Multi-Tasking Question with iOS 4.2.1?!?!

Discussion in 'iPad OS' started by MSaxatilus, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. MSaxatilus
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    MSaxatilus iPF Novice

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    Well the long wait was over and I've been goofing around with my newly updated iPad now running iOS 4.2.1. So far... so good!

    One question that does strike me as intriguing right off the bat relates to multi-tasking. When you run an App and then hit the home button the App remains open and running. When I go to another App, same thing happens. Is there anyway to leave an App without it being sent to the multitasking bar? Meaning, can I use my calculator and then close it directly rather than performing extra steps to close it out of multi-tasking?
    MSax
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010
  2. NumbLock
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    NumbLock iPad Ninja

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    Not really. Jobs says that it isn't necessary, but I'm sure that I'll be obsessively closing things anyway. iOS tracks memory and things in the background and suspends things and generally tidies up when necessary.
  3. MSaxatilus
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    MSaxatilus iPF Novice

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    Hmmm....

    Honestly, that seems odd to me. What is the purpose of the multi-tasking bar then? I suppose I haven't used it long enough to see the value, but it would make more sence to me to be able to "back out of an app" but leave it running and then "close" apps that you don't necessarily need running in the background.

    I suppose time will tell on the usefullness of this feature.

    MSax
  4. gentlefury
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    gentlefury iPad Guru

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    Nothing is ever left open and running. The way iOS multi-tasking works is when you "exit" an app you close the app and it writes a small state file to be used later...this functionality has to actually be written into the application being used so it won't work on all apps.

    When you "resume" use of the app it simply reads the state and resumes where it left off.

    Its kind of like when you play an NES emulator and save a state to come back to it later. You can shut down your computer throw it out the windows and run over it with a truck...if you saved the state elsewhere you can resume your game as if you never turned off the app.

    Thats why you will notice that if you turn off your iPad then turn it back on again (I mean hard reset not just sleep) all your apps you were previously using will still be there. The only things that run in the background are some services like skype and IM+ and music apps like pandora.
  5. MSaxatilus
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    MSaxatilus iPF Novice

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    Gentlefury,

    Thanks for the explaination. I totally understand what you are saying and how the OS works, but my concern is that the multi-tasking toolbar (for lack of better term) will constantly be cluttered up with stuff that you don't really need in there.

    For example, over the course of an afternoon I take a look at the Drudge App, Zappos, Epicurious (for something for dinner), Mighty Light, Weather, Pandora, Safari, a game, Netflix, Shazam, email, Yellowbook and Pulse. However out of all of those Apps, I really only need/want Pandora, Safari and Pulse left in the multi-tasking toolbar. But the way the OS is working, all of that junk will be dropped into that toolbar and I have to manually "close" (again for lack of better words) all of those other apps?

    Call me anal, but seems like alot of unwanted clutter to contantly have to clean out. And if everything is technically not "closed" when an app is shut down, what really is the purpose of the multi-tasking bar? Why not just click the App where it is in your home pages to restart?

    MSax
  6. gentlefury
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    gentlefury iPad Guru

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    Well the way the taskbar works tho is first in last out...so whatever you used last goes to the head of the list. If it REALLY bothers you to have them listed you can long tap any icon and hit the - in the upper left corner and it will kill the state...but that really defeats the purpose of the system.
  7. MSaxatilus
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    MSaxatilus iPF Novice

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    OK, so because the OS is writing a small state file, when these apps are listed in the taskbar, there is no real drain on resources (i.e. RAM) at all, correct?

    Maybe my irrational suspicion comes from a long history of PC use. "Oh just run this Antivirus software in the background. You won't notice a thing." :eek:

    From your confident explaination, I suppose my fear is completely unjustified and irrational. I just need to play around more to get comfortable with the new system.

    Thanks for your help my friend.

    MSax
  8. iPadCharlie
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    iPadCharlie iPad Super Guru

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    This was my initial "complaint" about this so-called multi-tasking when I installed the 4.2 beta 2 months ago, but I pretty quickly got into the habit of going to the multi-tasking bar and shutting things off. Yes, its a bit of a PITA but now I don't even think about it.
  9. gentlefury
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    gentlefury iPad Guru

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    correct you will experience no loss in performance even if you run every app on your device. The worst that can happen would be a small loss in memory, but it is so infantesimal you will only see it if you are REALLY low.
  10. steve conway
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    steve conway iPF Noob

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    May I jump in please???

    Had my iPad about a month now and so am still getting things organized both on it and in my head.

    Let me ask just a really simple question about Apps.

    Say I open good old Angry Birds and after a time decide to go to another App for the weather.

    There is no way to directly close Birds (or any other App) without hitting the main screen button. Am I right so far? Seems I am clicking this button dozens of times a day. Chances are this button is going to be the first thing that wears out on the iPad.

    So I just need a simple way to get rid of an App, not several Apps like you guys have been talking about. I keep looking for that elusive way to close it by touching the screen and leave the main screen button alone to it's obvious use of putting me on the main screen.

    Can anyone help here. maybe I overlooked something or are we all doomed to head to the Apple store for Main Screen button replacement sooner than we would like?

    With much appreciation.

    Steve Conway
  11. Mike_73
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    Mike_73 iPad Fan

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    Well, with a jailbreak you get a RAM-indicator in the top bar of the screen. When I start my iPad with no apps running, it's about 145MB. The more apps that are open, the less RAM seems to be available, down to a minimum so far of 28MB.
    It wasn't an issue yet, but I'm sure, depending on the apps you're running, it could be one.

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