Kirk McElhearn, on how quitting an app might not speed up your iOS device, but it might make a difference to your battery life.
I was having a Twitter discussion this morning with Shane Richmond, after he posted this article on his website: Why forcing an iOS app to quit won’t speed up your device. While I agree in principle with what he says in that article, I disagree with part of his conclusions. He says:
If an app is malfunctioning then, yes, forcing it to quit is the answer. But in normal use force-quitting apps will not make a difference.
The thing is, it may make a difference, but not in speed; it may make a difference in battery life.
First, a brief overview. As Apple explains, “Multitasking is a feature of iOS that allows applications to perform certain tasks in the background while you are using another application. […] Multitasking doesn’t slow down the performance of the foreground app or drain battery life unnecessarily.”
The key word above is “unnecessarily”. Because while most apps go into a suspended state when in the background, not all do. In iOS, you can control this in Settings > Background app Refresh. But you won’t find all apps that use your battery “unnecessarily” in those settings. For example, you won’t find Skype, which can use a lot of your battery, listed there. This is, in some ways, to be expected: if you want to get calls via Skype, then the app needs to be running.