Update to iOS 13.2 kills multitasking on the Apple iPhone

Update to iOS 13.2 kills multitasking on the Apple iPhone
When Apple released iOS 13.2 at the end of last month, it brought the Deep Fusion feature to the new 2019 iPhone models. Before the shutter is snapped on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max, eight exposures of a scene are captured using various exposures. Including the image taken when the shutter is tapped, these nine exposures are compared pixel-by-pixel using the A13 Bionic's Neural Processing Unit (NPU) to create a detailed final image with less noise.

The iOS 13.2 update also included 59 new emoji and debuted the Announce Messages with Siri feature. The latter allows someone using a device that employs Apple's H1 chip  (like the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro) to have their messages read by Siri. Once the virtual assistant reads a message, the user can immediately dictate a reply to Siri who types it out and disseminates it.

But there is a problem with the latest iOS update that several Apple Communities members and Redditors are complaining about. It seems to be an issue with memory management. So let's say that an iPhone user is watching a YouTube video and pauses a video to answer a call. When he or she tabs back to YouTube, the video is gone. As one Reddit member wrote, "Nothing is more frustrating than pausing a YouTube video then coming back to find the app is refreshed and the video is gone. I know it’s in my watch history but it’s ridiculous that the app would completely refresh." The phrase that almost all of these complaints mentions is that iOS 13.2 is too aggressive in killing apps.

Many iOS users say that their iPhones and iPads have no multitasking capabilities after updating to iOS and iPadOS 13.2


One Reddit member with the handle DatDeLorean gave a good example of the multitasking issue that many are experiencing with iOS 13.2: "I can be looking at a thread in Apollo, switch to WhatsApp to reply to a message for a minute, and when I switch back to Apollo it needs to reload the app. Which is infuriating when I have a 7 Plus, which should have more than enough RAM to handle those two apps concurrently and more." A tweet from an iPhone user named Nick Heer (@nickheer) gives his experience with this problem: "I’m used to the camera purging all open apps from memory on my iPhone X, but iOS 13.2 goes above and beyond in killing background tasks. Earlier today, I was switching between a thread in Messages and a recipe in Safari and each app entirely refreshed every time I foregrounded it. This happens all the time throughout the system in iOS 13: Safari can’t keep even a single tab open in the background, every app boots from scratch, and using iOS feels like it has regressed to the pre-multitasking days."

In case you were wondering, all 2019 iPhone models sport 4GB of RAM. That is the same as the amount found on last year's iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max and is up from the 3GB employed on the iPhone XR. We should point out that because of optimization used by Apple, you cannot make direct comparisons with the amount of RAM found on Android phones, which is as high as 12GB on certain high-end handsets.


Some iPhone users are saying that with the issues on iOS 13.2, it is almost as though the iPhone doesn't even offer multitasking anymore. That sounds like a pretty strong comment to make. Multitasking officially came to the iPhone in iOS 4 which is why one Twitter member tweeted that it feels like he is using iOS 3 again. It also appears that this issue isn't a problem for the oldest iPhone models that received the iOS 13.2 update, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

The problem is also affecting iPadOS 13.2 which might be considered an even bigger deal since the dedicated tablet operating system is supposed to make the iPad more of a laptop replacement than ever before. It isn't clear whether Apple is aware of this issue (although it should be) and what it intends to do to solve it. But for now, there are some angry campers in the iOS community. 

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49 Comments

1. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

LMAOOOO! iPhones don't, and never have multitasked. They have fast app switching. iPads...like Notes have true full multitasking, and PIP...not iPhone's. Lacking true multitasking, is one of the iPhone's biggest weaknesses. That YouTube issue, is more about the lack of RAM, than a multitasking issue. Apple, in 2020 MRGA make RAM great again.

3. Carlitos

Posts: 679; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

Literally clicked the article to find out what "multitasking" the iPhone has

48. sgodsell

Posts: 7514; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

This is an Alan article. He pretends to use other mobile OS's, and clearly hasn't used anything but iPhones.

4. mackan84

Posts: 609; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

The kids iPad mini 3’s can handle it with 2gb ram so it’s definitely a software-bug.

