Open Apps


New Member
Sep 9, 2012
I have a Sprint 4Si with Siri and could not figure out why I was no longer able to download any more apps on my phone.

I took it to the Sprint store and the young lady said my screens had "maxed out". I didn't realize that such a thing could occur, so I grouped a bunch of apps together and I'm okay.

BUT, here is my question, the young lady double tapped on my home button and all of the open apps showed up down below. I did not realize that even though you "think" you shut down an app after you close it out, according to this young lady, the apps stay open until you double tap the home button and then you have to manually close all of them.

That is the most STUPID thing I have ever heard of. Why wouldn't the app automatically shut down after I close the app? What was Apple thinking?

Any thoughts and/or ideas?


New Member
Sep 9, 2012
That to me, seems very dumb. I would think when you "close an app", it would no longer be running. Just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.


Feb 18, 2011
Washington state
My question is why does it matter if they are still "open" in the background?

They aren't transmitting data. It helps launch them faster. Drain on battery isn't measurable with them "open" in task manager.


Oct 16, 2011
This allows you to keep apps running in the background so they don't have to reload. Been this way since iOS 4 before then you would have a app reload each time you opened it which was a pain. Think about having to reopen a gps app or game just because you want to send a text message or make a call which what you had to do before iOS 4


Oct 23, 2007
Louisville, KY
The phone is pretty smart in this regard. It tries to take care of it so you don't need to worry about it.

It will put the app to sleep where it's at so that it's no longer taking up any processor cycles, but it stays in memory so that it can pick up where it left off quickly the next time you switch to it.

If the app has registered for one of the background processing services that Apple allows (VoIP, audio playback, GPS, or notifications) then it will be able to continue to work in the background for that purpose and that purpose alone. Even then, there are limits, like background GPS will still get shut off if the phone is running low on battery.

If the app says that it still needs to do something besides that in the background (like finish an upload or download), it'll have up to 10 minutes to finish before it must go to sleep. If it's still doing things after 10 minutes, the app gets completely terminated.

For instance, you'll be able to keep playing Pandora in the background, but if you've paused Pandora and you're off doing other things on the phone, the Pandora app won't be doing anything, and it will be asleep until you switch back to it or hit the play button. The podcasting app I use, Podcaster 5, stays in the background to finish downloading an episode, but if it's been in the background for almost 10 minutes and I'm not playing anything, it will pause the download and go to sleep because it doesn't want to be terminated.

When the phone needs to free up some memory, it starts shutting down apps, or waking them up long enough to tell them to let go of memory.

Basically, the app may be in that list, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's active, or even that it's in memory at all. It's more like a reccently used apps list. The operating system is not letting it stay active unless it's using those specific background services. Thus, it is not actually open in the same way that it might be on a PC or other kinds of phones.