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Switching between apps

As the name might suggest, the multitasking feature in iOS allows your device to perform certain tasks in the background while you use another application.

As the name might suggest, the multitasking feature in iOS allows your device to perform certain tasks in the background while you use another application. If you're not sure how to multitask in iOS, then there are a few things you should bear in mind. The process is relatively simple, thankfully, so you shouldn't have too much trouble with it.

Switching between apps is simple:

  • Firstly, double-tap the 'home' button to display a list of recently-used apps.
  • Swipe left or right to select the app of your choice.
  • Tap the app you want to open to switch to it.


However, it's important to remember that the iOS multitasking bar does not contain of list of all the apps which are currently open - it just contains a list of recently opened apps. The fact that those apps appear on the recently-opened screen does not mean they're currently in use; in fact, most of them probably won't be.

Apps can exist in five different states of execution - not running, inactive, active, background, suspended - and the first two aren't relevant here. Some users, however, get a bit confused as to how an app goes from being active to background to suspended to not running.

When you select the 'home' button, you'll find that your app switches from active to background. The majority of apps subsequently go to suspended within a short space of time, usually a few seconds. Memory-intensive apps, such as games, will automatically be switched to the not running status by iOS - so they won't be using up your device's memory, even though they will still appear in the multitasking bar.

By remaining in the device's memory, however, these apps resume more quickly when you next go to use them. However, their status is not displayed in the multitasking bar, which displays recently used apps whether they're in background, suspended or not running states.