Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

iOS 13.2 Is More Aggressive at Killing Background Apps and Tasks

Yours truly on Twitter yesterday:

I thought it was just a beta thing, but iOS’ memory management has taken a big step back — as in, back to the pre-multitasking days of quitting and launching apps instead of switching between them.

Natalia Ossipova:

Lost a 3+ hours @GoZwift ride because of that. Had to switch to Settings to restore Wi-Fi connection and on return to Zwift the app was relaunched. An all-time 5 min power peak, two KOMs and a lot of kudos gone. Staying alive in the background is crucial to fitness apps.

Marco Arment:

I’ve noticed this since the first 13.2 betas, and Overcast users keep reporting it as well: background apps seem to be getting killed MUCH more aggressively than before.

(Especially on the iPhone 11 if you use the camera, presumably because it needs so much RAM for processing.)

I’m used to the camera purging all open apps from memory on my iPhone X, but iOS 13.2 goes above and beyond in killing background tasks. Earlier today, I was switching between a thread in Messages and a recipe in Safari and each app entirely refreshed every time I foregrounded it. This happens all the time throughout the system in iOS 13: Safari can’t keep even a single tab open in the background, every app boots from scratch, and using iOS feels like it has regressed to the pre-multitasking days. As bugs go, this is isn’t a catastrophic one, but it absolutely should be the highest of priorities to fix it. It’s embarrassing that all of the hard work put into making animations and app launching feel smooth is squandered by mismanaged multitasking.