||It has been suggested that this article be merged into iOS. (Discuss) Proposed since August 2013.|
Multitasking for iOS was first released in June 2010 along with the release of iOS 4.0. Only certain devices—iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPod Touch 3rd generation—were able to use multitasking. The iPad did not get multitasking until the release of iOS 4.2.1 in November 2010. Currently, multitasking is supported on iPhone 3GS or newer, iPod Touch 3rd generation or newer, and all iPad models.
Implementation of multitasking in iOS has been criticized for its approach, that limits the work that applications in the background can perform to a limited function set, and for requiring application developers to add explicit support for it.
Before iOS 4, multitasking was limited to a selection of the applications Apple included on the device. Users could, however "jailbreak" their device in order to unofficially multitask. Starting with iOS 4, on third-generation and newer iOS devices, multitasking is supported through seven background APIs:
- Background audio – application continues to run in the background as long as it is playing audio or video content
- Voice over IP – application is suspended when a phone call is not in progress
- Background location – application is notified of location changes
- Push notifications
- Local notifications – application schedules local notifications to be delivered at a predetermined time
- Task completion – application asks the system for extra time to complete a given task
- Fast app switching – application does not execute any code and may be removed from memory at any time
In iOS 5, three new background APIs were introduced:
- Newsstand – application can download content in the background to be ready for the user
- External Accessory – application communicates with an external accessory and shares data at regular intervals
- Bluetooth Accessory – application communicates with a bluetooth accessory and shares data at regular intervals
In iOS 7, Apple introduced a new multitasking feature, providing all apps with the ability to perform background updates. This feature prefers to update the user's most frequently used apps and prefers to use WiFi networks over a cellular network, without markedly reducing the device's battery life.
Fast app switching
Fast app switching allows apps to pause and resume themselves quickly and easily change to other apps. An app that is on the screen is considered "running", while an app that is not on screen but is still in memory is considered "suspended". All apps that are built with iOS 4 SDK support fast app switching if running on iOS 4 and a compatible device. Users can utilize fast app switching by activating the multitasking bar, which can be displayed by double-tapping the home button.
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