Technology Advice for Small Businesses

Multitasking on iOS

iPad_April22_BMultitasking lets you open several apps at the same time. The current app you’re using is the active app, while the others are running in the background. This allows easy switching of app for instant access. This feature was not supported before as it only became available with the launch of IOS 4. Devices that allow multitasking include iPad, third generation or newer iPod Touch and iPhone 3GS and newer models.

The benefits of multitasking

Users of supported iOS devices will benefit greatly from the new multitasking feature. If you’re using one of these devices, here are some of the advantages.

  • Quick switching to other apps – when you open another application, the previous applications do not close unless you do it manually. Instead, they stay in the background ready for a quick launch. There’s no need to keep opening and closing various apps as multiple apps can be opened at once.
  • Continue from where you left off – the current application that you’re using is the active app. Applications running in the background on the other hand stay how you left them, so you can continue with what you’re doing when you access them again. Some apps would still be active even while running in the background like the music player that lets you use another app while songs are being played.
  • Keep all apps updated – the multitasking feature is smarter in the latest iOS release. It determines which apps you often use and make them automatically available in the background with all the latest updates, when you need to use them.

How to use the multitasking feature

Multitasking is a feature that’s automatically enabled on all supported iOS devices. Open the apps that you need to use and the inactive apps will run in the background. If you wish to switch from one app to another, here’s how you do it.

  1. Double tap the physical home button on your iOS device.
  2. A preview of the running apps in the background and their icons will be shown. You can see three apps at a time. If you have several apps running, swipe left or right to view more.
  3. Tap on the preview of the app you wish to access. You may also tap on its icon, which will also bring up the application you selected.

The preview feature was only introduced in iOS 7. If you’re running an older OS, you would only see the icons at the bottom of the screen and not the preview.

How to kill apps that are running in the background

You may want to kill running apps running in the background for various reasons like saving battery life or due to app crash. There are two ways on how to kill apps. The old method is to press an app’s icon until the screen wiggles. A red icon on top of the app will then appear. Tapping on the icon will close the app. But if you are using iOS 7 and you have the preview, swiping it up will kill the application.

Since these apps are taking up some of your battery life, there’s no point in keeping them running unless you are flicking back to them and using them.