The iPhone and letting apps run in the background

Wed, Sep 2, 2009


Kicking it ADB, a great blog who we wish would publish more often, directs us to the fact that the third most popular app on Blackberry’s App World is an app called “Aerize Optimizer – Memory booster – cleaner utility”.  As you might have guessed, the app helps eliminate memory leaks, improve sluggish performance, and “reclaims your precious system memory resources that have been lost.”  You know, all the things that come along with letting apps run in the background.

ADB writes:

The pitfalls of allowing apps to command system resources without being foregrounded are numerous, but perhaps the best example of why this is a problem can be found at the Blackberry App World. The THIRD most popular PAID application is Aerize Optimizer, a program specifically designed to de-gunk the memory of a Blackberry.

I think it a positive that iPhone users never have to run such a program, or even know what it would do. It is a huge hit with RIM fans though.

Now there’s nothing wrong with RIM’s approach, and there is something to be said for being able to run a number of apps concurrently.  But there’s a method to Apple’s madness, and it doesn’t prevent third party apps from running in the background for no reason at all.  And with battery life often a chief complaint among iPhone users, who tend to use their devices for more intensive tasks such as playing movies, heavy web usage, and playing processor intensive games, it makes sense that Apple would axe the ability to run any and every app in the background.

Besides, if you had to choose, wouldn’t you rather run 15 apps you love anytime you want than have the ability to run 6 apps that are just okay all at the same time?


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1 Comments For This Post

  1. Jim Says:

    It’s a real pain not being able to run apps in the background. If I’m listening to streaming radio on my iPhone, I can’t check my mail, or browse for something quickly online. I need to stop what I’m doing, load up the other app, then when I’m done, close it down and go back into my radio app. If the iPod can run in the background, I would like to be able to run other apps in the background.

    Shouldn’t the option of running apps in the background be MY choice, not Apple’s? I’m willing to accept that slight battery hit over interrupting my music (or whatever other app I wanted to keep open).

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