device, there is a maximum amount of power at can pull at any one time. To say, well even if the app is in RAM sleep its making RAM draw more power I would say yes, but the fact the app isnt doing anything there is no more need for a power draw than normal. Think about what the article is saying. The guy is basically saying, the device is using the same amount of power whether you leave the app running or close it manually. Think of it this way. You're saying, that my car will simply burn more gas because I have 3 people in it vs when its just carry me, and that's not completely true. It would be is all 3 of us add a significant amount of weight. But adding only 400lbs of weight between 3 people isnt excessive enough to make a car burn more gas. Yes it does take a certain about of power to hold applications in RAM, but if they arent doing anything, it likely can hold quite a few before drawing more power vs what its already drawing in the first place. Take you PC and load an app that shows you the voltage draw of your CPU/GPU/RAM. You will notice that all of them will draw some extra juice when you first load an application. That power draw usually fall back to normal once the app is loaded and you are just doing normal tasks. Until you need to do something again that requires a subsequent draw of power, the power sits fairly normal with very minute fluctuations.

21. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Also remember this. Everything in your phone takes place on a clock cycle. Only so much info is moved per clock cycle. When your phone is idle, it is still doing lots of tasks that continuously draw power. but that power draw could handle 100's of clocks and never use anymore juice than its using already. This is why many can do tasks on their phones all day and still the phone will last all day and then some vs people who do things like play games which tax the chips harder which forces them to draw more power and why a device may only has a short time even from a full charge.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.