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Background Apps No Effect On iPhone’s Battery, Per Apple Executive

Background Apps No Effect On iPhone’s Battery, Per Apple Executive

No doubt iPhone owners have tried doing this -- closing all mobile apps running in the background on their iPhones in order to conserve battery power. But as made clear by Craig Federighi, the senior vice president of software engineering at Apple, those background apps actually do not have any effect on an iPhone’s battery.


Apparently, a reader of the 9to5Mac blog had sent an email message to Tim Cook, the current chief executive officer of Apple, asking him if the battery life of an iPhone can be extended by closing all mobile apps running in the background. That email eventually found its way to Federighi, who proceeded to provide a definitive answer to the question, and the answer is a big no.


When Apple launched version iOS 4 of its mobile operating system back in 2010, the iPhone maker also debuted multitasking, which basically allowed its flagship device to run more than one app at the same time. With this capability, iOS mobile users can just jump from one already running app to another just by double tapping the Home button and navigating to that app. To shut down that app, one would just swipe it away from the display screen. 


Most users can be forgiven for thinking that running multiple mobile apps in the background can significantly affect the iPhone’s battery power. Many a smartphone owner have no doubt explored various ways in which they can optimize the life of their iPhone batteries. While it is true that you can make the most of your battery power by tweaking certain settings in your iOS device, turning off apps is not necessary at all, as explained by Federighi. 


His statements are actually pretty consistent with what Apple has stated on one of its support pages, saying that shutting down an app is unnecessary unless that app has become unresponsive. In yet another support page, Apple further explained that when a user switches to a different mobile app, the previous app or apps run for a short while before going into a suspended state. This means that they are not actively in use, open, or using up system resources. 


But these mobile apps can still check for updates and new content with the use of the Background App Refresh functionality. For those not familiar with this specific iPhone feature, this was introduced by Apple when it launched version iOS 7 of its mobile operating system back in September of 2013.