“Quitting Apps in iOS Can Actually Worsen Battery Life” – If This is Accurate, then It’s the Best Advert Yet for More RAM in iOS Devices

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Thorin Klosowski has a piece up at Lifehacker where he states that quitting apps in iOS can actually worsen battery life – and quotes a former Apple Genius Bar tech on the subject:

Yes, it does shut down the app, but what you don’t know is that you are actually making your battery life worse if you do this on a regular basis. Let me tell you why.

By closing the app, you take the app out of the phone’s RAM . While you think this may be what you want to do, it’s not. When you open that same app again the next time you need it, your device has to load it back into memory all over again. All of that loading and unloading puts more stress on your device than just leaving it alone. Plus, iOS closes apps automatically as it needs more memory, so you’re doing something your device is already doing for you. You are meant to be the user of your device, not the janitor.

I don’t feel 100% sure that his premise is right, and browsing through the comments thread I’m not the only one with doubts on it.

And even if the premise is right, then to me it’s just an excellent confirmation of why iOS devices desperately need more RAM. I don’t get any great joy out of being my iPad’s ‘janitor’ – but I sure as heck know that I *need* to be its janitor on a regular basis when it comes to managing memory. That is if I want apps to be able to refresh pages properly. Or to prevent apps freezing up. There are numerous times per week where I need to close out a ton of apps in order to allow one app to run correctly.

Seriously, biggest wish list item for the iPad 6 or whatever this year’s model will be: RAM. Lots of it.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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2 thoughts on ““Quitting Apps in iOS Can Actually Worsen Battery Life” – If This is Accurate, then It’s the Best Advert Yet for More RAM in iOS Devices

  1. I think there are two different subjects going on here. Yes we can always do with more RAM but that’s not going to change the fact that the battery wears down from closing all your apps in the background. No matter how much RAM the next iPad has the same issue is going to occur. They are not related to each other.

    I think science behind that quote is sound. The only reasons one should close an app in the background is if one has crashed or if an app suggests you close all other apps in the background for it to run properly. I have the sound desk Auria for iPad. It has a memory meter built in so you can see how much spare RAM there is. If it gets low enough it will then suggest to close all other apps.

  2. I don’t think lack of RAM is the actual source of the problems you describe, it’s a buggy OS. More RAM could of course reduce the number of opportunities for bugs to be exposed, but a more solid OS would reduce crashes regardless of how many programs are loaded, how much RAM you have, etc. (as long as the amount of RAM is relatively appropriate for the device.)

    His premise makes sense, if someone is routinely closing apps manually by habit, but then opens a lot of the same apps later anyway. For example, no point in ever closing your email app if you’re use your email app several times a day like most people.