It’s really just a matter of common sense. You have a bazillion apps running in the background, so you shut them down to prevent them killing your battery. You do it routinely and you assume you’re doing your device a favor, keeping it running for longer, right?
One of well-connected Apple-centric site 9to5Mac’s readers had sent an email to Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook, asking him if he also shuts down his background apps in order to save battery life on his iDevices. And while Cook didn’t directly reply to that email, the missive had apparently reached Apple senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi, who said that no, Cook doesn’t shut down his background apps, and no, the workaround isn’t a valid one at all. And, according to 9to5Mac, it was Federighi himself who took the effort to reply to the reader’s inquiry.
In addition to Federighi’s response, Apple has its own advice on its support page, which explains that you only need to close an app if it isn’t responding. “Generally, there’s no need to force an app to close unless it’s unresponsive,” says Apple. “When you press the Home button two times quickly, the recently used apps that appear aren’t open. They’re in an efficient standby mode to help you navigate and multitask.”
That’s not all, however. In a separate support document, Apple offers more tips and tricks for users to save on battery life. “After you switch to a different app, some apps run for a short period of time before they’re set to a suspended state,” the company says. “Apps that are in a suspended state aren’t actively in use, open or taking up system resources. With Background App Refresh, suspended apps can check for updates and new content.”
Well, that was a nice thought while it was still considered valid, but the truth of the matter is that poor battery life remains a common complaint among iPhone owners. In fact, poor battery life IS a problem for Android device owners as well, what with the prevalence of intense, sophisticated apps that could take their toll on one’s battery. So with that said, all we’ve got are some basic tips, but no true cure-all for poor or underwhelming battery longevity.
UPDATED 5:00 p.m. ET – Additional Apple support info