One of the most exciting new features of iOS 7 is real multitasking for all apps. Apple even touts it as being ‘smart’ multitasking – as it will learn from our usage patterns with apps.
It looks like users will have a level of control over at least some of what apps can do in the background – as seen in a new Settings page titled ‘Background App Refresh’.
The Background App Refresh page, under the General section of Settings, lets you toggle Background App Refresh on or off. Here’s the descriptive text just below the button to toggle this on or off:
Allow apps to refresh their content when on WiFi or cellular, or use Location Services, in the background. Turning off apps may help preserve battery life.
As you can see in the screencap above, right now only four of my installed apps, all Newsstand titles, are showing up as using the Background App Refresh feature. It will be very interesting to see which apps start supporting this feature as we move through later iOS 7 betas and after public release. I’m keen to see the uptake among news and RSS apps in particular.
I imagine, if this setting stays in place in the iOS 7 public release, this will be an area some of us will want to babysit a fair bit. As in, just as with notifications or Location Services, I may not want all apps making use of this feature.