25. nodes

Posts: 1162; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

Yooo, my NOTE has true multitaskting, i can watch this video in tiny frame and replying emails at the same time while using virtual keyboard which make everything even smaller in a small 6.8" screen, while making dinner, I am so POWER user, so advanced i need 16GB of RAM to do professional work on my phone. iPhone sucks, Siri can't make me dinner, useless. Whatcha got iPhone users, i don't need anything other than my NOTE in my life.

29. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Make me some wings, mild, extra crispy, with fries. I need that in my life.

33. Vancetastic

Posts: 1698; Member since: May 17, 2017

Someone is jealous....

35. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Yes sirrr

44. Vancetastic

Posts: 1698; Member since: May 17, 2017

Man, that is some savage commenting up there!

2. emcdonald75

Posts: 166; Member since: Nov 07, 2012

I'm scared to update anymore. My Apple Carplay still has connection problems (I have to unplug and plug it back in a couple of times) but it works better than it did before the 13.2 update. If I wiggle the cable just right, it works. Before 13.2, it didn't matter what cable I used or how I positioned the cable, it would not work at all in my 2018 Nissan Murano.

5. Well-Manicured-Man

Posts: 707; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

The fact that Apple has released the first beta of its 13.3 update today shows how bad the software quality of Apple has become. It is just 6 weeks after launch of iOS 13 and already the third major update is about to get published. In the past, iOS got the third (if even) major update towards the end of its lifecycle.

7. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Well said. 100% true.

8. Be_Mine

Posts: 299; Member since: Dec 29, 2013

But...But...iOS devices are optimised better. They don't need more RAM as Android devices do. "It just work". Apple will once again roll out an update to fix this bug, the new update itself will have new bugs. iSheep will still praise Apple and says "Apple is quick with Updates". LOL And the cycle will continue. :D

26. nodes

Posts: 1162; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

Just bug, it will be considered normal in Pixel.

9. cmdacos

Posts: 4302; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

How are users able to tell the difference?

10. Macready

Posts: 1829; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

So the fix for the battery drain bug in iOS 13.1.3 was to kill background tasks, forcing apps that us a little more RAM to reload. Memory leak bug gone. Open apps gone. Great "fix".

11. Alcyone

Posts: 533; Member since: May 10, 2018

Maybe they "fixed" the u1 issue. It was intermittent, but was still an issue. It'd be typical Apple, fix one issue and crest a new one.

12. Starrbuck

Posts: 4; Member since: Mar 08, 2014

I am unable to reproduce this issue on my iPhone Xs Max.

13. stulla

Posts: 99; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

Lol what a pity

14. Vancetastic

Posts: 1698; Member since: May 17, 2017

It's interesting to me which commenters are missing on articles like this. Either way, it's pretty hard to argue with the fact that iOS 13 is somewhat less than awesome so far.

16. meanestgenius

Posts: 22388; Member since: May 28, 2014

It's been a mess. Fast updates don't mean squat if the updates keep breaking functionality of the smartphone.

21. Vancetastic

Posts: 1698; Member since: May 17, 2017

I don't get it. Apple can surely afford the best people to work on these things, right?

17. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Vance, you and MG hit the nail on the head. iOS 13 is a big filled mess right now, and it's not really improving. Well manicured man posted a good comment as well.

22. Vancetastic

Posts: 1698; Member since: May 17, 2017

I guess we are all "haters"...

27. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Riiiiiiiiiight lol.

15. ahmadkun

Posts: 649; Member since: May 02, 2016

what, you can do multitasking on an iPhone?

18. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Heck no! Fast app switching only. The iPhone is still a one trick pony. Doesn't make it a bad phone (it's a great device), but crap as a multitasking device.

19. tedkord

Posts: 17452; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

You can't kill what never existed.

20. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

My Note 10+ honestly never has any issues. Between the optimizations with 0neUI and Android 9, combined with 12 gigs of RAM, it just works. Apple, that paltry 4 gigs, while steadily adopting Android features just isn't cutting it. Pay more attention to Samsung Galaxy Note line Apple, it's killing it. From RAM to features, to One UI, to optimizations, to looks, it is just king.

23. tedkord

Posts: 17452; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

But that hole in the screen and lack of 3.5mm jack...Samsung just isn't getting my business this year. I'll hold on to my Note 9 512gb.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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