I don’t care if you force close your apps

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read

Maxwell Zeff for Gizmodo: Closing Your iPhone Apps Is a Mythical Waste of Time

Apple users seem unanimously convinced that closing background apps is a good habit, but it’s more likely a waste of time

A few years ago, I would have retweeted, boosted, and linked to this article with absolute enthusiasm. I don’t swipe my apps away when I turn off my iPhone screen, and I never have. As this article correctly points out, “closing” your apps every time you use your phone doesn’t make your phone run faster or make any difference with battery life. In some cases force closing an app can be helpful in troubleshooting an issue, but it’s certainly not something you need to do all the time. In fact, iOS is built and optimized around you not doing this, so closing apps is counterproductive if your goal is to make your phone run faster.

Perhaps this mythical ritual of iPhone maintenance will save battery, make your phone run faster, or stop social media companies from tracking you. While it’s not crazy to think so, it’s simply a lie we’ve all been living. Closing background apps does nothing because those apps aren’t actually “running.”

Here’s the thing, while some people certainly do it because they believe incorrect rumors like those listed above, many others do it for totally rational reasons. I’ve talked to numerous people who say they just don’t like the clutter of all those apps in their switcher. I then gleefully scroll through my app switcher that has literally every app on my phone on it and they don’t understand how I can live that way. I don’t get why it bothers them, but who am I to judge something like that? I like a clean desktop on my Mac, but most people don’t care about that, but that’s not going to stop me from tidying things up because I like it.

Still other people told me that they just enjoy the act of swiping their apps away. They either found the gesture and animation satisfying or they liked the “closure” of of feeling like they’re done using their phone. Again, I don’t feel these satisfactions or needs to feel like I’m done with my phone beyond hitting the sleep/wake switch, but it doesn’t hurt me one bit that they do it.

But still, millions of people are wasting their days, and their batteries, closing their background apps. It’s one of the most pervasive myths in technology, but we need to stop performing this iPhone cleansing ritual once and for all.

Once again, who cares? At this point I think more than enough people have shared The Good News that you don’t need to force close your apps, and I think it’s high time people stop being so worked up about people who still do it.

My official position is a fact followed by an opinion: The fact is that iOS is built to work best when you just let the system handle things for you. The opinion is that I don’t particularly care how you use your own phone because it impacts me precisely 0%.