On Manually Managing Multitasking Apps in iOS

by Christopher Paul on January 4, 2012

From John Gruber of Daring Fireball:

“Emptying this list of applications is simply needless, mindless, busywork. It was absolutely never intended to be used this way and anyone who does this is just wasting their time. The system suspends apps running in the background automatically. The system removes suspended apps from memory automatically, when needed. Manually zapping all apps from this list is a voodoo placebo. The whole point of iOS’s multitasking model is that you, the user, should not have to worry about managing which applications are running and which are not. If you were supposed to do that, apps would have a Quit command. They don’t. You just go home, and the system should take care of the rest.”

From what I’ve read about iOS’ memory and app management, that’s true. It seems as if old habits die hard, though. I kill apps suspended not because I feel like I need more memory to run other apps or increase the speed of my phone, I kill them because I’m a neat freak when it comes to apps listed in that app bar (it makes it easier to switch apps quickly) and sometimes apps need to be restarted.

The restarting of an app seems like a legitimate reason to do so. But being a neat freak on my dock (for lack of the correct term) stems from the days where memory was scarce and app clutter would cause problems. Even though I trust the memory management of iOS, I can’t fight my instinct to keep things as clutter free as possible.

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